AUSTRALIA’S AGED CARE INDUSTRY SKILL SHORTAGE AT BREAKING POINT

 

 

 

 

 

the current situation

 

 

When demand outstrips supply

 

The issue is that demand has outstripped supply. Those requiring aged care assistance are facing long waiting lists for the allocation of care. Recent data shows that 2, 141 Tasmanians have been approved for home care yet are waiting on the implementation of their approved package. Looking at Australia as a whole, 129, 000 people are on an aged care waitlist. (ABC News). 60% are waiting for an initial assessment whilst 40% are waiting on allocation of approved care.

 

 

 

Where have our aged care workers gone?

 

The issue lies in supply of aged care workers and it is reaching a critical point. A recent national survey of 500 nursing students aged between 18-23 showed a staggering 68% were unlikely to consider a career in aged care. The negative perceptions of the industry are at their highest and public opinion at its lowest – a devastating combination for our ageing population.

 

 

 

 

 

What is at the heart of our aged care crisis?

 

The statistics are there. The research has been done and the results are damning. 57% of respondents see aged care as a job as opposed to a career. 50% feel they don’t have the experience needed to venture into aged care, and one in five perceive the low pay as a deterrent. The recent high commission into the aged care sector and consequent negative media coverage has not helped sway public opinion with 20% admitting they are turned off from the industry due to reports in the media. (ABC AM Radio).

 

 

 

What steps are being taken to tackle the issue?

 

The Government has invested another $2.2 billion into 34, 000 new home care packages since last year’s budget. The Federal Budget announced in April has allocated an extra $6.5 million to the Aged Care and Safety Commission for 2019-20. Amongst other items including compliance schemes and monitoring, funding has been allocated to the expansion of home care packages.

Home Care Packages are available for those who require extra assistance at home by an in-home carer in an attempt to help them stay at home for longer. This in turn puts less pressure on aged care facilities and favours those who prefer to stay at home as long as possible. The federal government provides subsidies for allocated private organisations to roll out the packages and provide the required care. The providers know the scheme is effective in helping people stay at home for longer and avoid entering full time aged care facilities. More money is required so that more packages can be provided for those that need them the most.

 

 

 

 

A focus on the future

 

The Federal Government’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy is working hard to grow the number of people employed in the sector. Private providers such as The Whiddon Group are taking steps to improve public perception and uptake in the industry with implementation of a tertiary student mentoring program. As a country, we need to turn the tide on aged care, recognise that caring for our elderly is a privilege and to focus on the positives of working in the industry. Aged care workers are making a difference to the lives of the elderly and their families – the intrinsic satisfaction of aged care cannot be underestimated. Results show that case management in the aged care sector has helped to improve client psychological health and unmet service needs. The processes the industry requires are there, now we need the right people.

If you are a qualified Aged Care professional with HCP experience or similar
we’d love to hear from you. If you are an Aged Care provider, get in touch with our staff to access our pool of qualified and caring Aged Care applicants. Together, we can turn the tide on Aged Care and work towards a happier and healthier ageing population.

 

GET IN TOUCH

 

If you are a qualified Aged Care professional with HCP experience or similar we’d love to hear from you.

If you are an Aged Care provider, get in touch with our staff to access our pool of qualified and caring Aged Care applicants.

Together, we can turn the tide on Aged Care and work towards a happeier and healthier ageing population

 

 

 

Contact Limelight Health at
[email protected] to discuss your next move or hire today.