Long-Term Care Crisis - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Long-Term Care Crisis

Not enough long term care workers now could become a crisis in the near future.

That's according to this year's Cost of Care Research released by Genworth Incorporated.

With modern medicine people are living longer and 78 million baby boomers are set to retire in the next few decades.

To meet the demands of our aging population the U.S. will need to recruit 200,000 long-term care workers a year.

Care giver Lawanda Reeves of Claude says she is already having a hard time hiring the help she needs. "There's always a need for care givers there's always a need."

Reeves has been a caregiver since she was sixteen years old and admits stress is high and the pay is not.

"The generations now are looking at wanting more money, more benefits and things like that. So they're going to be looking for the jobs that are going to pay top dollar." And she says qualified workers are hard to come by.

"With our agency we do background checks on the local and state level and if you've got anything that questionable we're not going to hire you. Only 10% of people who apply with caring center service get hired with us."

The average salary of a licensed home health aide is just over $19 an hour. Translating to about $43,000 a year.

That's only a 4% increase since 2004.

"You've gotta have the heart for it. You've gotta have the heart. If you don't have the heart there's not point in really getting into it. "

The costs for long-term care have gone up for the fifth straight year and experts predict they will continue to rise until the shortage is under control.

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