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Covid- 19 caused increased demand for aged care workers

mask, protection, virus

Australians aged 70 years and have a high-risk category for Coronavirus As the Health and Community Services sector scrambles to treat patients and protect our nation’s most vulnerable people, it is clear the aged care industry needs more carers.

Why Are Aged Care Workers in Demand? 

Australia has almost 250,000 aged carers including nurses and allied health professionals (like personal carers or community service workers). Older people face a much higher health risk from the Coronavirus, their interactions with the outside world need to be strictly controlled and reduced wherever possible. This changes a lot of things, there is a need for stricter protocols within the household. To meet this demand, there isn’t enough supply to support this sudden demand of care aged workers. 

This Is Putting A Strain on Aged Care Workers:

Tighter procedures and stricter regulation make it harder to provide the same standards of care. Carers are refusing to work because they are worried about their own health, or the health of elderly people. Unable to cater to the demand thus causing increased work hours and ultimately tiring the staff. 

 Aged Care: A Growing Industry

Besides the current demand due to covid- 19, there has been an increase in the growth predicted in the next few decades. The number of Australians aged 65+ is set to account for one quarter of the population by 2055, as indicated by the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report on the Future of Australia’s Aged Care Sector Workforce. This medical attention would mean longer life for most Australians, it also places an increased demand on aged care services, with Adzune reporting the number of aged care job vacancies doubling in Australia each year.  

Change of patterns in diseases and medical treatments have further increased the proportion of elderly people who have  complex personal, physical and emotional care needs. The ageing the  boomer generation also indicates that a huge proportion of wealthy elderly Australians are willing to pay at a premium for private, in-home care. In 2016, the jobs in the aged care sectors have seen an increase due to the increased demand and the number of people who are seeking NDIS plans, with 400% more advertised roles than job applications.

Where is the skills shortage?

Primary carers are among the most understaffed at the moment. With more people taking leave to quarantine or because of health concerns, and others (until recently) limited to how many hours they could work, there just aren’t enough qualified people.

It is not a new problem in the Health and Community Services sector. In fact, nearly 2 out of 3 aged care homes were understaffed before Coronavirus hit.

What is the solution?

The Health and Community Services sector is facing an unprecedented situation. Continuity of care has never been more important – but we should not be risking anyone’s health to provide it.

Overseas worker restrictions

After calls to loosen restrictions for overseas workers in aged care, the Government came through by lifting the 20 hour per week cap for overseas student nurses. Now around 20,000 overseas student nurses working in aged care will be able to work full time to fill the critical shortage.

Graduate nursing staff

The Government also announced they were “looking at the regulatory arrangements around general practice and the use of graduates and students in circumstances where additional capacity is required.”

Translation: student nurses and recent graduates might also be able to work in aged care.

This would likely be in an allied health capacity until they are registered nurses, but it would still go a long way to plugging the gap.

Aged care workers and allied health professionals are in demand, now more than ever. If you have ever thought about a career in Health and Community Services, there has never been a better time to get qualified so you can help people stay healthy and live a better quality of life.

Due to the high demand in workers, the disabled and the senior people end up suffering, finding it hard to find people to help and support them with the budget that they hold. Many of them heavily rely on this support and with the current supply , not everyone is able to get fulfilled services. At OSAN Ability, we understand that, and try to optimise solutions for you. This is so to make sure that all our existing and new clients are equally benefited with our services.




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