The population in the U.S. is aging. As per population forecasts, by 2030, every Baby Boomer will be age 65 or older. This translates into 1 out of every 5 U.S. citizens being of retirement age. These forecasts clearly show that as the population continues to age, the demand for healthcare in future will also continue to increase. By 2035, there will be approximately 78 million people 65 years and older. The U.S. home care market is projected to grow from $100 billion in 2016 to $225 billion by 2024.
As demand for healthcare increases, job opportunities for those pursuing a career in healthcare, specifically in the area of senior care, is likely to increase. According to the University of Southern California, nursing home administrators are among the fastest-growing careers in health administration. This growth suggests the number of opportunities in this particular profession.
Here are five lucrative senior care career options:
1. Working in a Nursing Home
A career providing senior-care services in a nursing home is one of the most promising opportunities for healthcare workers interested in senior care. Approximately 1.4 million people in the U.S live in nursing homes. The most common reasons why people live in nursing homes include the need for skilled medical care, cognitive disorders, or when recovering from an illness or injury. Most people living in nursing homes suffer from at least one chronic condition and require assistance with daily living activities such as preparing meals, bathing, dressing, mobility, managing medications, etc. Many nursing home residents suffer from medical conditions that make it difficult for them to live independently, such as diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and dementia, to name a few. Individuals who are skilled in providing these services are likely to see significant opportunities in this area.
2. Providing In-home Senior Care
While it is true that many nursing home residents suffer from chronic illness, there are still others who are independent and healthy, and capable of managing activities of daily living. Living in a nursing home isn’t the only available option for such people. They often hire home carers, another lucrative career opportunity for people interested in a senior living career. Many people are choosing this option today because they know they can hire nursing home administrators who have the necessary skills and the qualification to fulfill their medical needs while allowing them to live independently in their homes.
3. Providing Care to Seniors Living With Family
Even senior citizens who choose to move in with their family may need the assistance of a healthcare provider. Healthcare professionals who are well-equipped with the skills and expertise to provide this type of home care can find significant opportunities. By doing so, these professionals allow senior citizens to live with their family and have a normal and peaceful life. The perception that qualified nursing care can only be accessed in a nursing home is no longer applicable because there are now many skilled nursing professionals and home carers available who can provide in-home care.
4. Working in a Retirement/Assisted Living Community
Many seniors who do not have any family or who do not wish to live alone reside in retirement communities. This allows them to maintain their independence by living in independent units or apartments and still have access to staff that can offer support and assistance if they need it. Healthcare professionals who are trained in providing senior care can find significant opportunities in this area and can fulfill their passion for assisting older patients while attaining career growth.
5. Working in a Shared group home
Shared group homes also offer job opportunities for healthcare professions. Shared group homes include apartments, condominiums, transitional housing, faculty housing, and shelters. When working in these facilities, nursing professionals can provide assistance to seniors with daily activities, prescription medicines, monitoring and other regular activities.
Overall, there are many senior care opportunities for healthcare professionals today. Contrary to common perception, nursing homes alone are not the only ones in need of skilled and well-trained healthcare staff. There are several other healthcare facilities and retirement communities where nursing home administrators and home carers can provide much-needed services to senior citizens who wish to stay within the safety of your home, surrounded by family (if any), and still receive the care they need.
There is no doubt that the population in the U.S. will continue to age, and more and more senior citizens will need high-quality care, whether they choose to live in a nursing home, a retirement community, with family or alone. This opens up many avenues for healthcare professionals looking to pursue a career providing care to senior citizens.