Demand for in-home care soars during pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS — The pandemic has made a deep impact on a number of career fields including public health and the hospitality industry.

But now another field has found itself in high demand and in dire need of reinforcements.

Even prior to the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted in-home health care work would have a massive demand in the coming years, with millions of job openings in the next few years.  

Coronavirus is only increasing that demand.

At places like Senior Helpers in Indianapolis, the need for in-home care has skyrocketed. Company officials say, due to coronavirus, many seniors are now trying to avoid going into long-term care facilities, opting instead for in-home aides.

Recently, much of that surge is related to the struggles long-term care facilities have faced dealing with the pandemic.

Currently,  Senior Helpers has roughly 100 people working in homes. It needs to hire at least 50 more just to meet the current demand.

“I think loved ones have had a hard time being separated from one another, and it’s kind of been eye-opening, and they decided that it was probably best that they stay home,” said care team director Charity Stibolt.

COVID-19 has also presented new challenges for personal care attendants. Like many professions, they must now undergo increased training, testing, and wear protective gear while on the job. There’s now also the added element of now having to navigate the concerns of the client.

“A lot of them, they wake up, they watch the news, so they hear all this stuff, so it definitely worries them so I try to keep them as calm and positive as possible,” said personal care attendant Amy Pitcock.

 “We’ve received extra training, they provide us PPE, gloves and masks, hand sanitizer to keep us safe, so I feel pretty safe. My worst fear is giving it to someone who’s high risk and putting them in danger,” she added

For more information about becoming a personal care attendant with Senior Helpers you can click here.

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