There are many hard-working caregivers in the long-term care industry, and the job has become more demanding in recent years due to the virus crisis. To be recognized as the best of the best would be a great honor for anyone.
The Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) announced that Katrice Turner of Maryland has been named the 2022 Caregiver of the Year. Turner was selected as the top in-home caregiver in the country from more than 300 nominees from nearly all 50 states.
Vicki Hoak, the chief executive officer for the HCAOA, says that home care agencies are facing many challenges with staff shortages and meeting demand.
It is remarkably inspiring to recognize someone who is not only committed to providing care to those who need it in their homes, but also someone who has grown and evolved with the same agency for more than 10 years.
Caregivers Help Keep Care Recipients Safe and Happy at Home
Hoak said the HCAOA received many nominations from caregivers that went above and beyond to keep care recipients safe and happy in their homes.
Kathryn C. Rogers, M.Ed., the Executive Director for Absolute Companion Care in Monkton, Maryland, said Katrice Turner has been working at the agency since 2009.
Katrice has unlimited patience and integrity, but that's not what makes her stand out. She stands out because she has used these skills with the same clients since 2010.
Tafa Jefferson, the founder, and Chief Executive Officer of Amada Senior Care, one of the nation’s leading home health agencies, say today's caregivers bring tremendous value to our aging population and their families.
We are extremely proud of the work that takes place behind the scenes and in the privacy of the homes of our aging population. Recognizing the value caregivers bring to families each and every day deserves our acknowledgment. As families try to keep up with the growing demands of tending to loved ones, full-service agencies stand the gap to provide exceptional care. HCAOA is honoring these heroes delivering daily care. We thank you for your incredible work and acknowledge the important role you each play in the lives of our greatest generation.
Aging America Means More People Require Long-Term Health Care
The HCAOA State of Home Care: Industry at a Crossroads report for 2022 says that by 2040, nearly 81 million people in the U.S. will be 65 years older, compared with 77 million under 18. The average U.S. life expectancy has also increased through modern medicine and healthier lifestyles. This means that America will soon consist of more old than young.
The number of people needing help with daily living activities or supervision due to memory loss is increasing yearly. The demand for in-home care is growing as well. However, the cost of all types of long-term health care is rising rapidly due to greater demand, increasing labor costs, and labor shortages in some places in the country.
Those professional caregivers currently providing care face more challenges, like COVID-19, than ever before to provide safe, quality care services.
The HCAOA says that with aging comes an increase in chronic health conditions that require an individual to need help with daily living activities or supervision due to memory loss.
Right now, roughly six in 10 Americans aged 65 and up have at least one chronic condition, such as obesity, diabetes, or hypertension. About 40 percent have two or more. Then there's the growing wave of people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
The HCAOA report says people with illnesses and disabilities of all ages receive in-home care. However, most in-home care recipients are older people with an average age of 69. Among care recipients aged 65+, 69% have long-term physical conditions, 39% have memory problems, and 21% have emotional or mental health issues.
Health insurance and Medicare pay little or nothing toward most long-term care services. However, Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for in-home care, and most LTC Insurance claims start with care at home.
Home Care Relieves Stress and Burden on Families
Family caregivers frequently have full-time jobs in addition to providing care. These family caregivers often become worn out from caregiving. Nearly 42 million Americans currently provide family care for a person who is 50 years of age or older.
Family caregivers comprise about 60% of the workforce, presenting difficult work/life balance problems. Family caregivers devote 23.7 hours a week to caregiving on average, according to the HCAOA, as they balance their careers, families, and role as family caregivers.
Professional caregivers reduce the stress on family caregivers as the job can go on for a long time. One-third of family caregivers have been caring for loved ones for one to three years, 44% for three years or more, and 24% for five years or more. The physical and mental health of family caregivers is severely affected by this.
Professional caregivers save time, worry, and workload. Those with Long-Term Care Insurance can use those benefits to pay for quality in-home care; otherwise, personal income and savings must be used to pay for this care.
Being Prepared is Key
Long-Term Care Insurance is not an option for those who already require care services or have substantially declining health or disability. Since LTC Insurance is medically underwritten, policies should be obtained when someone has relatively good health. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.
About the Author
Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.
Contributor since October 31st, 2017
Long-term care costs are increasing, and your retirement plan will benefit from an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Safeguard your future retirement income and your 401(k) and other savings from these rapidly increasing costs. The guaranteed tax-free benefits from a Long-Term Care Insurance policy will ease the financial strain and give loved ones the time to be family instead of caregivers.
With an LTC policy, you will have access to your choice of quality care services at home or in a facility. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of becoming caregivers.
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