Is there an Aged Care Crisis in Australia?

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Australia has always had to deal with the problems caused by an increasing number of older people. Since people are living longer, there is a huge need for really good aged care services.

The elderly care system, created to offer comfort and assistance during the later years, is encountering its own obstacles. Insufficient funding, lack of staff, and worries about the level of care have become subjects of national discussion. However, is there currently a crisis in Australia’s aged care system? 

Sage Education understands the demand for more care worker jobs. We offer special courses that can help you learn all about taking care of elderly people. Join us as we explore the problems faced by the aged care industry in Australia and discover the recent challenges the country has been dealing with.

Overview of the Current Aged Care System

Australia has a really complex system of services and facilities for elderly people. It’s made to help the growing number of seniors in the country. The government pays for services like home care packages, residential aged care, and respite care. These are the main parts of the aged care system. 

Home care packages help older people get different kinds of help, like assistance with everyday tasks and nursing care. Residential aged care gives a place to stay and care all day and night for people who can’t live on their own anymore. Respite care gives caregivers a break for a little while, making sure that both the elderly person and their family are doing well.

However, the aged care system still encounters various challenges. Due to their still being staff shortages, more aged care facilities are being shut down. Aged care providers are struggling to find enough staff, meaning they have to remove wards and beds and keep elderly patients in hospitals. 

Fortunately, the Australian government plans to introduce a new Aged Care Act, strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards and a new Regulatory Model on 1 July 2024.  This new system will focus more on the needs of seniors. It will also support workers with continuous improvement and the delivery of high-quality care.

While it might take a while to see an increase in care workers, this new act can help improve current aged care facilities in Australia.

Recent Challenges in Australia’s Aged Care Industry

Australia’s system for taking care of old people has had and still has lots of problems that are seen as big issues in looking after the elderly. Below are the recent issues care workers have reported in the aged care industry

Insufficient Staff and Poor Wages

One of the main problems recently was the lack of aged care staff. There are more people who need caregivers than there are caregivers available. This means that there aren’t enough caregivers to work at the facilities, and the care they provide is not as good as it should be.

Insufficient funding worsens this issue. Nursing homes frequently face difficulties in maintaining sufficient staff due to budget limitations. This causes employees to work too much, pay less attention to the residents, and not receive enough training. These things affect the well-being of the elderly and make caregivers leave their jobs often. This creates a never-ending cycle of instability in the aged care workforce.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia found that most care homes were operating at a 50% capacity in 2023. Due to high inflation, many support workers were struggling to remain in their jobs. 

Quality of Care

The aged care landscape also has concerns about the quality of care. There have been reports of neglect, poor living conditions, and cases of elder abuse. This highlights the challenges elderly people face. Families who depend on these places feel upset because they worry that their family members might not be getting the care they deserve.

However, thanks to the new act that will be put into action this year, more places that take care of older people will hire care workers that they can trust and rely on. The same goes for high-quality training that focuses on giving the best support to older people. 

Rapidly Ageing Population 

The aged care challenges become even more difficult due to the ageing population. As more elderly people need care, the current system struggles to keep up with the increasing demand.

Now with more training programs available, more people can obtain the qualifications to become a support worker. This increased employment will ensure more elderly people get the best care. 

Slow Recovery from COVID-19 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light additional difficulties, emphasising the vulnerabilities in the elderly care sector. The occurrence of outbreaks in facilities, insufficient infection prevention measures, and a lack of readiness have emphasised the necessity for a stronger and more adaptable aged care system.

How Better Training Can Help Improve the Aged Care Industry in Australia

To overcome the difficulties in the Australian aged care system, it is essential to evaluate the training given to caregivers. We can make a big difference in the quality of care given to elderly individuals. All we have to do is put more effort into providing comprehensive and ongoing training programs in Australia.  

It’s essential to ensure that caregivers have the right skills and knowledge to care for older people. They must understand the different health problems that come with age and know how to communicate well. 

At Sage Education, we have various courses that can help aspiring professionals gain the necessary expertise. These courses include:

Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing or Disability)

The Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing or Disability) teaches you how to communicate well and build good relationships with others. It also teaches you how to keep yourself and others safe by following specific rules and how to prevent infections. The main thing you’ll learn is how to assist with everyday activities like bathing and getting ready, and you’ll also learn about the changes that happen as people get older. 

The class also teaches about how to help elderly people be more independent. You will also understand different cultures, be aware of diversity, and follow the laws and ethics when taking care of them.

Certificate IV in Ageing Support

The Certificate IV in Ageing Support is an advanced qualification. This course is perfect for people who want to become supervisors in aged care. It focuses on teaching you how to lead and manage a team, while also emphasising the importance of coordinating services to cater to various requirements.

Our program also expands personal care abilities to handle specific and intricate needs, emphasising advanced areas like dementia and palliative care. The course includes thorough evaluations, creating care plans, understanding legal and ethical obligations, and enhancing communication skills for effective support.

Enrol With Sage Education for High-Quality Aged Care Certifications

Australia has faced an aged crisis in the past few years, but there are several ways to overcome it. One of these ways includes high-quality training programs that help students become the best caregivers.

Do you want to make a difference? Then become an expert by getting certifications like the ones from Sage Education. The Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and Certificate IV in Ageing Support can help you learn how to take care of older people. You will also acquire the skills you need to be a leader. 

You’re investing in your own growth and helping the whole industry get better. Enrol with Sage Education and be a part of a caring and skilled workforce that will make aged care in Australia even better! Contact us for more information on the courses and how you can apply for them. 

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