Anglicare Australia is calling for action on aged care wages, workforce, and quality in Tipping Point: A plan for a shock-proof aged care system.
Tipping Point calls for:
- A wage increase for aged care workers, and a Workforce Partnership Fund
- Fairer funding for aged care
- More social and affordable rentals for older people
- Better security for older renters
- A campaign to end ageism.
Concern about the system has reached a tipping point, but Australians still do not have the aged care system they deserve. Workers are leaving the sector, driven out by low wages. Without enough staff, some people are being turned away from care. Others are going into care too early because they can’t afford rent, or to age safely at home.
We need action to face the current crisis, and to prepare for the future. That means boosting wages for aged care workers. One-off payments and other band-aid solutions will not keep staff in aged care. A pay increase is the best way to retain workers, and attract new ones.
We also need long-term reforms. The housing crisis is hitting older people hard, and some are being pushed into aged care too early. But there is a massive shortfall of social and affordable rentals – a major theme from the aged care Royal Commission. We need a massive investment in social and affordable rentals so that people can afford to age safely at home.
The issues in aged care can’t be ignored any longer. We cannot afford to keep tinkering around the edges of the system, or doing more of the same. We owe it to Australians to tackle these issues, once and for all.