This was a headline in the USA Today newspaper this past week. Home care workers are among the fastest growing sectors of the labor force. Last year the NY Times printed that by 2020 there will be more people in the USA working as caregivers than work in retail.
Many minimum wage workers are pushing for wage hikes. Minimum wage is being raised by 50% to 100% or more in many locales. Even Walmart announced a plan to increase wages during this year.
What does this have to do with a LTC blog post? Most LTC is done at home, by family or often by hired in-home caregivers. Many Americans can not afford to pay for the home care they need now. Home care agencies tell me people contract for 5 hours a week when they require 15 as they just cannot afford the care they need.
“Like the fast food workers, the 2 million personal care and home health aides seek a $15 hourly wage and the right to unionize, which is barred in some states. Their median hourly wage is about $9.60 and annual pay averages just $18,000 because many work part-time, according to the Labor Department and national Employment Law Project.”
The mostly female workers help seniors and the disabled with tasks such as eating, dressing and bathing. Some perform duties such as checking vital signs. They typically work for private home care agencies or are independent providers.
Now, if wages for home care (and facility care wages as well) are raised significantly, even fewer people will be able to afford the care they need. This is why a 3% inflation option in a LTC insurance policy is simply not going to be sufficient when claim time comes. I only recommend 5% compound to keep up with costs that are rising for this as well as many other reasons.
For more information visit www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com