Tucson Opinion: Long-term care needs a fresh start. FBI, you lead | Local editorials and opinion

The following is the author’s opinion and analysis:

If you are an older adult, you should know about the long-term care industry crisis – and deal with it as it could hit you in person. I am talking about the blatant shortage of direct caregivers.

These caregivers provide non-medical assistance to frail elderly and disabled people.

Some serve in their clients’ homes, helping with meal preparation, personal hygiene, transportation, and other daily living activities.

Others work in residential groups or nursing homes.

10,000 U.S. baby boomers turn 65 every day. According to a 2019 CNBC report, three in four have serious, chronic health problems like diabetes or dementia.

Others are healthy but frail. Many need support to lead safe, independent lives at home (and avoid costly, disruptive stays in hospitals or other facilities). Their needs lead to an exponential growth in the demand for direct care.

Direct caregivers (plus overworked family members) meet these needs. Who are you?

According to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), the nation’s leading expert on direct care issues, nearly half are 45 to 64 years old, 87% are women and 59% are colored. Around 27% are immigrants.


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