Merrily Orsini's Thought Leadership

Happy Labor Day

Celebrating our labor force today. Seems to me the people who work provide the fuel for the economy. We work to support our lifestyles or to put away money for eventual retirement. Or to just survive. But the people who work pay into the system and that is, for the most part, how our country is financed I believe.

The paid caregiving workforce is a growing number since the aging population is growing. And, as most of you know, we just keep growing in number, and will until those who were born in 1964 turn 67, 2031 to be precise. A mere 15 years away. And the entire Baby Boom generation will be over 67. If you are thinking 65 is the cut off, then we are looking at only 13 years away, in 2029.

The number of people who could provide caregiving is not increasing to meet the need. Right now there is a disproportionate number of older people, over 65, caring for 85-105-year-olds. In fact, it is not uncommon to find an 80-year-old caring for her 100-year-old mother. So, this is painting a picture that clearly shows less people available to care for the burgeoning older population.

So, how do we fix that? We cannot manufacture people. We can import them, however. Food for thought on that one, please, quietly. Basically, I think in today’s economy, anyone who wants to work can do so. It might not be the right job or the right pay, but there are plenty of jobs available, and working, even at a lower paying boring job is far better than doing nothing, or getting into trouble (the alternatives).

Another avenue to take in fixing the solution to match the need is to use technology to supplement some of the care needed. Certainly, technology can make banking, shopping, transportation and even home meal delivery possible for a homebound person to accomplish. The issue is with direct care needed. Most of that care, however, is not needed on a constant basis. I foresee soon, if not already created, an Uberesque like service that provides personal in-home tuck-ins and wake-ups, daily help with housekeeping, and on-call immediate needs for those who need assistance at home. There are a whole herd of apps and services now being created in anticipation of that need.

So, let’s make a toast to the labor force of America, and make certain that you are doing all you can to be a good employer or employee so as to keep America strong. Happy Labor Day.