In the face of global climate change, homebound and home-based caregivers are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat.
While they still have access to the services of a large array of facilities, many are choosing to go back to home for their health needs.
In a survey conducted by the International Federation of Homecare Workers (IFWH), 70 percent of homebound caregivers said they are losing their jobs as a result of climate change and lack of access to care.
The study was conducted by IFFW International, an advocacy organization representing more than 2,500 homebound workers.
The organization surveyed more than 1,000 homebound providers from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Canada, and Mexico.
It found that homebound care providers are increasingly finding themselves facing a shortage of skilled care workers to work alongside them in an increasingly crowded labor market.
“Homebound care workers are seeing their wages decline, their benefits drop, and their job security in jeopardy,” said IFFWs Global Director Michaela D’Alto, in a press release.
“This is the first time that IFFWW has seen such a drastic trend affecting our labor market in the homebound world.”
D’Alton said homebound professionals are not the only ones struggling to stay in the workforce.
In the United Kingdom alone, more than 60 percent of workers are leaving the workforce by the end of 2020.
According to IFFWH, there is a significant shortage of home-bound workers in the United states.
Homebound workers are also finding it more difficult to find new jobs, particularly when they have family members who are already working.
Many homebound homecare workers have had to drop out of school and work long hours for little pay.
The IFFWE survey found that 57 percent of those surveyed said they had already left school in order to work as homebound, and 30 percent said they were currently working full-time for less than the salary they were earning in their school careers.
In order to maintain a steady job, home-care workers say they often find themselves spending more and more time away from home.
“If you’re a mom or a dad, you’re usually at home with your kids and that’s the time when you can spend with your family,” said D’alton.
“When you’re away, you don’t get to spend time with them as much.”
According to IffW, home care workers in particular face an uncertain future when it comes to their livelihoods.
Homebound workers say that while there are more opportunities available to them in the labor market, they feel left behind by employers who are increasingly searching for workers with less skills.
The number of qualified candidates in the U.S. workforce has been dropping steadily over the past decade, and many homecare providers are now being displaced by this trend.
For homebound worker Aiden Hickey, his family is just one of many people that are finding themselves left behind when it becomes increasingly difficult for homebound to find a job.
“I have lost all hope and that was the biggest thing that really got me into it,” said Hickey.
“I really didn’t want to see myself go through that again, especially because my family is working hard to support us.
They’ve been struggling to make ends meet, and they are struggling to find an income.”
Hickey said that in order for his family to be able to survive financially, he needs to have a stable job and stay in good health.
“It’s hard for people to accept you when you don, and then they see you on TV and you have a lot of money,” said Heicher, who was recently awarded the first $10,000 of her home care worker stipend.
“We have had some pretty rough times, but this has definitely been the hardest time, because you can’t really see it,” added Hickey who is currently working on a new home.