Local Michigan connection on PBS NEWSHOUR

A story about the shortage of HOME CARE workers and the rapidly growing need.

In this week’s clip of Making Sense on PBS NewsHour, learn about the looming shortage of home care workers, the challenging work environment and compensation that’s barely above poverty level. The national segment, which aired across the country last night was shot in Grand Ledge, Traverse City, and Detroit, MI.

America is aging – our overall demographic is shifting toward a higher percentage of elderly overall, as the Baby Boomer generation ages. There are inevitable economic implications. A rapidly growing elderly population is positioned to become a dominant feature of the country’s economic future. As an example, home care workers represent one of the nation’s fastest-growing occupations, doubling from 700,000 to more than 1.4 million over the past decade. In surveys, people say overwhelmingly that they want to remain at home as they age. Home care is difficult work and the pay is low. In fact, about one third of home care workers receive food stamps; 28 percent rely on Medicaid. The career also has a high burnout rate. Annual turnover is an estimated 40 to 60 percent.

To keep up with demand, the U.S. will need to add another 633,000 home care workers by 2024. Given the low pay and scant benefits, will enough workers materialize?

This is part 1 of a two part series. Tune in next week to PBS NEWSHOUR on Detroit Public Television (Ch. 56) to see part 2.