Suncoast could be the center of a caregiver crisis

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SARASOTA, Fla. - The number of people in need of caregivers is expected to nearly double by the year 2050, according to the national center for health statistics. There is much demand for caregivers and diminishing supply.

According to a New York Times report, more than 1.3 million new paid caregivers will be needed to meet demand over the next decade. Given our older demographics here, that need will be more pronounced.

"The fact that our nation is getting older, the eighty-five plus is the fastest growing segment in the nation, fifty percent of those will develop Alzheimer's disease…so that's already a formula for caregiver crisis." Nicci Kobritz of Youthful Aging Home Health says that here on the Suncoast, the need for caregivers is more pronounced.

Sarasota and Charlotte are the two counties with the highest populations of people eighty-five and up in the nation. But there is a decrease in the number of caregivers available.

“When you take a look at the caregivers however, you look at that ratio and you see that in 2010 we had seven caregivers to every person who was eighty-five plus. In 2050, that number is going to be reduced to three to one."

Nina Worrell of Youthful Aging Home Health says due to of our aging community, she is concerned about who will care for her when the time comes. "Where am I going to be? Who is going to take care of me? What's going to be my state? These are all questions that I always think about."

Her family was inspiration for her caregiving, work which includes helping caregivers in the field. “Well I watched my mom take care of my great grandmother and my grandmother both until they passed, and I saw what she did for them and how much it really meant to them.”

Families do provide support for patients, but what happens when there is no family?

“Well, we then take over the role of caregivers for the patient, for no matter what they need.”

As the demand for caregivers increase, so does the amount of training and jobs offered in the field.