The direct care sector will need millions of new workers to meet the growing demand for long-term care, which makes recruiting new populations essential. One answer to this recruitment challenge is older workers—namely those aged 55 and over. For some, starting a new job or career in later life is a financial necessity; for others, it’s a chance to experience a new field, develop new skills, and/or contribute to society in a different way. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of older workers in direct care and in the overall labor force. Drawing from broader employment research, we also offer a few tips on how to attract older workers to direct care jobs.
Workers aged 55 and over currently make up 23 percent of the direct care workforce.
There are nearly 848,000 workers aged 55 to 74 in the direct care workforce.
72% of workers in the U.S. labor force are aged 55-59.
Kezia Scales leads PHI’s strategy for building the evidence base on state and national policies and workforce interventions that improve direct care jobs, elevate this essential workforce, and strengthen care processes and outcomes.