New Hampshire elderly care facilities are struggling to find enough staff to meet the needs of their communities.

Visiting Angels owner and operator in the Upper Valley, Garrick Hoadley, said the staff shortage worsened over the winter because potential workers were afraid of contracting COVID-19. He still doesn’t have enough manpower, although he’s been getting more applicants lately.

“We’re always looking for more. If I had 10 more carers, I could find 10 more carers for them, ”he said. His older customers have noticed the shortage. “They may require a large number of hours per week. And we can say, ‘We’re going to work towards this. Let me tell you what we can do this week, ‘”said Hoadley.

Hoadley said staff shortages and high turnover are endemic to the industry, but greater respect for care as a valuable career – and better compensation – would help address this issue. Hoadley pays his caregivers $ 14 an hour for housewife services, $ 15 for personal care services including bathing, and $ 17 for night and weekend work. Instead, a Manchester-based home health care provider pays between $ 14 and $ 16.50, depending on what the caregiver is doing.

Instead, Home faces similar staffing problems. Kaitlin Cawley, a home care consultant for the company, said some customers had to start with less service than they might need. Later, Home can instead provide more care as employees are added. “It certainly takes a lot of patience on the customer side, but they were all wonderful and very understanding,” she said.

Cawley said there are factors other than COVID-19 that are making the problem worse, such as the aging New Hampshire population, “We are trying to meet caregiver needs as quickly as older adults need help.” And COVID-19 has some Granitstatern introduced the possibility of home care as an option, which further increases the need for nursing staff.

“COVID has definitely caught the eyes of some people who may not have thought of home care for their loved ones. It has definitely increased the number of calls from people looking for services, ”said Molly Wyeth, an employee relations coordinator at Home Instead.

As a result, senior home care companies across the state do not expect the demand for their services to decline anytime soon.

This article is shared by a partner with The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information, visit kollaborativnh.org.