Posted 09/12/2012 - 01:59:51pm by Michele Melendez
As the aging population grows, so does the demand for health care workers. The federal government predicts that the health care industry is on track to add 3.2 million jobs between 2008 and 2018 – a 22 percent increase. And health care reform will potentially boost that number dramatically.
Caregiving – which can take various forms, requiring different levels of expertise – is among the most in-demand prospects in health care today. And with so much potential to help others, it makes a great encore career.
A San Francisco-based company called CareLinx is recruiting caregivers across the country through its online matching service. Encore.org talked to the company’s president and CEO, Sherwin Sheik, about CareLinx’s opportunities. (We have edited this Q & A for length and clarity.)
Q: Why is the health care job market so hot?
Over the next 10 years, the number of people 65 and older will increase by 35 percent. By 2030, that number will more than double to 71 million, roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population. Seventy percent of people over age 65 require some form of long-term
Q: What are some examples of health care jobs that are in demand?
A: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that home health aides and personal care aides will be the third and fourth fastest growing occupations in the country over the next 10 years, increasing by 50 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
Q: What is CareLinx, and how does it work?
A. We are a secure online community with approximately 3,500 paid care providers who have registered with our site. Care providers create profiles free of charge, including a photograph, education, experience, skills, hourly rates and personal characteristics. Care seekers complete our compatibility questionnaire and are then matched with caregivers that meet their needs and budget. Once a potential match is found, we provide supportive tools, including background checks, video chat and online scheduling.
Q: Why might CareLinx be an attractive option for boomers wanting to enter the health care field?
A. Boomers will have the ability to find part-time work with flexible schedules and good pay while also being able to help others in need. These boomers will have the ability to dictate their hours, pay and with whom they work. Caregiving is a rewarding job on multiple dimensions.
Q: Is there any special training or certification required?
A: We have a large range of caregivers on CareLinx to match the specific needs of families looking for care. Some clients need a nonskilled companionship caregiver, and we have other clients that need a more skilled caregiver like a certified nursing aide, licensed practical nurse or registered nurse. We review the caregiver’s references and when we conduct a background check we can validate the credentials and licensure. Nevertheless, we need the full spectrum of caregivers to address the needs of our clients; the majority need nonskilled companionship caregivers that help with everyday living tasks such as bathing, grooming, meal preparation, laundry and transportation.