Through the years, Australian healthcare and aged care has encountered many challenges and has undergone multiple changes. Whether it be funding, policies, or emergency responses, this particular health sector continues to evolve to make everyone’s lives better.
The following are the challenges that the aged care sector has faced, and the updates made in response for 2022.
Challenges in the Aged Care sector
All has not been smooth-sailing for the aged care industry, especially in the face of COVID-19. The struggles in the sector were not only magnified, but they had doubled due to the pandemic, rising costs, and mortality risks. Problems like worker retention and poor career opportunities were only few of many.
The more prevalent issues include:
- Shifting attitudes towards caring – People’s views on being carers have deterred potential caregivers from pursuing positions.
- Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce – Worker retention continues to be a challenge, especially for residential aged care homes.
- Boosting capability – Training programs for nurses and carers are not as abundant.
- Improving quality of life for seniors – Quality of seniors’ lives is difficult to improve amidst loneliness and fear caused by the pandemic.
- Poor perception of career opportunities in the sector – Being in a carer’s position may come off as a thankless and unrewarding job due to the amount of struggles within the sector.
- COVID-19 and border closures – The pandemic has forced a distance between the elderly in residential facilities and their families.
Aged Care workforce updates in 2022
Despite the major challenges the sector faces, there have been significant updates to the aged care workforce in 2022. The Government has put more focus on boosting the sector in order to further support carers in the industry and the Australian elderly.
Those updates are the following:
- Funding for COVID-19 response in both residential care and home care – Care packages are now more accessible to those in residential and home care.
- Bonuses for carers and aged care workers – Workers and carers receive bonuses, hazard pay and incentives to continue in their position.
- Support programs for carers – Digital and face-to-face support programs are there for Australian carers who are feeling overwhelmed or abused in their work.
- Investments for upskilling and training – More training programs and learning conferences have been set for people looking to further their skills in the aged care sector.
- Cultural safety – More Indigenous folks and Torres Strait Islanders are now catered to due to cultural sensitivity hiring and care programs, easing hesitancy.
- New medicines – Research and development of boosters, vaccines, and medicines continue to take place thanks to funding and government backing.
- Digital reform across multiple health systems – The digital transformation of healthcare, from digitizing health records to launching applications that bring families together, has proven fruitful especially for the aged care sector.