How Do Home Healthcare Shortages Impact Seniors?

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KS and MO Attorney Kyle E Krull

Written by Kyle Krull

Attorney & Counsellor at Law Kyle Krull is president of the Law Offices of Kyle E. Krull, P.A., an Estate Planning Law Firm located in Overland Park, KS. Estate Planning Attorney Kyle Krull has provided continuing education instruction to attorneys, accountants, and financial professionals at local, state, and national programs.

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POSTED ON: June 6, 2024

Planning for long-term care is a greater challenge as a result of home healthcare shortages.

Home healthcare shortages introduce challenges for seniors seeking to secure care.

Most seniors will require long-term care at some point in time.

This could result from injury, illness, or simply the effects of aging.

Home healthcare systems are already noticing a strain on their ability to meet the growing needs of patients.

What Is Causing Home Healthcare Shortages?

Supply and demand are critical factors that significantly strain the home healthcare system.

According to a recent Supplemental Health Care report, staffing issues and an aging population contribute to the shortage.

While one result of COVID-19 was the exodus of many workers out of the healthcare field, the aging of the Baby Boomer generation is also a reality.

In 2000, the senior population was only 35 million.

By 2050, the elderly population is expected to surpass 80 million in America.


With fewer workers available to meet the high demand for home health services, the rate of burnout increases.

This results in even fewer providers and higher costs of care.

Home healthcare shortages are changing the landscape for senior long-term care.

As seniors prepare for long-term care and medical needs during retirement, they must address the trend of home healthcare shortages.

How Home Healthcare Shortages Can Impact Senior Planning

The shortage of healthcare providers reduced the availability and accessibility of such services.

What should those nearing retirement consider and address in their preparations?

Increased Costs and Reduced Quality of Care

One of the basic tenets of economics is supply and demand.

When the availability of service providers is too low to meet the demand, costs increase.

Agencies often must pay their employees more to attract them, making the cost of care more expensive for families.

Even if a person stays with their job in home healthcare, being overworked can lead to caregivers missing critical details.

As a result, the health outcomes of the patients can be negatively impacted.

Service Diversity

It is common for seniors to require some form of specialized care.

Often, this includes respirator or cardiology care.

When agencies have fewer employees, they are restricted in the range of services they can offer.

Families often struggle to find appropriate care to meet their loved one's needs and pay a premium for diversified services when they do.

The Strain on Family Caregivers

Because there is a limitation to professional home healthcare workers, families often find themselves shouldering these responsibilities.

According to the National Care Planning Council, family caregivers are not immune to burnout and feeling overwhelmed.

When juggling other responsibilities, caregiving can negatively impact the health and well-being of these family members personally and professionally.

What Strategies Can Families Use to Navigate the Challenge?

While avoiding the negative impacts of home healthcare shortages may be impossible, families can work together to prepare for the future.

How can they do this?

Create a Comprehensive Plan.

Estate planning is a critical component of preparing for the future needs of seniors.

These preparations should include legal documents like advance directives and powers of attorney.

By outlining wishes, these decisions will be made by you and accessible to your loved ones when needed.

Use Technology. 

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring can help supplement care provided by professional and family caregivers.

These can enable loved ones and healthcare providers to intervene quickly when necessary.

Leverage Local Resources.

Some communities have senior centers, nutrition programs, and agencies for aging.

Whether governmental or non-profit organizations, these local resources can provide invaluable support.

Partner with Elder Law Attorneys.

While some estate planning attorneys also provide elder law services, not all do.

Contact an elder law attorney if you need additional support navigating home healthcare planning.

Since our only focus is estate planning, we refer to reliable elder law attorneys in Kansas City.

Start Planning for Home Healthcare Shortages Now

Most people do not enjoy thinking about their failing health.

Many people also actively avoid addressing daunting situations.

Unfortunately, you cannot afford to procrastinate.

Proactively preparing for the future should be a priority in protecting you and your loved ones.

What are the key takeaways regarding home healthcare in the coming years?

At the same time, demand is rising for these services. The pandemic's effects on the healthcare field continue to lead to shortages and strains on providers.

These shortages impact the availability of specific service needs and contribute to increased costs for care.

Seniors preparing for a future where long-term care is likely should prioritize estate planning, explore local resources, and leverage technology to reduce the impact of the healthcare provider shortage.

While an experienced estate planning attorney is necessary for compiling healthcare directives and powers of attorney, some individuals will also benefit from the services of an elder law attorney.

If you need assistance creating an estate plan to share your wishes regarding incapacity and care as you age, request a consultation today.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice concerning any particular issue or problem. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between Harvest Law KC and the reader.

References: Supplemental Health Care (Jan. 15, 2024) "Top Home Health Trends for 2024"

National Care Planning Council (2020) "Planning Considerations for Aging Seniors"

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