A federal government taskforce is developing a strategy for growing and sustaining the workforce providing aged care services and support for older people.
And the community has the chance to have its say on the matter via an online survey.
The stategy will be used to meet the care needs of older Australians in a variety of settings.
The taskforce will have an emphasis on several key areas including, workforce planning including size and structure, workforce roles and distinct workforce needs and supply and retention of the right workers with the right aptitudes in the right locations.
As the largest provider of aged care in the region, St Agnes’ Parish’s Catholic Care of the Aged (CCA) general manager Bronwyn Chalker said CCA supports the development of a national aged care workforce strategy that works towards a well-trained workforce providing quality care.
“Ultimately, it would be great if the findings from the survey can be turned into actions that contribute to ongoing improvement and community confidence across the industry nationally,” Ms Chalker said.
The Camden Haven-based Whiddon Group's CEO Chris Mamarelis said it is important to develop a national strategy.
"As a participant in the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, Whiddon recognises the importance for our wider communities to contribute to developing a national strategy," he said.
"Employees are at the heart of our own and many other organisations and play an incredibly important role in caring for older Australians.
"Given this, it is vital that we understand our industry and nation’s needs and proactively work to meet these needs."
Ultimately, it would be great if the findings from the survey can be turned into actions that contribute to ongoing improvement and community confidence across the industry nationally.Bronwyn Chalker
Managing director at Wauchope's Bundaleer Care Services Gareth Norman said he is excited about the potential changes within the industry.
"The survey has the potential to bring changes to the aged care industry and Bundaleer encourages all local residents to respond to the survey," he said.
“This survey is a significant one for us here on the Mid-North Coast given that our population is an aging one.
"Bundaleer’s own ageing strategy is demonstrated by our commitment to staffing and infrastructure to support the needs and choices of our residents now and into the future.
"Our commitment to the community, in collaboration with our partners, will see new, long-term jobs created for our locals with the delivery of our new, federally supported aged care home.
"Now more than ever it is important for our local residents to have their say and help ensure that aged care homes like Bundaleer are appropriately staffed, funded, and supported by all levels of government to plan for the future.”
Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker urged residents to participate in the online survey, or by participating in an online survey or by contributing to the current national review of the aged care workforce.
“Everyone understands how important appropriately resourced and trained staff are to providing the care our senior Australians deserve,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“The taskforce’s work is critical for future care provision, with predictions the aged care workforce will need to grow from the current level of approximately 366,000 to almost one million by 2050.
“I urge local seniors, their families, community members and aged care staff to get involved by going to the taskforce’s online consultation hub and completing the survey,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
To contribute to the survey, go to https://consultations.health.gov.au/aged-care-policy-and-regulation/aged-care-workforce-strategy/
People can contact the taskforce by emailing ACWSTaskforce@health.gov.au or calling 1800 020 103.
Public submissions are open until March 16.