The Royal Commission into Aged Care released its final report early this month with some very concerning results.

The changing demographics of Australia is significantly impacting the demand for and provision of aged care. Australians are living longer than ever before with Australians over the age of 85 predicted to increase three-fold. From 515,000 in 2018-19 to more than 1.5 million in 2058.

Increasing of life expectancy also brings increased frailty with older people being more likely to have more than one health conditions. The level of care needs associated to memory and mobility disorders will significantly increase skills required within care teams.

In 2019, there were 4.2 working age (15-64 years) people for every Australian over the age of 65. By 2058 it is predicted this number will be 3.1 for each Australian over the age of 65 which impacts not only taxes but directly impacts the care workforce in terms of available resourcing.

Three concerning facts stood out to me:

  1. Increasing care needs both in terms of people and in terms of the levels of support.
  2. Increasing skills required within the care workforce.
  3. Less working population to fulfil these skilled resourcing needs.

So, who is going to care for the elderly and one day, who is going to care for you?

The answer is undoubtedly multifaceted and indeed complex, however we are not left helpless. There is an opportunity for employers to take charge and to invest in developing future workforce. Creating sustainable traineeship programs to support new to sector resources up-skill in a timely fashion is one initiative aged care employers can respond with now.

Working closely with a client recently to support their traineeship program, we utilised the Careworker Assessment to aid in revealing the tailored development needs for each student. The organisation partnered with a Registered Training Organisation whom was able to modify the training package to adapt the delivery model to suit organisational needs. The careworker assessment was used to identify the ideal workstyles or traits of each participant whilst also flagging any specific developmental areas for careworkers. This model of investing in your workforce and indeed the sector workforce is one of the most forward thinking and sustainable initiatives I have observed recently.

I’d like to challenge employers in aged care to think outside the box in their resourcing strategies not only for today, but for the future to lessen the burden of the undeniable impending demands. It is evident, there is a need to bring in new talent and to train them. What is not teachable is a persons’ natural traits or personality. Whilst we can all moderate our behaviours, it is best to work in a role that is most conducive to our natural styles. We are then more effective and more resilient to the unavoidable pressures within the workplace.

Call Pear People today to discuss how the Careworker Assessment can support your organisation’s resourcing needs.