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.