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Despite surging demand for long-term care, providers struggle to find workers Despite surging demand for long-term care, providers struggle to find workers

Despite growing demand for long-term care, the industry struggles with labor shortages, and experts worry about whether there will be enough workers in the future to care for America’s aging population.

Despite surging demand for long-term care, providers struggle to find workers

The hardest part of Culix Wibonele’s first job in long-term care was not getting injured.

Originally from Kenya, Wibonele worked as a certified nursing assistant in Atlanta in 2014. She went to the homes of mostly older clients, helping them with everything from bathing to cooking. Wibonele worked alone and sometimes had to lift clients much bigger than her.

It was demanding work and paid only $9 per hour with no benefits. If not for Wibonele’s second job as a babysitter and her husband’s income, they would not have made ends meet while supporting their four children.

“My paycheck, you know, was literally just nothing,” Wibonele said. “I was kind of shocked, like, the amount of work we (were) expected to do and the pay you get at the end.”

Wibonele’s experience reflects broader trends in the long-term care workforce. Those who tend to older adults in settings like private homes and assisted living facilities across the U.S. face low wages and risk of injury while the industry struggles with staff shortages, CNHI News and The Associated Press found as part of an examination of the state of America’s long-term care.

Meanwhile, demand for these workers is rising as the population ages. By 2030, roughly 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older, and that share will continue to grow, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


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  • Yeah that checks out. I'm not even american but I've got to say every single American healthcare worker I've ever met on Discord is CONSTANTLY and incurably miserable because they work inhumane hours for so little money that they actually can't afford rent anyways. I know someone that spent an entire month doing 10-hour shifts 6 days a week which made him unbelievably sick and exhausted, and by the end of it then his paycheck didn't cover replacing his car's spare tyre. I know someone else who was ordered to come in every single day in the two weeks after her mother died and on the day of the funeral or she would be fired immediately and without recourse, while her boss took his fifth vacation of the year. I know someone who spent seven years studying to be a nurse and their debts are so bad that I've had to talk them out of suicide twice because the job doesn't pay SHIT.

    TLDR: Frankly I'm amazed America still has ANY healthcare workers based on the ones I've met. The situation isn't great in a lot of places because medicine can be expensive, but good lord is it truly bad in America.