On the 21st of May, all Australians will flock to their local polling stations, exercising their constitutional right to help decide Australia’s outlook for the next three years. However, it can be said that the fate of Australia’s aged care system has already been sealed, writes Jason Waller.

Jason Waller

Both the Liberal and Labor parties have identified remedying the aged care industry as a priority. However, neither party has been able to outline how they will fund their policies to make them sustainable in the long term, as the Australian population is an ageing one.

The 2022 Federal Budget, delivered last month, revealed the government’s pledge of $522 million for aged care reforms; though this has unfortunately been misdirected as these reforms do not adequately address the most outstanding issues of our aged care industry.

The Labor Party has outlined several of their planned policies, including having registered nurses on site 24/7, a pay raise for aged care workers and better food for residents, while the Liberal Party has stated their intention to provide more training facilities for personal carers, retention bonuses for nurses and increased access to respite services.

Neither of the Liberal and Labor parties’ planned policies for the aged care industry adequately address the aged care system’s most immediate need – modernisation. And only embracing assistive technology can get us there.

Technology needs to be rolled out to support at-home care, as part of an increased investment in ageing-in-place.

Humans coupled with technology will inject the very boost of productivity this industry needs. Waiting on the market to respond simply will not work, because it is overwhelmed, and we are treading water. After all, a drowning man needs a lifeline, not a swimming lesson.

Technology needs to be rolled out to support at-home care, as part of an increased investment in ageing-in-place. In principle, it should be the goal of families to avoid aged care for their elderly loved ones for as long as possible, and an aged care facility should be a last resort.

Through the further development of aged care technology such as in-house intelligent monitoring and predictive solutions, efficiency and early intervention can be achieved.

Making assistive technology part and parcel of a home care package can enable and empower families, give home care providers the tools for better care, keep people in their homes for longer and open the pressure valve on residential care.

Additionally, technology would allow aged care to become more accessible. One of the most prominent issues of the aged care industry that the government continues to fail to address is the lack of aged care

services in rural and regional areas of our country. Families in these areas often find that the nearest aged care facility is hundreds of kilometres away.

Australia’s aged care system may never see a break in the near future, or at the very least, until the next election. Viable long-term solutions to the aged care crisis, including increased investment in assistive at-home technology, continue to be overlooked or ignored by the major parties.

The issues of our aged care industry will only continue to grow, as our increasingly ageing population means that the future seniors of Australia will continue to be cast aside.

*Jason Waller is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of aged care technology company Intelicare.

Comment on the story below. Follow Community Care Review on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and sign up to our newsletter.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.