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The Silver Tsunami: Why the Elderly Care Job Shortage Matters

Dec 20, 2023 | Discover Our Blog

Elderly Woman in carehome

The ageing population presents a unique challenge to the healthcare industry. As the number of older people increases, so does the demand for qualified caregivers to provide needed support. Unfortunately, there is a severe shortage of aged care professionals, which is challenging not only to older people but also to the general population due to the increasing healthcare needs, burnout, and quality of life for the elderly. This blog will explore the importance of homecare jobs and why the shortage matters.

The Ageing Population

One of the main reasons there is a shortage of jobs within the home care service is the increasing rate of longer life expectancy and reduced birth rates. According to the Office for National Statistics, ‘There were 605,479 live births in England and Wales in 2022, a 3.1% decrease from 624,828 in 2021 and the lowest number since 2002’. According to the Data Catalogue from The World Bank, life expectancy in the UK has increased from 77.4 years in 2000 to 80.90 in 2023.

The Rise in Healthcare Needs

As people age, they are at an increased risk of chronic illness, disabilities, and cognitive decline. These illnesses require specialised care and support, including daily supervision with basic day-to-day activities such as grocery shopping, toileting, dressing, and medical supervision and management. A shortage of carers for the elderly means that some clients may not receive the highest quality of care they require and deserve, potentially leading to a decline in their well-being.

Due to the increasing workload and stress, with the shortage of live-in care jobs, the high demand can often lead to burnout as carers are overworked and overstressed because of their attendance to clients’ homes. This results in a decline in the quality of service, which will negatively impact the mental and physical health of both the carer and the client.

Quality of Life

The most crucial reason this shortage matters is its direct implications on the quality of life for the elderly in care homes. The elderly deserve the highest quality of care as they become more vulnerable and need day-to-day support. As they become more vulnerable, their need for comfort and an improved quality of life becomes a priority. The services provided to the elderly are required to meet physical and emotional needs such as companionship, comfort, and socialising opportunities. Often, seniors feel strongly about maintaining their independence, and they can enjoy it with the correct support and care.

With all of the above, there is added pressure on the healthcare system and the resources provided to increase staff costs, further impacting those with loved ones in care homes. Balancing work, caring, and personal mental health and well-being is draining and can place significant stress on families to care for their loved ones who require full-time support. Their loved ones should receive the quality of life they deserve, and a care home provides relief, emotional support, and overall care for their well-being. Increasing costs can have financial and emotional consequences on families already experiencing a challenging time.

At SweetTree, we ensure that our staff are not only carers but are compassionate partners who are dedicated and committed to improving the quality of lives for our clients. Our team is equipped with valuable knowledge, skills and empathy to provide the best care for our elderly clients.