Young caregiver assists senior walking in home

As the race to get more Americans vaccinated continues and the nation anticipates a return to some level of normalcy, states such as Utah are having difficulty finding enough home care workers to keep pace with soaring demand, the Home Care and Hospice Association of Utah said.

Serving as an example, the association’s executive director, Matt Hansen, told a local TV station that there are 20,000 licensed certified nursing assistants, but only 14,000 are working in the field. Like other home care workers, he said, they left the field during the pandemic and haven’t returned for various reasons.

“We’re competing with other industries like fast food,” he said. “And because reimbursement rates aren’t higher, we lose a lot of workers.”

Another hurdle: “Unemployment benefits have been higher than what they can earn by working,” Hansen said.