The roadmap provides a clear direction for the future, but to successfully implement the recommendations we must first effectively respond to key issues such as technology and workforce readiness, argues Sandra Hills.
As a provider of a diverse portfolio of aged care services in Victoria, Benetas welcomes the release of the Department of Social Services’ Aged Care Roadmap. This piece of work, undertaken by the Aged Care Sector Committee with significant contribution from the National Aged Care Alliance, provides the sector with clear direction for the future and will prove to be a valuable tool over the coming period of change.
Benetas is proud of its commitment to delivering responsive, flexible services that best meet the increasing and challenging needs of our ageing population. We see the roadmap as a vital part of how we as a business, and a sector, can plan for the bigger picture.
The nine areas covered are comprehensive and offer valuable insight into the interdependencies with other elements such as housing, labour supply and health. This macro approach is a welcome departure from a linear way of considering aged care, and one that is more realistic.
The inclusion of specific timeframes and accompanying visioning piece will allow the aged care sector to appropriately consider and address some of the possible issues associated with reform implementation, including resourcing and conflicting priorities. Its ‘user-friendly’ approach is particularly useful in communicating and understanding future direction.
However, consideration must be given to the readiness of the sector to move forward in the direction outlined.
The release of the Increasing Choice in Home Care – Stage One Discussion Paper in January indicated that we need to address key challenges, such as technology, workforce readiness, existing government processes and systems and consumer education, in order to effectively proceed with reform.
As a sector, we want the roadmap to work and to ultimately deliver the best outcomes for older people. But, in order to successfully implement the recommendations, we must learn from the experience of home care and effectively respond to these issues before moving forward.
Sandra Hills is the chief executive officer of Benetas.
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