What challenges are facing the aged care sector?

March 25, 2014 | Assessment and Optimisation

A recent Environmental Scan (EScan) published by the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) reveals the key challenges that are currently facing the aged care sector.

In order to collate this inventory of key challenges, the CS&HISC asked 510 industry professionals to share their opinions.

The first challenge identified is – unsurprisingly – Australia’s rapidly ageing population, and the pressure this will put on the aged care sector. It’s been projected the number of people aged 65 years and older will increase by 91 per cent over the next 20 years.

Another concern raised by the EScan is the government’s desire for client-led models of care to be the norm. This shift can be seen in the introduction of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) just over five years ago, and reforms such as the “Living Longer, Living Better” Aged Care Reform Package and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

It’s not that industry professionals don’t think client-led models of care are a bad idea; on the contrary, 91 per cent of those who contributed to the EScan said that “developing and implementing client-led models of care” should be a “workforce development priority” in 2014. However, 40 per cent admitted the aged care workforce doesn’t yet have the “right mix of skills” to deliver such care.

That’s where education on reforms such as the ACFI through Mirus Australia comes in handy.

Other challenges highlighted in the EScan are all to do with providing employees with adequate training: making sure aged care qualifications meet “actual job skills required”, offering aged care workers more “fluid pathways” to move between sectors and implementing training packages.

By ensuring your staff are well-versed in matters such as the ACFI, you will not only enhance their ability to provide quality care to your residents, but also help them to understand the connection between this care and funding.

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