As more and more seniors enter long-term care facilities, the need for residential care aides continues to grow. A recent report titled “It’s Time to Care” pulled data from U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to illustrate projected direct care job openings over the next decade. Assisted living facilities are expected to have 1.2 million open positions, which includes 168,400 new jobs, reflecting a growth of 23% by 2028, on top of workers changing occupations, retiring, or leaving for other reasons. The report also addresses other long-term care options, projecting 4.7 million direct care positions for in-home care and 621,000 job openings for nursing homes between 2018 and 2028.
The hope is that this report sparks conversation among policymakers and industry leaders about the importance of direct care workers, the obstacles they face, and how we can transform these jobs and improve care for all. Possible solutions include pursuing new groups of potential workers and increasing earnings. In 2018, the median hourly wage for a residential care aide was just $12.07, up only 2% since 2008, which has required 38% of workers in these positions to receive some sort of public assistance.
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