Why Home Caregivers Are Paid So Low & What We Can Do to Fix it
With a rising elderly population, more and more older Americans are choosing to spend time at home.
The only problem is that there are a serious lack of certified home caregivers to aide them. The declining numbers of home health caregivers and the job’s high turnover has a lot to do with low pay rates and an under-appreciation for workers. As the demand for professional and high quality home caregivers increases, a change needs to happen in the way these workers are paid and viewed by society.
Low Status, Lower Pay Rate
In 2014, the average turnover rate for a home caregiver was 60 percent, meaning that over half of caregivers were leaving their job every year. It’s not hard to see why so many caregivers would start to seek employment elsewhere. Most caregivers are living at or below the federal poverty line. It can be difficult to support yourself or a family on only $21,000 a year, a salary that is far below the average American’s salary of $35,000.
On top of high turnover and low pay rates, home caregivers are on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to their societal status. This may have to do with the fact that the majority of home caregivers belong to a marginalized group of people, with over 90 percent being women and over half people of color. All of these factors combine to put home caregivers on the top of the list of most underappreciated workers in America.
The Problem With Profit Motivated Agencies
Another large part of why home caregivers are paid so low has to do with private agencies. When you become a home caregiver, you can either work with a private agency or on a public registry. Most private agencies are for-profit businesses, meaning that they pay their employees are little as possible so they can pocket the rest. While the home care business is a lucrative industry, most of the revenue goes straight to the top leaving the employees with next to nothing to survive on. Top franchises grossed $1 million or more, with gross margins at 30% to 40%.
Many private agencies pay their employees little because of greed, but even for well-meaning agencies it’s hard to pay their employees a decent wage with lack of reimbursement resources. Companies are paying large overheard fees like rent, insurance, and of course employees’ rages. Yet they aren’t given adequate reimbursements from Medicaid to cover their expenses, leaving companies with the inability to give their workers a good salary or paid time off.
How Technology is Revolutionizing the Home Caregiving Industry
With innovative new technology taking over the industry, the state of home health care doesn’t have to look this dim forever. Companies like Gravity Care are already creating apps that offer transparency for both home caregivers and those in need of care. With an app like Gravity Care, it’s easy for certified home caregivers to register with a background check and find high quality, good paying jobs with ease. Gravity Care also offers educational incentives for personal growth and continuous employment based on reviews and ratings.
The best part is that home caregivers will no longer need to go through private agencies to find work. You can rest assured that both caregivers and care families are protected from frauds, claims, and cancellations that are so often found in the caregiving industry.
Caregivers using Gravity Care are taking part in a community that brings balance and trust to the home care industry.
Caregivers have the autonomy and power they need to take control over their professional lives, earn a great living, and feel appreciated for the work they do.
The Gravity Care App is coming soon to the App Store!
Interested to join our Gravity Care team to become a part of something bigger than yourself? Click on our Jobs page to learn more and apply.