Home care should boom as baby boomers age

Caregiver Cal Adkins has stayed up nights monitoring a retired female pilot, a Pearl Harbor survivor and former police captain, all in their Charlotte homes.

Home care jobs, which range from helping a patient to bed to providing physical therapy, are among the fastest-growing jobs in the country. Nationally, the number of home care service employees grew by about 200,000, or 26 percent, between 1996 and 2006.

In a recent report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics labels personal home care aides who offer basic help, and home health aides who offer medical assistance, as the second- and third-fastest growing occupations. Both are projected to double by 2016, as baby boomers age, and employ more than 3 million people.

Further driving the trend: Technology and better health practices keep people alive longer, and more seniors are opting to stay in their homes rather than move to nursing or assisted-living facilities. It's also a lot cheaper.

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