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Seniors, Immigration Reform and How They’re Connected

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 18 March 2013

Do you think immigration reform for the purpose of adding more eligible employees to the senior care industry is a necessary/worthwhile undertaking for Congress?A new article from the Money section of US News & World Report holds the answer, and as with many issues related to seniors and long-term care, it’s a complicated one. In a nutshell, as Congress faces decisions about the financial future of Medicare and Social Security, the question of whether immigrant workers could fill paid caregiving positions is also on the table. Though immigration reform is always a controversial issue, the article says the change in perspective is based on “rising demand for care due to a growing elderly population, a sustained effort to provide elder care in homes rather than institutions, a shrinking workforce of Americans, and an economic recovery that will eventually reduce the supply of family members available to provide unpaid care.”

Other items of interest in the article include the rapid growth of the caregiving industry (nursing homes, assisted living, home care, etc.): 40 percent, to be exact, a trend expected to accelerate because of Obamacare, according to the article. The tough economy and job markets of recent years has also made a mark on the industry — as well as reduced the numbers of illegal immigrants coming in — but as the article states, “As more older people require care and the economy continues recovering, it will become harder to find even low-skilled people to provide in-home care.”

Talk back: Do you think immigration reform for the purpose of adding more eligible employees to the senior care industry is a necessary/worthwhile undertaking for Congress?

 

 

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