Massachusetts elder law attorneys provide help to seniors in planning to get essential care services as they get older. Many seniors will end up requiring care in a nursing home and others will need care in their own homes provided by a home healthcare aide. Finding a safe nursing home or a qualified caregiver can be a challenge, and paying for care can be a substantial financial burden. An experienced attorney at The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. can help seniors and their families to research care options and to make sure they can pay for the costs of care.
Unfortunately, the problem of finding qualified care is only getting bigger. As Biz Journals reports, a shortage of qualified healthcare workers is reaching crisis levels within the state of Massachusetts.
Shortage of Qualified Healthcare Workers is a Crisis in Massachusetts
Biz Journals discussed a report from Providers Council that detailed the crisis that is ongoing in Massachusetts related to a shortage of workers who provide care for seniors, the disabled and veterans’ communities.
The population of people who require care is rapidly increasing. By 2025, as many as 34 percent of the 6.9 million residents of the state of Massachusetts will be aged 55 or older. As the population gets older, the number of people who are still in the workforce in Massachusetts is expected to decline. Between 2015 and 2025, experts project that the working age population in Massachusetts will decline by as much as 40,000 people.
As the number of people looking for work declines, demand for care services is rapidly rising as a result of so many people in the state aging. In the decade from 2004 to 2014, there was already a 58 percent increase in the number of people working in the human services industry, which is the industry that includes elder care workers, home healthcare aides, and methadone clinic workers. The growth of this industry far exceeded the 37 percent growth which had been projected by the state in 2006.
Now, the state forecasts predict that anywhere from 24,000 to 25,000 new jobs in the healthcare and human services fields will be added before 2024. This may be an underestimate just as the numbers were too conservative in the projections for the last decade… and even these numbers suggest that there will be too may jobs within this care sector and not enough people to actually take those jobs.
A big part of the problem is that the salaries in some of the in-demand jobs are not very high, which means that people don’t choose to work providing elder care services for seniors since they may struggle to earn a living wage. Salaries of care workers are low even as seniors pay many thousands of dollars monthly to nursing homes or to home healthcare agencies, which in turn hire underpaid caregivers to do the difficult day-to-day work of dealing with the needs of vulnerable seniors.
Whether higher salaries could solve the problem or not, it is clear that the shortage of workers to fill jobs providing care to seniors is going to be a big problem as more people get older and need healthcare services. Seniors may find themselves competing for spots in high quality nursing homes or may have to pay even higher prices for home healthcare services if there is too much demand and not enough people to fill all of the healthcare aide positions that need to be filled.
Getting Help from Massachusetts Elder Law Attorneys
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. will work with you to make certain that you can qualify for Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care or long-term care so you do not need to worry about how to pay the bills when you require care. We can also help you to find a qualified care provider or a nursing home with a good reputation, by assisting you with researching your options.
To find out more about the ways in which our Massachusetts elder law attorneys assist you in coping with your care needs as a senior, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online to get personalized advice appropriate for your specific situation. Call today to find out more about how we can help.
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