A Crisis in Home Health Care Worker Availability

China Heads Towards An Older Society

There aren’t enough people employed in the home health care industry as caregivers to meet the current demand, and things are only going to get worse.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 there were 3.8 million people in Texas aged 60 or older. By 2050 there will be 12 million.

The struggles to provide adequate home care are very real to Loe Hornbuckle, who owns and operates the Sage Oak Assisted Living and Memory Care Center in Dallas. “In 2026, the largest industry in all industries in the United States are going to be care workers. That’s how big the industry is.”

The increase in the number of people requiring home care, whether because of surgical and medical needs or old age, is being met by a demographic decrease in the number of people available to fill those jobs. “The vast majority of direct-care workers, people that provide care directly, are women, and they are generally between certain ages, and that demographic isn’t growing at the same rate as the rate of people who are older and need assistance,” suggests Hornbuckle. He says ultimately the only solution is going to be political and will involve immigration.

Health care costs don’t have margins that will allow for salary increases for low paid domestic help. Many people have trouble affording health care today.

Texas will need at least 126,000 new caregivers in the next six years. Absent a change in policy, they’re not likely to materialize.

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