2020 has been a year full of unknown challenges and constant adapting worldwide. COVID-19 has presented industries with different hurdles to overcome and the opportunity to grow from them. The home care industry has adjusted and made the changes necessary to continue to provide for clients and caregivers, but we believe that these changes have brought new growth opportunities.
Over the last nine months we have observed three areas of growth in home care companies: increased awareness and demand, confidence in remote work, and a competitive job market.
When COVID-19 outbreaks first began in March, senior facilities were reporting high numbers of positive cases causing widespread fear among family members for the safety of their loved ones. This fear spiked an increase in awareness of home care services and the many advantages of aging at home. The biggest and most relevant advantage being limited outside exposure to the virus. Families discovered the tools and care needed for their loved ones be safe and comfortable at home were and will continue to be available to them. We expect this demand for in-home services to continue to grow as we head into the new year, more families are understanding that home is the safest and healthiest option for their loved ones.
The pandemic has changed the way our society interacts and functions. For home care this means transitioning from in-person visits and assessments to virtual & digital interactions. This hurdle was easily resolved with help from digital platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and many more. Operations teams were able to supervise clients and caregivers using virtual meetings and consistent phone calls and Sales teams were able to conduct new client assessments safely using the same tools. The home care industry found a new sense of confidence and success in utilizing this technology that will continue even after the pandemic has ended.
The demand for quality healthcare workers has always been high, but with the increased demand for home care services, the need for caregivers and CNAs has skyrocketed. This competitive job market has created both an opportunity and a challenge for the home care industry. The opportunity lies in reducing caregiver turnover. Home care companies have the chance to create new rewards and forms of appreciation to encourage their caregivers to continue working with them through this economic recession. Reducing caregiver turnout is a process that will continue way behind COVID-19. The challenge we are facing as an industry is a shortage of home care workers. More and more Baby Boomers need care every single day and there just are not enough individuals to help at this time. As an industry we continue to encourage other to pursue caregiving long-term, but we foresee this being a continuing challenge.
2020 has taught us many things: adaptability, resilience, and compassion for others. In spite of the challenges COVID-19 has presented, we are grateful that home care has continued to grow and keep our clients safe.