Aged Care

The time has come to prioritise the care of aged care nurses


National labour-hire agency Altaira has forged a partnership with well-being charity Healthcare Heartbeat to deliver Wellness Grants for nurses working in the aged care sector.

The initiative aims to address the pressing challenges faced by aged care nurses in Victoria and South Australia.

Through the Altaira Wellness Grant, aged care nurses in these regions will have the opportunity to access Healthcare Heartbeat’s online program Reflect, Reset & Renew (RRR) and receive authentically home-cooked meals.

This comprehensive support package seeks to alleviate burnout, enhance optimism, well-being and resilience among nurses in the field.

A recently published longitudinal cohort study conducted between May 2021 and June 2022 in Victoria revealed a concerning rise in burnout and a decline in optimism, well-being and resilience among health and aged care workers. The impact was particularly notable in late 2021 and mid-2022, compared to mid-2021.

Disturbingly, untreated mental health symptoms have resulted in health professionals experiencing a 30% higher risk of suicide compared to individuals in other occupations across Australia.

Altaira’s Director, Jelena Giro, holds firsthand knowledge of the struggles faced by healthcare workers in combating the ongoing effects of the pandemic and the existing staff shortage crisis.

“Our healthcare workers devote their lives to the well-being of our seniors, often at the expense of their own health and that of their families,” Giro said. “Many staff members are reaching their breaking point, and their energy reserves are at an all-time low. This is significantly impacting the aged care sector.”

By bolstering the mental fitness of aged care workers, the ripple effect can be seen in improved quality of resident care, heightened morale and increased staff retention rates.

The collaboration with Healthcare Heartbeat to administer Altaira Wellness Grants and other initiatives aims to empower the nursing cohort with preventive measures and tools that will sustain their well-being in the long term. The time has come to prioritise the care of aged care nurses.

Recipients of Wellness Grants will gain valuable insights into recognising signs of stress and implementing strategies to prevent burnout.

The program focuses on a practical 3-step process for integrating well-being practices into the demanding routines of healthcare professionals. These sessions provide strategies that can be employed in high-pressure moments to restore a sense of calm, even during hectic shifts.

Katheryn Curnow, RRR Facilitator, emphasises two crucial outcomes of this program. “Firstly, we offer strategies that can be used in the moment when healthcare workers are feeling triggered or under stress so they can regain a sense of calm and even enhance their focus and performance.”

“Secondly, and even more importantly, is to reframe the mindset and rhetoric of self-care being perceived as an optional practice only engaged in when you have the time. We recognise that our wellbeing is inextricably linked to our sense of life satisfaction, the quality of our relationships and our capacity to fulfill our potential.”

“At Healthcare Heartbeat, we are committed to delivering evidence-based programs that support the thriving of our healthcare professionals,” Curnow added.


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