The pandemic may have shined a light on the need for more in-home care for seniors living alone.
In a new survey by online caregiving platform Care.com, both seniors and their adult children cited the need for increased home services, especially in household and mobility assistance.
“During the pandemic, individuals were more isolated when they were at home, and we think that can contribute to identifying areas where they might need more help,” Care.com Director of Senior Care Jill McNamara told McKnight’s Home Care Daily.
In early April, Care.com surveyed 1,000 adults over age 18 who are responsible for paying for professional senior care for family members, and 750 adults over age 65 who pay for senior care themselves. Care.com is an online marketplace for consumers to search for childcare, senior care, housekeepers and other services.
Among other survey findings, slightly more adult children changed their opinions more about care options during the pandemic than seniors. A total of 67% of adult children said the pandemic impacted their views on care, while 63% of seniors said the pandemic changed their views. While adult children were fairly evenly divided in their preference for in-home care versus senior living communities, more than two-thirds of seniors polled said they still prefer to remain in their own homes.
“We still see that home care is the preference, and that’s really what families are looking for, so we’re not expecting a mass exodus to senior living,” McNamara said.
McNamara said since February, Care.com has seen a marked increase in postings from families looking for in-home care for family members. At a time when the demand for in-home care is outpacing the supply of available care workers in many markets, there could be added stress for both home care providers and clients alike.
“If you’re looking for in-home care, hire now because we are seeing an influx, and we anticipate that we will continue to see that influx of people looking for in-home care,” McNamara said.