CINCINNATI — November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and honor all that caregivers do. While AARP estimates 80% of adults over 50 get some sort of in-home care, there's a shortage of those workers right now.
Key to Happiness Home Care LLC Owner Talawanda Morgan has been running her caregiver business for a couple of years now. It was her grandmother who inspired her to start it.
“Before she passed away, she always said I want you to provide the care you give to me,” she said. “She was like just don’t let it stop here and in 2018, I (opened) up my own business.”
Morgan had 20 employees when she started three years ago. But since the pandemic, she's down to 12. The other employees quit to be on unemployment. They serve close to 50 clients across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It’s been a struggle for her to hire new people. She has offered more money, but even that she said hasn’t worked.
“I beat other agencies' rates,” she said. “So if an agency is paying your $15 an hour and I need you, I’m going to pay you $18 and I still don’t get anybody to work.”
Morgan’s business isn’t the only one struggling with the shortage. AARP estimated that within 10 years, the U.S. will be 150,000 caregivers short of what's needed to take care of our aging population. Until Morgan finds some help, she's working overtime.
“If I have to come to my client's house, I’ll come myself because they are here for a reason and they deserve the best care possible,” she said. “So if I have to be the one to deliver it then I have to do what I have to do.”
Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is working on Senate Bill 2210. If passed it would provide $100 million to help states with their in-home care workforce issues. As for Morgan, she plans to find creative ways to hire more employees in hopes of growing one day.
“My game plan to move forward is to hire as many people as possible because I want to expand,” she said. “I have expansion in my head and I’m not going to stop until I do it.”
For more information on how you can apply for a caregiver position click here.