Constantly touted as one of the fastest growing industries in Australia, the aged care sector is one that faces significant growth opportunities in the foreseeable future. Given the nation’s growing ageing population, a community over 3.7 million in number, this fact is unsurprising. What’s interesting, however, are the challenges and opportunities that confront aged care service, owing to technological developments and the importance of meaningful customer engagement. Our blog this week dives right into all these areas, uncovering not just how and why aged care is the fastest growing sector in Australia but also what awaits this industry in the years to come. Overview At present, aged care service is an industry valued over $20 billion in Australia. With approximately 270,000 elderly individuals entrusted to the care of around 80,000 businesses, this sector is unique in that its customer base is one that’s constantly growing. According to a report released by the Federal Government in 2015, it is predicted that the number of Australians over the age of 65 will jump to a whopping 8.9 million in 2055. Given this trajectory, service providers have to constantly be on their toes looking for ways to improve service delivery and add value to the lives of their customers. Challenges One of the toughest challenges faced by the aged care sector at present is understaffing. Despite the fact that this sector is the employer of over 224,000 individuals, greater numbers are required in order to meet the demands of the future. In fact, according to the Aged and Community Services in Australia (ACSA), it is estimated that there will need to be an additional 55,770 full-time personnel between the period of 2013-2023 in order to meet projected growth estimations. Another challenge is the heavy regulation the industry faces. While certain laws and policies are, in fact, necessary for the benefit of workers and the elderly themselves, some measures stifle growth and profit. Both of these factors combined, threaten the long-term financial stability of the industry. Fortunately, however, recent developments in this sector, especially in terms of technological improvements, alleviate the harsh effects of these realities. Recent developments Among the many trends taking place in the aged care industry, the ones of the technological variety are the most important. In this regard, robotic assistance is now a major trend in aged care service. Aiding primarily the understaffing issue the industry is presently facing, robots are set to revolutions service delivery in the near future. Beyond just their AI capabilities which will make intuitive care-giving more effective, robots are likely to improve efficiency and profitability as well. Another development is the increased importance of customer engagement for aged care service. In this day and age, this no longer means exceptional customer service, frequent newsletters or the like. Now, through effective aged care management platforms such as interactive apps, customers seek frequent engagement and greater visibility of their service provider. This way, not only are the nightmares and inefficiencies involved with scheduling and data collection resolved to a great extent, it also allows service providers to deliver more targeted services. Another factor that ties into why the aged care industry is growing at such an exponential rate is owing to the increase in demand for greater amenities and services. Asset-rich baby boomers who are used to a particular lifestyle now demand the same from aged care service providers, especially those who have opted for residential accommodation. This has not just led to an increase in their quality of life but also the premiums paid for added services and facilities. Key takeaways As outlined above, the aged care industry in Australia is on nothing but an upwards trajectory. Given that both demand and customers are set to grow, service providers face incredible growth opportunities that can change millions of lives. In this regard, paying heed to the trends that are unfolding cannot just prove to be incredibly profitable but also meaningful to the lives of the elderly. For those companies that are keen on leveraging aged care software that can make a difference, hayylo is the company to choose. Interested in a quick chat about customer communication in hayylo – book an call with one of our friendly consultant here.