RALEIGH, N.C. — The labor shortage is having an impact on nearly every industry. However, this is not a new need for the eldercare community. As people are living longer, caregivers are in high demand.
Seventy percent of people who live past the age of 65 develop needs for longterm care services, according to the American Healthcare Journal.
Paul Gilster's wife, Eloise Gilster, started showing signs of Alzheimer’s seven years ago. She is now 76 years old, and as her disease progressed, Paul Gilster needed assistance.
The Gilsters' began using the caregiver service, Seniors Helping Seniors in 2019.
“I said I could use just some time to go to the grocery store, or some time to go for a walk, and I’m kind of at a point now, about going out of the house and leaving no one else here,” Paul Gilster said.
The Wake Forest-based caregiver service allows him to get errands done or go to a doctor’s appointment, while his wife is being looked after for a few hours.
“If you put off doing things, you wind up cramming them into a couple hours. I rarely have time to do the goofing off. Everything has to be scheduled. I needed that just getting out of the house and driving around because you can feel overwhelmed, it feels good to get out,” Paul Gilster said.
Kathy Uveges is the owner of Seniors Helping Seniors. Uveges says the applicant pool to be a caregiver is shrinking due to a variety of factors, including mental stress, financial needs and physical strain. These factors do not stop the demand of people in need of support.
“A lot of people come to us who have cared for a loved one, maybe they’ve done healthcare before, but that certainly isn’t a requirement, a lot of people have volunteered at their church or some civic organization, and that really is the type of person you’re looking for because they want to give back, not only for the families they are helping, but for themselves,” Uveges said.
If you are looking to become a caregiver, Seniors Helping Seniors is hiring.