Australia's aged care sector has been rocked to its core in recent years by reforms, revelations and Covid deaths.
Some of the biggest changes are yet to come in the wake of the royal commission into aged care, and young people want their voices heard in the shake up.
Here's what the next generation of Australia's aged care leaders want to see changed in the sector.
Better pay and perceptions
Benevolent Living aged care communications manager Jamie Langdon was the first to admit aged care wasn't the "sexy" career choice for young people, but she said they were still drawn to it by their desire to make a difference.
The 27-year-old fell into her role at Benevolent Living in Rockhampton, Queensland, after spending a couple of years working in the cosmetics industry.
She'd been looking for an opportunity to move back home to Rockhampton to help her grandmother and uncle transition into care. Ms Langdon's grandmother lived at Benevolent for a year before she died, and her uncle still lived there.
"My office looks out onto his garden that he's in every day," she said.
Ms Langdon said keeping young people in the sector was a problem, and that came down to increasing the professionalism of the workforce with better pay cheques, training and resources.
It was also important that the public thought of aged care as a highly professional sector.
"Aged care isn't a grudge buy, it's not an end of the road ... it really can help you sustain a more increased and positive quality of life," Ms Langdon said.
"Especially [with the] generation that we're seeing coming through now, they want to stay in their own home and they want to keep that choice and flexibility.
"But there are definitely accommodation options out there that keep you independent as long as possible."
Leading Age Services Australia's principal advisor for its "Next Gen" initiative Samantha Bowen, 34, said young people were concerned about high levels of stress in aged care.
They were also concerned pay rates in aged care weren't comparable with other areas of the healthcare sector.
"[But] they see that change is on the horizon, things are going to be improving and ... they are excited about what the future of age services holds," she said.
The Fair Work Commission is currently considering whether award wages should be increased for aged care workers.
The federal budget included a $135.6 million package for financial bonuses for registered nurses, to help with retention.
More tailored care
Guide Healthcare managing director Simon Kerrigan, 32, wanted to see the sector transition further towards more tailored care.
He said it was important the sector did away with the old-one-size-fits-all approach, and made sure people in aged care had meaningful lives.
Guide Healthcare is an allied health service provider that gives aged care residents access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, podiatry and dietetics among other things.
"I don't think just purely putting more money into it is the answer," Mr Kerrigan said.
"We actually need to create systematic change.
"[It's about] finding people's passions and finding ways to meaningfully engage with them.
"It might be that they're actually spending more time with the maintenance guys, or the cleaners, or the cooks, or the physios, or the nurses even, because that's where their areas of interest lie."
Mr Kerrigan said it was difficult to offer aged care residents such a wide variety of choices when workers were dealing with 100 or 150 people in a given facility.
He said new models of care were styled as small communities, with between six and 10 people living in a space.
"I think that might be a nice way forward and something that we need to explore more, certainly building better support structures for people with cognitive impairments, so dementia-specific communities as opposed to locked sections," he said.
"But in the end, I think is really going to come down to making sure things are more human-centric ... rather than just institutionalised.
"I think that will be a passion for younger people."
Ms Bowen said while there was a strong focus on clinical skills in the aged care sector, workers within it lacked leadership and interpersonal skills.
That's where forums like "Next Gen" came in.
The forum targeted the next generation of aged care leaders and encouraged them to speak up in support of change and share their ideas.
"We know that authoritarian styles of leadership are no longer acceptable by young professionals because they've had group projects through their high schools and they've been supported to think outside the box," Ms Bowen said.
"[But] if we don't have the supports around the young professionals ... then we are not going to ensure that we have that appropriate governance and leadership.
"This is vital for our sector's future ... helping young professionals see that they have a career, they have support, and there are access to networks that will help them get where they want to go."
Ms Langdon said it was important young people knew that aged care was a rewarding sector to work in, and that it gave people the opportunity to create meaningful change.
"You can really positively change somebody's life with even the smallest of tasks," she said.
The Leading Age Services Australia Next Gen National Forum was being held online on May 28, and Ms Bowen, Mr Kerrigan and Ms Langdon were set to be among the speakers.
Tickets were available at leading age service's website.
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