Aged care sector needs to prepare for resident choice

September 23, 2014 | Aged Care Management

Success in any industry is often determined by preparedness to change, and this is especially true in the swelling aged care sector. Resident population growth, along with greater care choice, are changing the industry, and will necessitate a ‘gearing up’ of aged care providers.

Over 70,000 home care packages are moving to a new Consumer Directed Care system in less than nine months, according to a new release from the Council On The Ageing (COTA).

“There is a huge shift in the way aged care is going to be managed into the future which gives older people more choice, more flexibility and improved services,” COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates explained.

“This will be life-changing for tens of thousands of Australian seniors who until now have had little say over the sort of support they receive and the terms on which it is provided.”

Well over 6,000 elderly Australians are now utilising Consumer Directed Care, with a further 6,000 expected to begin this year. This change represents a strong shift within the wider industry from the traditional methods of care.

The COTA release explained certain providers are already beginning to embrace the changes, but there’s still a long way to go.

To ensure providers are moving in the right direction, COTA has launched a new project designed to provide peer education programs for older Australians, along with workshops for service providers.

“The project is distributing 50,000 information booklets to older Australians and is rolling out 435 peer education sessions so older people and their families understand the benefits of these changes,” Mr Yates said.

He also mentioned that a new website had been launched, containing comprehensive information for both Australians and providers.

Strong action from organisations like COTA will be instrumental in the future success of the aged industry, but it’s also a good idea for providers to take action in other ways.

Implementing solid financial strategies, for example, can ensure facilities are never short on the necessary funding to provide a high level of care for residents. These strategies can also be adapted as facilities grow and new legislation is implemented.

Consumer Directed Care is certain to continue changing aged care facilities over the next few months, and providers that are both active and aware will be in the best possible position.

What do you think are the biggest opportunities for success in the aged care industry today? Please contact us and let us know!