Thanks for supporting older Australians

ECH Chief Executive Claire Scapinello

Today, as we mark Aged Care Employee Day, presents us with a great opportunity
to begin a different discussion about what is aged care and what carers
do?

Given the extensive media coverage of the Aged Care Royal Commission over the
past few years, the average person can be forgiven for thinking that aged care
and how we live as we get older comes down to one thing: a nursing home, or
residential aged care.

This means aged care workers who are registered nurses, chefs, lifestyle advisors,
and personal carers, just to name a few, all do an incredible job, however, there is
a whole other world beyond residential aged care.

Aged Care Employee Day presents us with an opportune moment to look at the
people who work to support older Australians as they reach different stages of their
lives – not age. This means how we change our lifestyle depending on what we
need to help us continue living our best lives. Older people can continue to live
fulfilling lives with the aid of the caring efforts of wellness workers and care support
workers.

We need to shift the mindset of getting older to focus on ‘stage’ rather than ‘age’
in an individual’s journey.

We know from feedback received by the Royal Commission that most Australians
want to stay living in their own homes as they get older. We aim to ‘think outside
the square’ and innovate to support our clients at different stages of their lives.

As we strive to meet the needs of older people who prefer to live in their own
homes, it is equally vital to acknowledge the diversity within our own workforce and
their individual contributions.

What we, as home care providers, as wellness workers and care support workers
do, is quite different. At ECH, our staff are welcomed into people’s homes so they
can provide a range of services enabling our clients to continue to live the best life
they can while staying in their own home.

For clients with a Home Care Package, our staff provide daily personal care
including medication and mealtime assistance, depending on a person’s level of
need. While for those older Australians who require a little less help at home, our
staff can help with the garden, housework, shopping, minor maintenance tasks and
even take clients for outings.

So, on Aged Care Employee Day remember to say ‘thanks for caring’ to your home
care support workers or residential aged carers – they all do a fantastic job caring
for our older Australians.

In the meantime, we at ECH are focused on supporting our clients at the various
stages of their lives. We are thankful for the tremendous work our staff do, but there
is much more to what we do than simply “aged care”.

The work of our staff is equally as important in the mix of services available to older
Australians as traditional aged care workers in residential care. We are passionate
about supporting people in their homes as they age – this is the future!

Check out the ACCPA website for more stories about Aged Care Employees and the difference they make – accpa.asn.au/aged-care-employee-day

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