Inquiry finds aged care staff don’t have ‘basic skills’ to do the job

It’s somewhat alarming to think that the people charged with looking after you — or your loved ones — in
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It’s somewhat alarming to think that the people charged with looking after you — or your loved ones — in aged facilities across Australia don’t have the basic skills necessary to do so, yet that’s exactly what has been revealed in a Senate inquiry hearing on the issue.

According to The Daily Telegraph aged care homes are hiring staff who cannot speak English or read a medication chart, and are undertaking inadequate training to get their qualifications.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) revealed that one in four aged care trainers over the last three years had been unsuccessful in the audit carried out on them.

This obvious issue in hiring staff to care for you and your loved ones has led to the Salvation Army considering an intelligence program.

“It is disappointing for many aged care providers that Certificate III holders come with little or no knowledge of critical topics like manual handling, infection control and basic understanding of what personal care involves,” the Salvation Army told a Senate inquiry into the aged care workforce.

“New staff lack these basic skills. Poor written and spoken English means personal care workers struggle with the basics such as giving verbal and written reports to their supervisors… they are unable to understand complex issues that older people face, follow a written care plan or understand a medication chart.”

This news is particularly alarming when you consider many elderly residents have hearing issues and require nurses and carers to be able to communicate with them clearly.

While many of the employees require a Certificate III qualification, the course can be done online in as little as six weeks, ASQA reveals.

Do you or a loved one receive care in an aged care facility? Are you satisfied with the quality of care being received? Do you work in aged care? Share your experiences with us. What should be done to ensure the highest level of care is being given to those who need it most?

  1. Beth  

    This is exactly the case my family found when my mother was in transition care. And the few who did have the skills were so run off their feet, they were unable to do their job as well as they were wanted to, simply from lack of time. This is an outcome of corporations running aged care facilities, where their mission is to make a profit for the shareholders, by minimising costs such as wages than give quality individualised care for the aged. Also our society does not value family members needing care nor does it value the carers, therefore this is a low, or no, qualifications and low paid occupation. Basically for many it is the only job they can get, whether they are suited to it or not..

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  2. Frank  

    I knew one lovely girl who was trying to study a night course but was employed as a wage slave by an unpleasant nursing home employer – while she was ‘supposed’ to work one shift alone then sleep overnight, there was a fire-happy mentally-unstable inmate who was likely to burn the place down if left unattended – so she would present red-eyed and shattered having had no sleep for the last 48 hours or so – a lovely girl working flat out but simply being abused by an rip-off employer caring only about their own profits.

  3. Roslyn Trofa  

    After many years of working in the Aged Care sector as a team leader and then a educator I moved to training Cert 111 in Aged Care students so I could train them properly in the mentioned units as I personally were concerned over the capabilities of staff being employed. I take pride in my students and know that I am giving them the benefit of my experience and knowledge gained over the years.

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