Analysts predict nationwide caregiver shortage to grow

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With every industry facing staffing shortages, advocates for those most at risk, said the challenges for caregivers are growing.

Analysts predict in the next ten years the United States could be short thousands of caregivers, not including the impact COVID could have on those numbers.

“One in six adults are caring for somebody, and of those, 70 percent say it affects their ability to work,” Patti Lyons the president of Senior Citizens Inc. explained.

The American Association of Retired Persons reported nearly 80 percent of adults 50 years and older said home care would be their first choice, but for many families that isn’t a feasible option.

“I took care of my mom for the last five years of her life, and it is hard. I know a lot of people, they get in a pinch and they ask their neighbor to watch mom. Or even worse, they’re locking their adult parent who has dementia in their house. They become so desperate,” Lyons added.

Senior Citizens Inc. (SCI), discourages people from hiring private caregivers.

“It is a sacred responsibility to be taken care of a vulnerable adult, and you’ve got to have somebody that you can trust and know is going to do the right thing,” Lyons said.

With the growing shortage of caregivers, Lyons said many are overwhelmed: “Even though I’ve been doing this for most of my professional life, it still took another staff person to say to me, OK, Patty, you need to do this because you can’t see it when you are in the throes of it. All they have to do is call senior citizens. You know, if if we can’t personally help them, we will hook them up with resources in the community to help.”

She said there needs to continue to be a greater focus on training across the country—ensuring resources are always available.

“It doesn’t matter where you live, you know, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. You’re still going to get older, you’re still going to need some support,” the SCI president said.

From meal distribution to adult daycare, click HERE to learn more about SCI’s programs or call them at 912-236-0363.

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