Report: Home Care Workforce Crisis Requires Bold, Swift Action

A looming critical crisis in the personal care workforce requires governments and stakeholders to radically rethink the role of caregivers, according to Building the Caregiving Workforce Our Aging World Needs, a new report from the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA).

“This report is intended as a wake-up call for the urgent actions that must be taken to address the global crisis of care, which is already gripping nations around the world,” said Home Instead CEO Jeff Huber, a co-sponsor of the report.

Immediate action is required to meet the expanding caregiving needs of the “silver tsunami,” a population adding 10,000 new senior citizens every day, assert the report’s authors. Approximately 70 percent of the elderly will have considerable need for long-term care.

These massive needs, combined with the overwhelming desire the elderly have to maintain their independence and age in their own homes and communities, will require a large and relatively stable personal care workforce long in to the future. While technology can take on many of the tasks of caring for the elderly, “it will never entirely replace the role played by professional caregivers in ensuring the mental, emotional and physical health of the world’s aging population,” reads the report.

Specifically, the report recommends:

  1. Change the perception of the caregiving profession – champion campaigns to change perception of  caregiving, from a low-skilled job of last resort to a valued, professional career of the future.
  2. Bolster training and education standards – care providers and governments work to establish quality standards.
  3. Support and reward professional caregivers commensurate with the demands of the job and the value they provide – employers across public, private and nonprofit sectors must pay more attention to the emotional and financial needs of professional caregivers – especially if they are to attract young, purpose-driven talent.
  4. Fully integrate the home care workforce into the health and social-care ecosystem – the professional status of home care workers must keep pace with the demand for and value of this type of care.

“These recommendations are designed to act as a catalyst for action and collaboration from a multisector, multidisciplinary group of stakeholders,” said Melissa Gong Mitchell, Executive Director of GCOA. “As aging affects each and every one of us – our parents and grandparents today and ourselves and our children in the future – innovation and action must start now if we are to build a robust, thriving workforce of professional caregivers. Each recommendation in our report builds on the others, and no single area can be ignored if we truly want to address this care crisis.”

Failure to properly address the critical needs of the caregiver workforce will reduce care options for the disabled and elderly, according to the authors, as well as cause deteriorating health outcomes and higher health care costs.

The report’s authors write that while “older people and their families recognize the value professional caregivers provide, caregiving is still too often considered low-status work,” write the report’s authors. “A variety of factors contribute to this lack of respect for caregiving, each of which makes it difficult to recruit and retain skilled professionals around the world. It is time for universally accepted ideas about the caregiving workforce to correspond with the shifts in supply and demand — and the increasing need of this work within society.”

Annual turnover among home care workers in the United States is between 40 percent and 60 percent, according to the report.

“By ensuring our caregiving workforce around the world is recognized and appropriately rewarded for the value they provide to our aging society, we can also ensure that quality care can be achievable for all,” said Francesca Colombo, Head of the Health Division at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Further, as we make the caregiving profession more attractive, we will subsequently uplift families, health systems and economies by alleviating family caregiving burden, mitigating healthcare costs and fueling a job creation engine. In their new report, the Global Coalition on Aging and Home Instead have called out the conversation we need to be having about the future of care and the future of work, and we at the OECD look forward to working toward solutions, together.”

Report: Home Care Workforce Crisis Requires Bold, Swift Action

A looming critical crisis in the personal care workforce requires governments and stakeholders to radically rethink the role of caregivers, according to Building the Caregiving Workforce Our Aging World Needs, a new report from the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA). “This report is intended as a wake-up call for the urgent actions that must be taken to…

Updated Recommended Operational Protocols for COVID-19 and Home Care

The Recommended Operational Protocols for COVID-19 and home care have been updated. This is a continuation of the collaborative efforts from several of the leading providers in the home health and home care industries in an effort to help guide providers in their response to the COVID-19 crisis in a way that protects the vulnerable patients and clients, as well as the fearless direct care workers. Here is a summary of the changes:

  1. In the “Agency Screening of Clients” section, a new question was added about travel to reflect recent state orders that require individuals who travel to certain “hot spots” to quarantine following their return.
  2. In the “Direct Care Worker Action Steps” section, the item addressing when a direct care worker should stay home if sick (no COVID-19 diagnosis) now reflects the CDC’s updated guidance that Healthcare Personnel  may return to work after they have been fever-free (without fever reducing medication) for 24 hours (previously the wait was 72 hours).
  3. In several areas, the new CDC advice that those who are severely immunocompromised and/or had severe or critical illness from COVID-19 may remain contagious for up to 20 days.
  4. The section titled “Steps To Take If A Direct Care Worker Is Diagnosed With COVID-19” has been substantially updated to reflect the CDC’s updated guidance on the return to work decision-making process.

We urge you to read the entire document and become familiar with the details of all the updates to the recommended protocols.

The Role and Benefits of Home Care in Adapting Homes

Learn how home modifications for aging in place can expand the opportunity for a person’s home to be an effective base for health care. There is evidence that updated homes are safer which allows clients to remain clients longer, workers to suffer fewer injuries, and agencies to retain employees longer. Home care providers take varied approaches to updates including the development of assessment tools, making recommendations, offering home modifications in-house, and engaging in partnerships. There are barriers too. But there is no doubt home modifications are part of the future of home care.
NAHC President Bill Dombi will host this webinar featuring Kathy Dodd, a longtime leader in the home care industry, former NAHC board member, and CEO of Lifewise-CHM (Clinical Home Modifications), an innovative home modifications provider, and Louis Tenenbaum, one of the first contractors to specialize in modifications, now a recognized aging in place authority and advocate. Together, they will explore ways to get home updates done and how your agency can benefit from this next wave of in-home services.
 Faculty: 
  • Bill Dombi, Esq., President, National Association for Home Care & Hospice
  • Kathy Dodd, RN, BSN, MHAC, Co-Founder & CEO, LifewiseCHM (Clinical Home Modifications)
  • Louis Tenenbaum, Founder, HomesRenewed
Registration Fees
Members: Free
Non-members: $99

In-Home Caregivers Prefer Virtual Training

Virtual training has emerged as critical for in-home caregivers during the COVID-19 public health emergency and that development is likely to continue in 2021, even after the pandemic ends, accordingt to a new survey of 11,000 home caregivers across the United States by Medflyt, a HIPAA-compliant web-based workforce management platform for home care agencies.

Over 83 percent of surveyed caregivers have become more interested in in-service mobile training since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the survey, and 60 percent would rather be trained online instead of in person.

In addition, 38 percent of respondents wanted to onboard remotely, a much higher figure than before the start of the public health emergency.

“The pandemic has forced the homecare industry to digitally transform sooner than expected, creating a skills/training gap as patients rely on at-home health care,” said Levi Y. Pavlovsky, COO and co-founder of Medflyt. “Based on our findings, it’s clear that agencies are in need of solutions to help simplify caregiver staffing, training and compliance. In addition, caregivers are looking for more mobile-based options.”

Most (62 percent) of caregivers said that easy and quick onboarding and ease of staffing are reasons to stay with or choose one agency over another. Additionally, 44 percent said better communication and and flexibility from agencies would considerably improve their training.

A majority (54 percent) of respondents said they want to be educated on topics related to the public health emergency such as social distancing, regulations and sanitation, in relation to their work.

“The data also shows that caregivers need more communication from their agencies,” added Pavlovsky. “In-home health care remains one of the most underserved and unappreciated industries, and the challenges posed by COVID-19 have called attention to that sentiment. Through our suite of solutions that aim to provide the resources and flexibility caregivers and agencies need to continue to provide quality care to every patient, Medflyt is in a position to change that.”

In-Home Caregivers Prefer Virtual Training

Virtual training has emerged as critical for in-home caregivers during the COVID-19 public health emergency and that development is likely to continue in 2021, even after the pandemic ends, accordingt to a new survey of 11,000 home caregivers across the United States by Medflyt, a HIPAA-compliant web-based workforce management platform for home care agencies. Over 83…

Report: Home Care Turnover Can Be Lessened with Better Training, Advancement

Better training and more opportunities for advancement would create a more stable home care workforce with less turnover, according to a new study from PHI, a national organization devoted to research and advocacy on behalf of direct care workers. The PHI report recommends, among other things, mandated federal training requirements that would produce a more…

MedPAC Finds Pandemic Devastated Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities

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The Americans with Disability Act Changed America (and Home Care) for the Better

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law a landmark piece of bipartisan civil rights legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which promised a new era of dignity and independence for 43 million disabled Americans. “[L]et the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down,” said President Bush at the law’s…

Successfully Navigate State and Federal Law with this Employment Toolkit

NAHC members receive a huge savings! The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has partnered with Littler, a company with more than 75 years of experience in labor and employment law, to offer our members access to the Littler Home Care Toolkit at a tremendous savings. The Toolkit will provide employers with the…