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“Hospice Aides: The Employment Outlook”

High turnover rates among hospice and personal care aides are being driven by a mix of factors, including increasing wages, reimbursement pressures, and immigration policies. These challenges aren’t just affecting hospice and personal care services; hospitals and health systems offering these services are feeling the pinch too.

According to Kenneth Albert, president and CEO of Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice, one of the biggest hurdles is the current reimbursement structures for aide services. He notes that finding individuals who view personal care as a long-term career choice is rare. Many workers see these roles as part-time gigs focused solely on hourly wages rather than considering the broader benefits.

While there’s a projected increase in the number of home health and personal care aides joining the workforce, turnover rates remain stubbornly high, especially given the disruptions caused by the pandemic. However, some companies are reporting improvements, with reduced turnover among their workforce.

Immigration policies in the U.S. are also playing a role in the availability of aides, particularly as many of them are immigrant women. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is crucial for these workers, but the renewal process can be burdensome and disrupt service delivery.

Technology can help providers navigate these immigration challenges and support workers through the authorization process. Additionally, understanding the long-term goals of workers and offering educational and career development opportunities can boost retention efforts.

While wages for hospice and home health aides have been increasing, the pace is slower than desired. Employers can enhance retention by offering comprehensive benefits packages and educational support, providing pathways for professional growth within the healthcare sector.

Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach that prioritizes the well-being of workers and creates opportunities for career advancement.

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