Australia’s aged care workforce is reaching a crisis point with some aged care homes unable to find adequate numbers of skilled and experienced workers and unable to admit new residents, according to an industry body. Source: The Senior.
The Australian Aged Care Collaboration, which comprises Aged & Community Services Australia, Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia, Leading Age Services Australia and UnitingCare Australia, says the availability of workers is under extreme pressure.
Many home care services cannot take on new clients to meet increasing demand and older people are missing out on care as a result of acute workforce shortages.
It says the situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and has called on the Morrison Government to take urgent action, including supporting aged care providers in relation to increased support worker wages, incentivising nursing students to work in aged care and incentivising prospective care and support workers.
The AACC says the crisis has been worsened by the pandemic with international border closures eliminating a major source of workers in aged care, COVID protection mechanisms like single site operations stretching aged care homes, and competition with the health sector (especially COVID vaccination clinics) reducing access to registered and enrolled nurses.
Earlier this year, a Committee for Economic Development of Australia report on the aged care workforce found “at least 110,000 extra workers are required in the industry over the next decade and the figure could balloon to more than 400,000 workers by 2050”.
Worker shortfall leaving older Australians without care (The Australian)