In the near future there will be a steady rise in the demand for professional home health aides and caregivers. As the baby boom generation (individuals born between 1946 and 1964) continues to age, they stand to dramatically change the population landscape throughout the United States. With New Jersey being the most densely populated state in the country the need for home health care professionals will be particularly strong, as the needs of a growing senior population must be fulfilled. Between 1990 and 2000 the population of individuals 60 and over grew by 3.5% to just under 1.5 million and by 2030 that number is expected to reach 2.5 million or roughly 25% of the state population. It is also important to note that, within this demographic, the largest area of growth occurred among individuals in the 80 and above age group. As New Jersey's senior population ages, the probability that they will live alone increases along with the probability that they will develop a disability, physical or otherwise.
Reports such as this begin to show the growing role that home health care will play in the near future. New Jersey seniors deserve expert care while still having the choice of independent living. Professional home health aides provide a variety of services ranging from live-in care to short-term hourly care. Responsibility is important because aides essentially serve as an extension of the family by providing care for the elderly or disabled while offering peace of mind to other family members who can be assured that their loved ones receive the care they require when they need it.
Home health care professionals come from a variety of fields including nursing, health care, therapy and social work. Before seeking employment, potential aides must be certified through the state Board of Nursing. As the field of home health care grows it is important to find an agency that cares about patients and clients just as much as it cares about its employees. A dedicated agency should provide continual education for aides and caregivers, including courses for certification. It is the responsibility of the home health agency to properly match health care professionals and clients based on fulfillment of needs and overall convenience.