Thursday, January 21, 2016

If You Want to Age in Place, a Home Health Aide Can be Your Best Friend

For people who naturally love caring for people, becoming a home health aide could serve as a rewarding career. Home health aides take care of patients who are elderly, disabled, chronically ill, or cognitively impaired while they are living at home or residing in an assisted living facility.

In 2012, there were 7,101 home health aides in Oregon and about 875,100, nationwide. The demand for this occupation is expected to grow as the older population expands and more and more people choose to age in place in their homes. Home care is typically less expensive than nursing home or hospital care, so many senior citizens are preferring to remain in their home for as long as possible. 

The Oregon Employment Department’s 10-year projections show that the number of home health aides will grow by 33.8 percent from 2012 to 2022 and provide 240 new openings and 135 replacement openings, annually. This is a much higher growth rate than the statewide average of 15.4 percent for all occupations.

A large portion of home health aides work part-time and can work in a variety of settings. Nationwide, many are employed by home health care services industries and are staffed out to homes or assisted living facilities. Other work settings include mental health and substance abuse facilities, nursing and assistant care facilities, and community care homes. In Oregon, more than half (59%) of home health aides worked in assisted living or continuing care facilities in 2012 where the majority of residents live in their own apartments. Only 11 percent, or 750 home health aides, worked for home health care services in 2012 but this number is expected to increase as the industry grows due to increasing demand from the aging population.

To learn more about home health aides, read Workforce Analyst Lynn Wallis' article in Oregon Labor Trends: If You Want to Age in Place, a Home Health Aide Can be Your Best Friend.

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