US caregiver shortage impacting 65 and older population

SEATTLE - Marcela Hoag and her parents have been trying to find a caregiver in Seattle for months. So far, no luck.   
"They just can’t find someone that’s well-trained and ready to do the job," Hoag said. "We’ve posted multiple announcements that we’re looking for caregivers. It’s been a challenge for sure." 
Henry Katimbo has been a caregiver in Seattle for six years. Because of the shortage, he’s covering more hours than before the pandemic. 
"I used to do only 40 hours, but now I do more than 60 hours," Katimbo said. "I almost do the entire week."
Katimbo helps clients eat, get dressed and move around. He says it’s important to have a connection with the clients and their families. 
"You need to be a friend," Katimbo said. "You need to be like more of a relative. So once you’re in there, you need to make sure that you fit into the system of that particular place." Hoag agrees, which is part of the reason she and her parents haven’t been able to find the right caregiver. 
"Being in this business, you can’t just hire anyone," Hoag said. "You have to find that perfect person for the job that will be there and provide support day and night." The need isn’t going away. The number of adults 65 and older in the U.S. is growing. There were 71 million in 2019, 30 million more than in 2011. Finding enough caregivers is only getting harder. 
"It’s overwhelming," Katimbo said. "However much I want it, at the end of the day I may wear out."
"So what will happen in the future if people like me wear out?"
The United Disabilities Services Foundation says the national caregiver shortage is expected to reach 151,000 by 2030 and 355,000 by 2040.
Source: Jake Karalexis

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