5 Aged Care Trends to Watch Out for in 2015

By: Yolanda Smith – MedicalSearch Writer
11 February, 2015

Australia's ageing population is causing big waves of effect for our country's healthcare system, particularly when it comes to care of the elderly.

With the changing population demographics, we can't continue with the same system that we've relied on up until now; 2015 is set for some significant changes in aged care.

Here are 5 trends to keep an eye out for this year.

Increased burden on facilities

Largely as a result of our ageing population, the demand for aged care is expected to rise. The baby boomer generation is hitting retirement and the number of elderly people who require care is continuing to grow. This is leading to an increased burden on the facilities we have available and exerting pressure on the current system, putting us in need of greater support to meet the demand.  

Evolving aged care and retirement villages

It is common for aged care facilities and retirement villages to be found at the same location, although 2015 may bring the separation of the two. Whilst there are some benefits to keeping these facilities running in close proximity – such as food preparation, laundry and grounds maintenance – many operators are tending towards specialising in one or the other.

Integration of health services

Many aged care centres already integrate other health care services, such as pharmacies and medical practices, but this is likely to become even more common this year. The benefits of having health professional services nearby to aged care facilities and those who are likely to need it are clear, and this is a step in the right direction to improve the quality of care for the elderly.

High turnover of staff

The workforce in the aged care sector has a higher average age than most other professions in Australia and many of the current staff will be retiring this year. This places pressure on the current system and new employees with the appropriate training to rise to the job will be needed to fill the vacant positions. These new and young workers may also bring fresh ideas and visions into the sector, shifting the system as we currently know it.

Rise of in-home care

More and more elderly people are opting to continue to live at home for as long as possible, which is leading to increased in-home care. It's currently growing at 13.5 per cent and is expected to continue due to cost effectiveness, greater comfort and improved technology allowing home visits (Australia Institute of Health and Welfare). This is opening up a new facet of aged care that many of the new workforce will need to step into. Rather than the traditional aged home facility, an increasing portion of the aged care workforce will be needed to provide care in homes.