- The Aged Care Sector in Australia
- The Current Situation
- Economic Contribution - Aged Care Sector
- Aged Care Workforce & Skill Requirements
- Future Trends in Australian Aged Care
In our previous post, we have seen the main sectors for employment in the aged care industry, responsibilities of an aged care worker and requirements to work in the aged care sector.
This time we are focusing on why you should be a part of the $13.5 billion and growing aged care industry. Also, what the sustainable future of the aged care sector looks like and the future trends that will drive Australia’s aged care sector.
Source: Deloitte Access Economics
Australia is observing a massive economic paradigm shift. As the economy gains momentum, there seems a huge transition from capital-intensive growth to other sectors, mainly service-based sectors.
1. The Aged Care Sector in Australia
The Australian aged care industry delivers a wide range of services to the aging population as per their need. The sector plays a vital role in balancing both sides, one of which is to provide support, facility, and quality care to older Australians and on the other, contributing a major chunk towards Australia’s GDP.
There are three different types of aged care services:
- Home and Community Care (HACC)
- Home Care; and
- Residential Care
The above services are delivered by over 2,000 aged care providers in Australia regulated by for-profit, not-for-profit, and government service providers.
Meanwhile, you can also read why a criminal history check may be mandatory in the nursing or aged care industry.
2. The Current Situation
The Australian Bureau of Statistics states that among 24.7 million Australians in 2018, one in every six (15.9% or 3.9 million people) was aged 65 years and over. The aging population will massively affect the demand and need for aged care services.
Additionally, the Deloitte Access Economics report states that the population aged 65 and over is forecast to more than double in size over the next 40 years from around 3.6 million in 2014-15 to around 8.9 million in 2054-55.
Another key takeaway also suggests that the aging population is living longer due to the advances in medicine and technology.
3. Economic Contribution: Aged Care Sector
The economic contribution of the aged care industry is taken into consideration keeping Direct Economic Contribution and Indirect Economic Contribution. The direct contribution of the sector has nearly equaled the revenue generated from other important Australian industries such as residential building construction, stated the report.
Moreover, the aged care sector also relies on inputs from other industries for food, accommodation, medical services, equipment, facilities and has contributed a further $4.1 billion in 2014-15 towards the indirect economic contribution.
Combining the value generated by both, direct and indirect, the result was $17.6 billion in 2014-15, which summed up to be approximately 1.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP). More importantly, it generated 277,500 FTE jobs within the aged care sector.
The breakdown of the direct contribution by the types of aged care services was produced by the Aged Care Financing Authority in a 2015 report on the Funding and Financing of the Aged Care Industry and is as follows:
$14.1 billion for residential care;
$1.8 billion for home and community care (HACC); and
$1.3 billion for home care.
4. Aged Care Workforce & Skill Requirements
As per the Aged & Community Service Australia - Over 1.3 million people every year are supported by the aged care industry through services to support people at home, independent housing, and residential care.
The sector employs a workforce in diverse areas such as nurses, care workers to management, hospitality, and administrative staff. One of the excerpts from the study suggests that up to 980,000 aged care workers will be needed by 2050 to meet the demand for aged care services.
Though no formal qualification is required to work in the aged care sector, however, recent focus has been placed on proper training particularly for workers in direct care roles to deliver quality service. It has been found that a majority of the workforce had post-secondary school qualifications. For long-term sustenance, government and industry must allocate a part of funding towards skilled staffing, training, and at least Cert III or IV to improve care quality.
Furthermore, aged care workers should obtain a police or background check as they would be working with the vulnerable community members. Volunteers who are willingly signing up for the work should take up a Volunteer police check.
5. Future Trends in Australian Aged Care
5.1 - Rise in Demand For Aged Care Facilities & Staff
Almost 33% of Australia’s baby boomers are past the retirement age of 65 meaning the demand for aged care facilities is only going to rise. Not to mention that the aged care industry has become a hot spot for career makers who want steady and reliable employment.
5.2 - Accommodation To Get Costlier
The cost of the aged care industry is covered by the federal government and taxpayer citizens. As the aged care numbers are going to be skyrocketing in the coming decades, the government will find it hard to fund at the current level. New means will be needed to redesign and fund the sector. Meanwhile, well-off Australians will be needed to bear more fees for aged care accommodation to offset for those who have little means to support and fund their care.
5.3 - Demand For Better Aged Care Amenities
The aging population has already experienced a quality lifestyle and standard of living in their younger days. This has created a benchmark and would be looking for the same in the aged care lifestyle. They would be vouching for the facilities with an open arena with ample natural light, outdoor social activities, and activities that will keep them fit, healthy, and connected to others.
5.4 - Technology Will Play A Significant Role
Digital transformation has paved the way in today’s selecting or buying decisions. Whether it is to compare facilities, fees, or other services offered by the aged care providers. Moreover, technological assistance in terms of automating administrative tasks, monitoring, etc., will allow aged care workers to focus more on the emotional needs of the residents.
For further reference, you can refer to the links below to download the reports mentioned in this article.
Report - Aged & Community Services Australia (Sustainable Aged Care = Stronger Communities, Jobs And Economic Growth)
Report - Deloitte Access Economics (Australia’s Aged Care Sector: Economic Contribution & Future Directions)
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