TUCSON, Ariz. — Millions of adults are in need of some degree of personal or patient care, but the healthcare industry says the nation is experiencing a caregiver shortage.
Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, are retiring at a rate of around 10,000 a day, according to AARP. The number of people aging who will need some type of support is also growing faster than the number of people who will be available to care for them.
"To be a caregiver, it takes a very special person. Not everyone wants to do this job. Not everyone can do this job," said Dr. Lydia Tully-Coe, the owner and executive director of Visiting Angels.
Visiting Angels, a national homecare organization, places caregivers in family homes and living communities. The growing number of older adults needing at-home care is a concern visiting angels is very familiar with.
"With the amount of baby boomers growing older and needing care, the need for caregivers is also growing. But we're seeing a shortage of caregivers nationwide and also in Arizona," said Tully-Coe.
But the good news is the number of aides nationwide increased by more than 500,000 since last year, according to the American Health Rankings 2019 Senior Report. In Arizona, healthcare workers increased 17-percent in the past five years. The state is now sitting around 105 aides per 1,000 adults aged 75 and older; but those increases aren't enough to overcome the overall shortage.
"There is a lot of urgency because there are so many people in our community who are requiring our services. And so sometimes there may be someone who needs someone right away, but we are very committed to finding the right person the right caregiver for that person. So we do feel that pressure, but we don't just want to throw anybody in there," said Tully-Coe.
Visiting Angels is looking for homecare workers with experience, compassion and the desire to help people. Apply here and call (520) 579-0099.