Shortage of caregivers creates long waiting lists for Abilene patients

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A shortage of at-home caregivers and health care providers for memory care facilities has Abilene patients sitting on long waiting lists.

“I came into this job two and a half years ago just from experiencing Alzheimer’s with my mother,” said Julie Blair, home care consultant, at Home Instead. 

Home Instead, a senior care service that operates from client’s homes, says they are seeing a shortage of caregivers. 

“Right now, we have 60 caregivers, but we have 70 clients,” said Blair. “And we have calls all the time to add more clients, but then we don’t have the caregivers to staff them all,” said Blair. 

Home Instead is running into an all too familiar situation when trying to hire new employees. 

“They don’t show up, either for their interviews, or their orientations, so there is a real shortage and great need right now,” said Blair. 

“At the association, one of the things we talk to clients to the most is about respite care and home care when it is needed,” said Kristin Bishop, Abilene Region Director for the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Bishop says many care clinics in the Big Country are seeing long waitlists for care since there are shortages of workers. 

“It really is a need for individuals who are navigating an Alzheimer’s journey or the aging population as a whole,” said Bishop. 

It’s a service Blair says she needed when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

“It was just a very two-and-a-half-year struggle, since I had to continue to work, so if I would have known about Home Instead, it would have changed the game plan,” said Blair. 

Blair says Home Instead wants to take more clients, but they also need more caregivers to offer their services. 

The Alzheimer’s Association will be having their annual fundraiser October 9 to raise awareness, which largely includes discussing caregiving options. 

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