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Supply of senior caregivers dropping with more people aging

As baby boomers age the nation is noticing a shortage of caregivers at assisted living centers, nursing homes and in-home care.

“The crisis really takes shape in a lot of ways,” said Scott Holmes, Visiting Angels, CEO. “One is, are we prepared to have over 20 percent of our population being over the age of 65? That is a huge consideration that really needs to be addressed in a local and national level.”

According to Pew Research, about 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and more than half eventually will need some form of long-term care.

“The demand for care is going to increase. So if you’re looking at a fifth of your population in their twilight years, obviously they’re requiring more care. Our ability in order to scale up in terms of the provide of that care, both locally and nationally is a huge challenge for us,” said Holmes.

Holmes says eastern Idaho is doing a little bit better than the nation but it still poses a challenge to agencies and assisted living facilities across the region.

“Finding caregivers is the number 1 problem. All of us are scrambling,” said Holmes.

Along with that, rising demand is a lot of caregiver turn over.

“In many situations, its an excess of 50 percent per year. Not only are you trying to bring on new caregivers, but you having also to replace from that turnover,” said Holmes.

These are also not high-wage positions and Holmes says it takes a special person to want to provide care.

“Caregiving is a special. Its like being a teacher. You have a passion about teaching, you have a passion about providing care because its not easy. But it is rewarding and it is loving and it is compassionate, but its not an easy job,” said Holmes.

Visiting Angels is an agency in southeast Idaho that also educates about the ins and out of care options. Its teaches about financing, insurance and different care options that may be the best fit for your senior who needs a little extra care.

It and the Alzheimer’s Association will hold their 3rd annual Caregiver Reception Friday, Dec. 15 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at MorningStar Senior Living. The event is designed to be a relaxing rest period for caregivers, along with learning and tips to better their jobs.

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