Fixing the trust and qualification issues in aged care to move forward
Today, less than one in five Australians claim to have a high degree of trust in the aged care sector. Only one in five Australians believe providers treat clients with respect, and one in four Australians with a family member currently receiving aged care services have a high degree of trust in the industry. With the greater half of the population having little faith in the current industry, these statistics demand sector-wide change.
It’s hardly an optimistic starting point, but there’s work to be done.
Fostering client trust in the aged care sector
New communication practices, made at a professional and personal level, are crucial to implementing change. Hayylo believes that the genuine and effective connection between business and clients underpins confidence in the care provided. A more thorough insight into the clients health and wellbeing is integral in creating an enhanced client-focussed service.
More information improves the quality of service received by clients, but it also enhances their social connection. According to the Aged Care Royal Commission Survey, the lack of social connection translates to a lack of confidence in the system. The survey shows that older people tend to be more optimistic about their lives if they knew another older person outside of their home.
Still, around 25% of older Australians (over 70 years of age) live alone in social isolation. It’s a concerning number because these isolated people are much less confident in their financial security, physical capabilities, and general health compared to their more socially connected peers.
As the Aged Care Quality and Safety Standards outlines, ensuring client wellbeing extends beyond their physical health but to their social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing as well. Remaining part of a community and feeling socially connected is as much a part of the provision of care as any other component.
Enhanced two-way communication is a mutually beneficial arrangement between providers and clients. With a better connection, providers can identify and address the vulnerable spots within their organisation. Empowering people with better control and communication means they can self-identify flaws in their service. Such deficiencies may be experienced frequently across the organisation that antiquated communications systems allow to remain unknown.
But, unfortunately, over the last decade, the aged care sector has stagnated in its evolution. In a world where most industries have entirely evolved to embrace flowing communication practices and technological advancements, aged care stayed put. As a result, confidence and satisfaction with service delivery are shaken.
The aged care workforce qualification and engagement gap
Perhaps part of the communication and trust issues come from the lack of awareness of their importance across all levels of a care service provider. The Aged Care Royal Commission Interim Report recognises that “the aged care sector suffers from difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff”. According to the report, education and training for staff are patchy while the workloads are heavy with poor pay and conditions. For the effective and efficient provision of care, a major up-end of current systems is required. A professionalisation of the sector is needed from top to bottom.
While it may seem a colossal task to reform an entire sector, it’s far from impossible. The child care sector in Australia has shown sweeping improvements in similar conditions with the creation of the National Quality Framework (NQF) that dictates minimum qualification and requirements for children’s education and care services.
With government initiatives in 2012, the child care sector was made more affordable, accessible and streamlined, enabling access to early education to more children across Australia.
Making an example of childcare proves that with modernised education and training for aged care professionals partnered with stronger leadership, a major change to the sector is within reach. Investments in education and management, professional qualification and certifications ensure that people in the line of care are skilled to communicate better and committed to high-quality service.
While it’s tempting to sustain the existing aged care process, the Aged Care Royal Commission has made it clear that the biggest risk is to fall behind. The aged care sector has spent the last decade avoiding the growing pains associated with innovation, but it’s time for the industry to mature and be wiser.
With Hayylo, organisations are equipped with tailored tools that enable client choice and control and fosters trust and transparency among care recipients and caregivers. Equally important is the ability for leadership to commandeer good governance practices from the top down. With evidence of good governance structures in place by the business, all staff members are empowered to follow through in their own responsibilities.
Hayylo’s tried-and-tested communications solution removes these growing pains and opens the communication line between providers, clients, and the extended circle of care. Take the first step to tomorrows’ aged care and talk to us about it.