Why is the Aged care industry struggling to retain staff?

Aug 18
Author:Ash Natesh
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on FacebookEmail to someone

The aged care industry have been scrutinized time and again to be “untrustworthy providers getting rich on our tax money while providing a bad service”. Often communications between the industry sectors are hazy. While government only provides bronze cover for institutions, for a gold and silver cover unfortunately the individual has to bear the costs.

So what is it like working for this industry?

The aged care industry is always looking for staff and there’s been a recurring issue of staff retention within the industry.

Why is that?

According to Michael Maher (Founder, Aged Care Development Network) the biggest killer is “Low pay, manual work (hauling people in and out of the shower), abuse (caring for dementia sufferers who lash out; abuse from family members) and the terrible portrayal of the industry in the media.” This is why the industry struggles to attract enough carers.

The industry also faces a massive lack of structure for nurses and aged care staff to operate and move to the regions where their expertise are needed. Often staff need to work either in a hotel or hospital setting, requiring them to have intermediate medical skills. Not having proper regulation in the workplace often cause more staff to doubt the process. Aged care in itself is not a first choice of occupation for most as the amount of work and time involved in being a carer is far more than the incentives they recieve.

In a Phd study conducted by Dr Katarina Radford (Lecturer, Griffith University), she found that staff are promoted into supervisory roles because of their clinical rather than leadership skills. This shows the need for formal leadership training programs in the sectors and to have a clear succession management plan in place.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, aged care workforce will need to grow by 2% per year to accommodate demand for services.

Hon Scott Morrison MP (30th Prime Minister of Australia) at our recent Aged Care Reform conference said, “We are formally beginning to think of an ageing population as an opportunity rather than a burden”.

The aim for the industry should be to provide better support for workers in a variety of areas thus increasing both quality and quantity of staff in the industry.They need to recruit approximately 1:1 ratio of carers. To achieve that goal the employers in the industry need to start leveraging proper processes into their program and leadership training to incentivise their staff into staying in their jobs and receiving job satisfaction in the industry.  

Learn how to strategically build your aged care workforce and retain talent. Don’t miss out on learning the key opportunities to attract more carers at the Building a Quality Aged Care Workforce conference on the 21st & 22nd of November in Sydney.


Submitted by Ash Natesh

Ash Natesh

Ash is the Content Marketer at Criterion Conferences. Writing and sourcing content is all part of her day to day routine. She can’t stop drinking coffee, other than coffee her interests lie in Music, long walks amidst the mountains, Dance, Anime, Science Fiction and all things nerdy!

One thought on “Why is the Aged care industry struggling to retain staff?

  1. Because staff are wanting more shifts but they keep putting on new staff and I miss out on more shifts it’s so unfair or favouritism is a big issue staff and RNS knowing someone who they think that will do a better job choosing relatives , friends before other staff really is do not fair in age care I’m a hard passionate worker but don’t get shifts as much as new permanent employees, I want more shifts but I’m fighting to get them why is this happening I don’t feel secure at my job as I’m casual using a Emprevo app. Between 2 facilities and everyone e is after these shifts why

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other blog posts you may enjoy: