Government acknowledges aged care workforce needs to triple by 2050 to support ageing population

In a new strategy that recognises the improvements necessary for the future of the Australian aged care sector, the Department of Health has stated one million workers are needed by 2050 to accommodate the growing demand in aged care.

The strategy, which was released on September 13, has been formed to help create a positive attitude towards careers in aged care and to enhance the quality of life of for millions of ageing Australians.

“A proud and professional workforce is the foundation for quality aged care,” said Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt of the newly-released blueprint for the future of aged care in Australia.

The Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce was appointed in November 2017, and has since been working to sustain and grow an aged care workforce which can accommodate 3.5 million ageing Australians by 2050. Better pathways and more accessible educational resources are needed to create a larger, professional aged care workforce, according to the taskforce.

“The care needs of older Australians are growing increasingly complex, with a high incidence of multiple chronic conditions, including dementia, and changing community expectations,” said Mr Wyatt.

Another common expectation or desire amongst many Australians is that they can live independently in their homes while receiving care. In the evolving aged care sector, Consumer-Directed Care options like Mable are meeting that expectation by offering in-home care options at a time and price that suits both client and worker.

“We need to almost triple our aged care staff by 2050 which means we must make caring a career of choice, with clear professional pathways, high community appreciation and strong self-respect.”

The Federal Government has already taken measures to expand the aged care workforce, particularly amongst mature-aged workers. After the expansion of the Pension Work Bonus, semi-retirees and retirees are now more able to earn more, upskill and enter a growing sector that offers flexible work.

According to Mr Wyatt, the aged care sector can soon expect a new ‘Industry Accord on the Remote Aged Care Workforce’, which will act to improve aged care outcomes for people living remotely and an ‘Aged Care Industry Code of Practice’ as a result of the new strategy.

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