Americans are living longer than ever before. But that’s not necessarily because they’re healthier and taking better care of themselves. Americans are living longer, primarily because modern medicine has largely eradicated smallpox, mumps, polio, and a variety of other diseases that once claimed the lives of many. 

Ultimately, ageing Americans rely on younger generations to help with their caregiving. Caregiving can encompass a broad range of tasks. From reminding a senior to take their medication, to cooking them dinner, to helping to bathe, dress and transport an elderly person.

However, the elderly community faces a host of issues as there will be a shortage of caregivers in the coming years.

The Increasing Number of Americans in Need

AARP recently came out with a study that looked at the number of Americans that need care, and how many people are available to provide that care. The numbers are a bit startling.

Currently, about 40 million Americans are providing unpaid care to the elderly or disabled, according to the study. These “informal” caregivers provide assistance to millions of individuals. However, the AARP estimates that the number of Americans requiring assistance is expected to grow to a whopping 117 Million by the year 2020, where the informal caregiver group will grow to 45 million. The concern is whether or not there will be enough caregivers to take care of everyone that needs assistance.

Areas of Concern

Ultimately, there are some areas of concern for those that need assistance. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has identified six areas of concern and discussed them extensively in their January report.

Those areas include:

  • Daily Essential Activities
  • Health and Safety Awareness
  • Caregiver Quality of Life
  • Care Coordination
  • Social Well-being
  • Transition Support

Each one of these areas represents an opportunity to enrich the level of care that the elderly and disabled receive, and they represent opportunities for improvement in the coming years. As the number of elderly requiring care increase, these services and areas pose a lot of possibilities for entrepreneurial younger generations.

Job Opportunities to Help Seniors

With millions upon millions of seniors and disabled persons requiring care, there is a great need for those who want to help them. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are constantly looking for talented young people to take on elderly care responsibilities. Those facilities need RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and more and the help that is provided to the elderly can greatly enhance their quality of life.

As the number of those needing care grows, the number of paid caregivers that are needed will also grow.

But there are some more important opportunities that come with this demographic change.

Career Opportunities for Younger Generations

Young entrepreneurs may look at these six areas of concern and see a flood of opportunities available to them. There are numerous service companies that could be started to help with the growing demand for caregivers, without actually being a caregiver.

For instance, caregivers help with essential daily activities. Those activities include meals, personal care, deliveries, and transportation services. There is a huge opportunity for developing companies that offer those services to help ease the life of the caregiver. And the trend is moving toward utilizing technology in a more efficient manner. A clever young entrepreneur could develop a mobile app that offered home food delivery. Each day the caregiver puts in an order for the person they are caring for, and the service company delivers the meal at the appropriate time. Quick, convenient, and makes everyone’s life easier.

Each of the six areas of opportunities presents numerous career opportunities for a young entrepreneur across a host of sectors. The problem already exists, the need is already there, and all that needs to happen now is to have someone meet those needs in a fast and effective manner.

The Bottom Line

Enterprising caregivers can see there is a huge need in two major areas of the caregiver market. The U.S. is in need of caregivers. As the population ages, more and more individuals will need daily care. One way that a person can help is to become a caregiver.

But the industry is even bigger than that. There are hundreds of services that need to be provided to those caregivers. By the year 2020, it is estimated that $72.2 billion will be spent annually by the caregivers and the care recipients. This is a huge market that an entrepreneur can tap into. Provide a service that meets the existing need, and the business will have a constant influx of new customers essentially forever.

Take a few minutes to look through the AARP report. See where you can help, and consider starting a company that will contribute to making the lives of caregivers easier.

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