As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the demand for senior care is on the rise. Marla Beck, CEO of Bellevue-based Andelcare, can already see the uptick. Andelcare has been around since 2003, employing caregivers that work one-on-one with clients. Most often, Andelcare provides care for seniors at home, but it also works in nursing homes with clients.
The “aging in place” trend has picked up steam as more and more seniors choose to stay in their homes instead of relocate to a retirement facility or home. The appeal of home care is flexibility. It means not having to move to a new facility, or downsize. Moving to a new facility also can be expensive.
Beck said there will be an even greater need for elder care in the coming years. Baby boomers are aging, and as they have done at every stage of life, the sheer number of Boomers creates a growth industry.
Andelcare provides in-home care for seniors. That care can be anything from the very simple, like helping with groceries, to in-depth, like nursing care.
“We help people stay independent in their home,” Beck said. “(Clients) get basically the same care they would get if they moved to a retirement facility.”
Senior care is an unpredictable industry where needs change suddenly. Andelcare might work with a client for years or with a client only for a day or two while they recover from a surgery. Beck estimates the number of weekly Andelcare clients is anywhere from 60 to 100 people.
Andelcare usually has about 100 to 150 caregivers working with clients, and there’s always the need for more. For Beck, it’s about having enough staff to fill the demand she experiences, but it’s also about hiring the right type of caregiver.
“I know I’ve picked good people who believe that the seniors need to be well taken care of,” Beck said.
Beck said there’s a shortage of caregivers in the industry, because it’s a tough job that requires training. And above all, there is a big need for care. Beck notices that the shortage of caregivers means many seniors are going it alone without care.
“I think what’s happening is they’re just doing without. It’s not like they’re moving into retirement homes, because those are even more expensive than home care,” Beck said. “They’re just doing without which I don’t think is helping anyone”
Before Beck founded Andelcare, she worked as a CPA in the corporate sector. After helping provide care for aging grandparents, she recognized a need in the senior community.
“I knew there was an audience for this; people wanted home care,” she said.
Beck is being proved right, as Andelcare continues to grow, providing care for seniors on the Eastside and beyond.