Research evidence clearly indicates that as we age our requirements for services increase and each individual care journey starts whilst living at home. At one end of the spectrum we have people who require support in their day to day activities at home and at the other end, complex clinical care in hospice or residential aged care facilities.  At present, in home care, little is understood about direct care staffing requirements and how services provided by different employment categories, including personal care workers, assistants in nursing, enrolled nurses, registered nurses and allied health care professionals, is recorded.  Given workforce performance has the largest impact on the delivery of services, the key questions are: How do we garner new opportunities to achieve effective and practical integration of community services for people living in their homes?  What is the most appropriate and transparent payment system to support primary, allied, specialist and aged care services that contribute to older people being able to live well?

There is optimism from international research which shows we can leverage new approaches in Australia.  International evidence strongly suggests that policy change must be driven by new payment systems in home care services that provide opportunities for more efficient and effective service delivery, and at the same time accommodate an increase in the workforce.  This approach allows for shared goals between service providers and service users, on the one hand providing high quality care and on the other opportunities for a good life.  In this model the degree of positive supervisory support and control on the job is integral to improving job satisfaction for direct care workers. 

It is hoped that the release of the royal commission aged care final report and recommendations tabled in early March will be the catalyst to drive direct care workforce change in the sector.  AAG is happy to see an acknowledgement of the need for a new funding model and direct care staffing reports in home care, based on assessed need and reflecting the full spectrum of direct care services.  Ongoing evidence based reviews of the funding model were also called for, however it is important that planning and development includes expertise from research and education institutes to ensure its feasibility. 

Developing a transparent, evidence based funding and staffing model is key to ensuring investment in direct care workers can deliver high quality, integrated care across communities to improve the ageing experience.

Period31 Mar 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • Title Investing in the direct aged care workforce: A call to action
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletAustralian Ageing Agenda
    Media typePrint
    Duration/Length/Size400 words
    DescriptionStakeholder Views - President of the AAG
    Producer/AuthorMarguerite Bramble
    PersonsMarguerite Bramble