The baby boomer generation is the second largest age group in the population after the millennials, accounting for a staggering 73 million people. Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are aging and creating a greater need for related services. In fact, all baby boomers will be 65 years of age or older by 2030 according to the U.S Census Bureau.
As this significant population grows older, individuals may require unique support that includes nursing homes, in-house care, health monitoring and assisted living services. The aging services industry has experienced demand for support among the baby boomer generation firsthand. From 2013-2020, elderly assisted living facilities experienced a 34.4% increase in revenue; and home health care saw a 50.5% increase as noted by the U.S Census Bureau. However, around-the-clock experienced personnel needed to ensure the safety of elderly individuals and lack of capacity in the insurance market environment has left the aging services industry facing new and increased challenges just as demand is hitting an all-time high.
- Employee Turnover: One of the most significant challenges aging services faces is employee turnover. In 2019, CNBC reported home health aides (skilled nurses) and personal-care aides had a turnover rate of about 50%. During the pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hundreds of thousands of nursing and residential care professionals quit their jobs. To address staffing shortages, the industry has explored alternative options to attract and retain talent. Some nursing facilities have chosen to share staff across multiple buildings to provide a wide range of experiences and provide skill building opportunities with colleagues in multiple areas of the operation. This allows team members to explore a career in aging services, rather than simply completing tasks. Aging services providers can also show they are investing in their teams by offering continued education opportunities including webinars, higher education, conferences and more.
- An Uncertain Market: From an insurance perspective, aging services have faced challenges well before the pandemic. Now, the industry continues to navigate lingering pandemic related issues in addition to increased claims and litigation, rising insurance premiums, staffing shortages, legislation and reduced budgets. Having clear expectations, protocols and procedures and properly training staff can help mitigate risks and assist in managing insurance costs.
Aging, if we are fortunate to experience it, is a reality many must learn to manage. As baby boomers continue to require more specialized care, aging services providers need to keep up with demand safely and effectively. The key to weathering challenges facing the industry is to get ahead of them, starting early and enlisting the correct help. By working with an experienced insurance broker, aging services providers can better manage their risks and secure the correct insurance coverages to protect their facilities, employees and residents.