As the care sector faces a 13.5 million worker shortfall by 2050, global government, academic, NGO and business leaders lay out priorities to develop the critical long-term care workforce as a profession of the future.
New York, NEW YORK (October 3, 2022) – The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and Home Instead, the world’s largest home care network for older adults, today published a global report titled Key Insights & Proposed Solutions from the Future of Care and the Caregiving Workforce: Lessons and Insights from the COVID-19 Experience. The result of a workshop hosted by the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), GCOA and Home Instead in 2021, the report spotlights the challenges facing the long-term care workforce, including insights from the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented demand brought by the aging demographic shift, and prevailing work conditions and perceptions.
“COVID-19 taught us many lessons in health systems resilience, not least that our long-term care workforce is of incredible value to maintain the health of older people, especially in their homes,” said Francesca Colombo, Health Division Head with the OECD. “We must grow and support today’s caregiving workforce to ensure that quality care can be assured for all of us in the future.”
Across OECD member countries, the share of the population 65 or over is projected to rise to 27% of the total population by 2050, on average, up from 17% in 2019. As the number of older adults increases around the world, especially those over 80 – which will double to 10% of OECD populations by 2050 – many OECD countries are seeing demand for care far outpace supply. As people live longer and care needs expand, the demand for a robust, skilled and growing caregiving workforce is also on the rise.
“Home care is already one of the fastest growing employment sectors in OECD economies, and it will only gain a larger share of our labor force as our population continues to age,” said Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging. “Transforming the caregiving industry into a competitive career choice represents a golden opportunity to create jobs and improve health outcomes as a vital element of the $17 trillion-dollar silver economy.”
The report, based on a workshop of more than 100 global leaders from over 20 OECD member states, suggests three top priorities to grow the care workforce to meet current and future care needs:
- Elevate public perceptions of the care workforce;
- Develop standards around training and quality; and
- Improve the current realities for many care workers.
“The home care workforce will be a major part of our global economy and healthcare systems for the foreseeable future. Their impact on our lives is unparalleled,” said Jisella Dolan, Chief Advocacy Officer of Home Instead, an Honor Company. “Now is the time to professionalize this career path to ensure caregivers are empowered to continue providing exceptional care.”
The OECD, GCOA and Home Instead are committed to advancing the dialogue and global leadership that recognizes caregivers, elevates workers in this field as professionals, and encourages improvements in the sector, driven by quality and training standards. They call on leaders across governments, charities, private sector, academia research organizations, and global institutions to join their efforts to improve the caregiving workforce and the sector as a whole to ensure it can meet the needs of aging OECD societies.
GCOA represents a cross-section of global business including technology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, home care, financial, transportation, and consumer sectors. We engage global institutions, policymakers, and the public to drive debate on, create, and promote innovative policies and actions to transform challenges associated with the aging of the global population into opportunities for social engagement, productivity and fiscal sustainability.
About Home Instead, an Honor Company
Home Instead, Inc. and its parent company, Honor, are expanding the world’s capacity to care. With the world’s largest home care network and the most advanced care platform, Honor and Home Instead are revolutionizing care for older adults, their families, and Care Professionals. Home Instead, Inc. is the premier home care franchisor through its network of independently owned and operated Home Instead franchise businesses. Combined, the network has more than 100,000 Care Professionals across 13 countries, meeting the growing needs of millions of older adults and their families worldwide. For more information, visit joinhonor.com and homeinstead.com.