In-Home Caregiver Jobs: With record high caregiver earnings, why is there a caregiver shortage?

in-home caregiver jobs

Record high caregiver earnings with a caregiver shortage, what does that mean?

In-home caregiver jobs in the Fort Myers & Cape Coral area are seeing record high earnings. So why is there a caregiver shortage?

The COVID pandemic changed a lot of things about our society and our area. Healthcare jobs were particularly impacted in 2020 & 2021. This is especially true for in-home caregiver jobs in the Southwest Florida Area. 

If you have tried to find a private caregiver to assist you in home lately you will notice that the cost for in-home care assistance has risen dramatically. This is true in our local area of Fort Myers & Cape Coral but also nationwide. 

If you are a CNA or HHA looking for in-home caregiver jobs, you are no doubt barraged with recruitment ads asking you to come work for company A.B, or C… 

We know, we are running those ads seeking caregivers who are insisting on and earning, record profits. Even with record-high pay for private in-home caregivers, they are hard to attract.

Why are in-home caregiver jobs so hard to fill?

There are a number of reasons why in-home caregiver jobs have not kept up with demand. These challenges extend beyond our area and beyond the private care industry. 

  • The uncertainty of the safety of personal care.
    • In-home caregivers may have to enter the homes of multiple clients and be in close quarters of patients who may or may not be COVID positive.
  • Limited availability of protective equipment.
  • Childcare availability and safety without child immunization.
  • The politicization of the COVID pandemic and what appropriate safety measures actually are.
  • Unrealistic client and caregiver expectations of in-home care work.
  • Tax Refunds, COVID stimulus, and unemployment benefits as noted in this Leading Homecare Article by Stephen Tweed. have discouraged individuals in the labor market from actively working.
  • Outside and similar industries competing for a shrinking workforce.

If there is an in-home caregiver shortage, what are the solutions?

 

Abby Services is a Nurse Registry. We work to match clients seeking caregivers much the same way a realtor helps a home buyer find a home. We do not control the cost of In-Home Care, or the market for caregivers, just like a realtor cant control the cost of a home in any given market.

We can’t change the current shortage or any resulting increased expenses involved in securing in-home caregivers for clients.

What we can do is help to inform, educate, and direct clients to care options that meet their needs in a cost-efficient manner. We are aware of what the area cost would be for specific requests, and work to help provide clients with options.

  • The “Have it your way” approach is great. Abby Services strives to meet the needs of both the clients we serve and the caregivers we work with. Clients are encouraged to share their specific needs and wants when seeking an in-home caregiver. Unfortunately, there are times when caregiver and client requests don’t align. This can drive up the cost of a caregiver for clients and drive down caregiver satisfaction and availability with available work opportunities.
    • A prime example is 4-hour cases (and below). At Abby Services we have a 4-hour minimum. This is because when seeking in-home caregiver jobs, caregivers do not find 1,2 & 3-hour cases desirable. There are a number of reasons for this. Even at the 4-hour time frame, caregivers may be offered more hours elsewhere. This drives up the cost of care and decreases caregiver availability. This is especially true when clients are seeking shorter-hour visits.
  • As stated above, Abby Services strives to meet the needs and expectations of both clients and caregivers. Unfortunately, those expectations do not always align. In general, caregivers view their services as just that, caring for an individual. Through their services, the goal is to help a client remain safe and independent. The services that a caregiver can provide indirectly assist and support other members of a household who may not be their patient or client. It is this grey area of supporting the household that can either increase the cost of care or decrease the availability of caregivers interested in the duties requested by a family. At Abby Services we recommend that clients develop a list of expectations when starting services. That way we can share these expectations with potential caregivers so they know exactly what a client desires. This also gives us at Abby Services the ability to have a discussion about how their specific needs and requests may impact the cost of care and availability of caregivers.
  • Caregivers provide an essential service for the patients who need them. Maybe the time has come for these increased earnings and we are simply seeing a market correction. Not just for in-home caregiver jobs, but across the board, in multiple industries. 

There are many complicated factors that determine caregiver earnings and availability. These are certainly only a few. That is why it is important to work with a knowledgeable and honest service like Abby Services when seeking professional in-home caregivers.

Are you a caregiver who has personal experience or input on your earnings? Are you a client with personal experience you would like to share? Leave a comment below.

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