Australia is experiencing the fourth wave of COVID for 2022, with the number of people hospitalised with COVID trending to levels seen in winter and ongoing high levels of deaths. New COVID waves are expected to occur every three to four months for some time.
Colin Osborne is the CEO of Peninsula Villages on the NSW Central Coast, which accommodates 300 residents across its three residential care facilities. He's keen to highlight the mounting issues - increased expenses, PPE, quality control measures and a lack of workers - that face aged care in the current climate.
In response to the horror stories of abuse and neglect from the Royal Commission into Aged Care, the new Federal Labor government has made legislative changes. Prior to this, Australia’s most recent aged-care reforms were enacted a decade ago. The focus, however, is still largely on residential care homes, so what about older Australians in the broader community?
Dr Marc De Leeuw, a senior lecturer at UNSW's faculty of law and justice, says that national harmonisation of the terms used in determining access to voluntary assisted dying will increase equity of access.
We all want the best care possible for those in our sector, but with a critical shortage of workers we ponder where and how will this seemingly accelerating workforce gap be filled? One surprising answer might be to look to the Adult Community Education providers that are training thousands of students in aged care every year.
Reports of abuse, neglect and substandard care have plagued Australia’s aged care system, and knowing providers are meeting regulations and standards that are in place to protect some of our most vulnerable has never been more important, according to CVCheck CEO, Michael Ivanchenko.
The greatest workforce challenge Australia faces is in health, an issue that will likely be with us for another decade. Regardless what comes out of the upcoming jobs and skills summit, we need to broaden the scope of practice for some health workers, engage in better workforce planning, and reform how existing and new resources are deployed.
The new government faces a tough challenge in improving mental health. Very high psychological distress is rising most steeply in the middle-aged; more than doubling for women aged 55–64 from 2001–2018. Medicare spending and out-of-pocket mental health-care costs are increasing but those most needing care aren’t getting it.