Think back to the last time you were sick … really sick. Everything aches and nothing seems to make you feel better, except perhaps a hot cup of tea and good old-fashioned R&R in the comfort of your home. Now imagine yourself much older, recovering from surgery or trying to manage a chronic condition like diabetes, arthritis or heart disease. You have at least six different medications to take at all different times, some with food and some without. You are struggling just to shower and get dressed.
Thousands and thousands of Pennsylvania seniors face these struggles every day, yet want to remain in their own homes. According to a new report released last week, the homecare and hospice industry can help and is ready to meet this growing demand.
The report, "Impact of the Homecare and Hospice Industry on Pennsylvania's Economy," finds that the homecare and hospice industry, which includes home health, hospice and homecare supports more than 336,000 jobs in Pennsylvania -- one out of every 18 jobs. Personal care aide and home health aide jobs are projected to grow by 70 percent in the next seven years.
As the number of people living longer increases -- by 2020, our 60 and older population is expected to be 25 percent of the total population, or more than 3 million people -- our industry is growing as well. In 2012, the homecare and hospice industry contributed $22 billion to Pennsylvania's economy, a growth of $14 billion since 2005. Our impact is projected to reach $30 billion in 2020.
We are ready. Our industry not only provides care in the home, we provide the solutions consumers need to live independently at home, managing illnesses and coordinating care among healthcare providers. We enable more than 575,000 Pennsylvanians to live at home for as long as possible -- that's 66 new consumers every hour of the day!
Steve Richard, President/CEO, SUN Home Health Services
Member, Pennsylvania Homecare Association