We’re all getting older, but more of us are growing older than ever before. According to research published by the National Institutes of Health, in 1950, 8.1 percent of the U.S. population was over 65. By 2020, that percentage will grow to 15.5 percent. By 2030, 18.3 percent of the population will have reached or surpassed their 65th birthday. That translates to more than 55 million people, nearly one-fifth of the population in the United States.
These shifting age demographics require a commensurate response in healthcare services. People are living longer lives. Fortunately, most can remain active and healthy well into their 70s, 80s, and beyond. Often this requires some form of long-term care.
The Many Faces of Long-Term Care
When we think of long-term care, what often comes to mind are nursing homes. Also known as skilled nursing facilities (SNF), they provide residential round-the-clock personal care for patients unable to live independently on their own. A mainstay of long-term daily care, SNFs are not inclusive of the full landscape institutional care facilities. Long-term care strategies evolve in tandem with evolving trends. Assisted living, home health care, adult day care, rehabilitation centers, transportation, and companion services are among the many types of long-term care services available.
Not all long-term care is for an aging population. Younger patients with physical or mental disabilities may require ongoing daily care services. Nonetheless, it is the trend toward an older demographic that drives the growing demand in long-term care services. Older or younger, temporary or permanent, the common denominator in meeting this demand is highly skilled leaders managing day-to-day operations and strategizing care in a sensitive healthcare environment.
A Career as a Long-Term Care Administrator
The demand for qualified long-term care administrators is and will remain strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, medical and health service managers earn a median annual salary of $99,730. Due to the high demand for long-term care administrators specifically, salaries often reach into the six figures, depending on the region, facility, and qualifications of the administrator.
According to BLS projections, demand for health service managers between 2018 and 2028 is expected to rise 18 percent, “much faster than average.” Some 71,600 new jobs in the sector are predicted in the next decade. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required, but more advanced training in long-term care administration and health sciences is the best path to the most rewarding positions in the industry. Touro University’s online Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree program with a Long-term Care Administration Concentration provides the skills, knowledge, and training for those motivated and passionate about building their careers centered on providing care for a growing population in need of daily care services.
Access to healthcare is vital at any age. For people in need of long-term care, maintaining a high quality of life is challenging. Rising to that challenge is the job and reward for qualified, passionate long-term care administrators.