Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry is calling for urgent and tangible solutions to fix the aged care sector in regional and rural areas.
According to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia’s 2021 report, entitled “Duty of Care: Meeting the Aged Care Workforce Challenge”, aged-care workers currently care for more than 1.3 million Australians, both in the home and in residential settings.
Ms Landry said the feedback she is receiving from the community is concerning.
“I believe Australians deserve to age with dignity. The aged care sector is in crisis, and it needs help right now.
“I am consistently receiving feedback from both aged care providers and families who have relatives in aged care on the dire state of care. Tragically, I have heard of instances of older Australians passing away while waiting for care.
“This is not a reflection of the hard work that aged care workers provide. I don’t believe adequate preparation has been made to prepare for workforce challenges and not enough has been done to assist a workforce to become large enough and well-equipped to provide care.
“Demand for aged care has grown massively and the challenges that come with that increase has been exacerbated due to a drop in staffing numbers and demographic changes.
“The Federal Government must urgently consider all tangible solutions to fix the sector. These could include but not limited to fast-tracking overseas workers into Australia, providing more valuable training, more investment in new technology that reduces the burden on staff, and the further development of attractive career paths in the industry.
Ms Landry said she will be inviting aged care providers to a forum to address the issues affecting the sector.
“I am not interested in throwing political rocks. The issue of aged care is much more important than that.
“I want to see the sector thrive and see our older Australians receive the best care possible,” Ms Landry said.