Advocacy groups fear there will not be enough carers and staff to look after the growing number of elderly Australians in future. The number of people living with dementia currently stands at 350,000, said to be growing at a rate of 1800 a week.
In some parts of Australia, people are already complaining that it is harder to find a place in a nursing home for a dementia patient, than it is to get a childcare spot for a young child. The proportion of direct staff care is declining.
Recently Parliament House in Canberra hosted a public hearing on The Future of the Aged Care Workforce.
Alzheimer’s Australia national president Professor Graeme Samuel spoke to 666 ABC Canberra breakfast host Laura Tchilinguirian about the outlook for aged care workers. Over 95% of residential aged care facilities are accredited, but the complaints from workers and families of inadequate and disgraceful treatment of patients rises. Are better career pathways and investment in training aged care workers the solution?