All Australians are being asked to take time to think about the dedicated individuals who provide care and support for our treasured older Australians and say #Thanksforcaring for their work in the lead up to and on Aged Care Employee Day (ACED) on Saturday, August 7.
The past 18 months has been an extraordinarily challenging time, particularly for many of you, our readers, who are caring for our older Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic and doing all you can to keep them safe.
More than 360,000 of you work in aged care, providing services in aged care homes, in family homes and retirement villages in the community.
Among you are the nurses, personal care workers, allied health care providers, therapists, chefs, gardeners, laundry staff, cleaners, administration staff and volunteers who do their best to care for and support our elders.
Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) CEO Sean Rooney says aged care employees show a special dedication in providing round the clock care for our elders and helping them to live in comfort and to be treated with dignity and respect.
“Each year we ask others to take time out and say ‘thanks for caring’ to those people who are passionate about caring for our elders be they our mum or dad, grandma or grandpa, we want to acknowledge the dedicated work they do,” Rooney says.
“I encourage all Australians to take the time on Saturday, August 7 and think about those who work in aged care and tell them, ‘thanks for a job well done’.”
Aged & Community Services Australia CEO Patricia Sparrow says ACED an important day on the calendar.
“As our population ages there will be more people than ever seeking aged care support,” Sparrow says.
“The women and men who make up the aged care workforce are first and foremost caring professionals.
“They give their utmost to provide the care and support of our elderly.
“They deserve our appreciation, our support and our recognition.”
CEO of Catholic Health Australia, Pat Garcia, agrees.
“On behalf of our members I want to thank all the wonderful staff who each day approach every encounter as an opportunity for healing, companionship, compassion, comfort, and hope.”
Kasy Chambers, executive director of Anglicare Australia, says every worker in aged care forms part of the backbone of our industry.
“At a time when so many older Australians weren’t able to connect with their families and loved ones, aged care workers were there, day in and day out.
“Many will never forget their dedication and courage in the face of tough times and uncertainty.
“On behalf of Anglicare Australia, I want to thank every aged care worker who does this vital work.”
Executive director of Baptist Care Australia, Nicole Hornsby, says her organisation wants to recognise the amazing commitment and love and care that our age care workers provide.
“Our aged care workers care for one of our most precious treasures – our older people – those Australians that worked hard to make Australia what it is today.
“We want to not only honour our older people but also the people that spend their lives caring for them.
“We want to recognise the important role they play in ensuring the stories and experiences of each older person are heard and shared through the generations.”
National director of UnitingCare Australia, Claerwen Little, says Aged Care Employee Day is a day to recognise that it takes a team to care, and every member of the team is essential.
“Every survey of what matters to a person’s experience of care comes up with the same answer: when you need support, it’s the quality of the staff that matters.
“So we say thank you to every member of our aged care team, for stepping up for a job that can be difficult, but truly matters.”
The Older Persons Advocacy Network CEO, Craig Gear, thanked aged care workers for the support they’d given to older people and their families throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The impact of the pandemic has been particularly devastating for older people living in their own home and residential aged care, and we acknowledge the effort of dedicated aged care employees to protect their health and safety throughout this challenging period.
“We thank aged care employees and will continue to work with the aged care sector, the government and older people to ensure they have the tools and resource they need to provide safe and high-quality care that prioritises the rights and needs of older people now and into the future.”
National Seniors, CEO John McCallum says those working in aged care are a unique workforce.
“Research we have done as part of the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council, shows aged care employees remain in aged care because they enjoy the value of caring for older Australians. They deserve recognition.”
A time to say thanks
For ACED in 2021 Australians are being asked to take the time to say thanks for caring to our dedicated and passionate aged care employees through tributes being held across the country at aged care centres.
Australians are encouraged to show their appreciation through a national social media campaign #ACED2021 and #ThanksforCaring which will include videos, stories and photographs to acknowledge and honour aged care workers who have helped keep frail and vulnerable older people safe during the pandemic.
Go to the ACED 2021 website for resources and special links to send messages to individuals, aged care employees or teams of aged care staff, with support, stories, media releases and videos.