Home Health Aide Shortage Impacting Care

HealthcareJuly 24, 2017

Not only are home health aide shortages cropping up in states across the country, in some regions, the shortages have become acute. As a result, many vulnerable older adults and patients with serious disabilities are not receiving the care they need.

The emerging crisis is being fueled by a shrinking pool of home health aides who are able and willing to perform the emotionally and physically difficult job of helping incapacitated people get in and out of bed, eat, shower or bathe, and take part in activities that can help their brains stay sharp.

The Home Health Aide Job Forecast

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts the occupational growth for home health aides will be 38%, which is much faster than the average for all jobs…yet, the population of potential workers to fill those positions likely won’t keep pace.

In some states, the lack of home health care staff has resulted in nursing homes, in Wisconsin and Minnesota, for example, denying admission to thousands of patients just in the last year alone. In fact, one of every seven caregiving posts in Wisconsin nursing and group homes are going unfilled. Why? Administrators say they don’t have enough qualified candidates.

Becoming a Home Health Aide

Fortis College in Foley has launched a new Home Health Aide program in an effort to ensure Alabama doesn’t suffer the same sort of shortages. The program prepares students with the fundamentals of caregiving – from anatomy and body system physiology to functions of the healthcare system and best practices for providing restorative care.

Program graduates will be trained to record patients’ vital signs, including blood pressure, respiration rate, pain levels and more. Home health aides must be able to overcome a wide variety of emotional and physical obstacles, so it’s not a job for those unwilling to commit to overcoming challenges on a daily basis. But, for those who accept its challenges, being a home health aide can be a rewarding experience, knowing you’re helping someone unable to help herself or himself.

The Foley campus is enrolling students now for its Home Health Aide program. Interested candidates should visit the campus or call 251-970-1460 to learn more about becoming a Home Health Aide.

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