Aged care peak body Aged and Community Services Australia has launched a social media campaign to showcase positive aged care stories at its national conference this week.
When announcing the new platform called Humans of Aged Care, ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said it would capture and share the stories of staff, residents and volunteers in residential aged care.
“Humans of Aged Care is a storytelling platform to present all the positive aspects of aged care and give voice to those who make up our industry,” Ms Sparrow told Australian Ageing Agenda.
The campaign aims to share the untold stories from individuals in aged care who inspire and show the best of humans every day.
“Over the last year we’ve had a lot of conversations about the sector on the need to present the positive side of aged care publicly in the face of the negative media, which doesn’t tell the full story,” Ms Sparrow told delegates at the ACSA National Summit in Sydney on Monday.
The stories will be shared through videos or written articles, she said.
“The best way to hear these stories is through the words of the people whose stories it is. Anyone in aged care is a human of aged care,” Ms Sparrow said.
Humans of Aged Care will also include the untold stories from the home care and retirement living sectors as well, she said.
Following this week’s soft launch, the full campaign including the website will launch at the end of the month, she said.
Addressing workforce challenges
Elsewhere at the conference, sessions addressed the challenges of managing aged care staff.
WorkPlace PLUS director Anna Pannuzzo said communication is key to effectively managing new aged care staff, especially during the probation period.
“Managing performance is an ongoing process that begins from day one of employment and forms part of the professional manager-to-staff relationship,” Ms Pannuzzo told the conference.
Communicating the culture of the organisation and setting clear goals and objectives at the beginning are among ways to ensure the employee is fit for the organisation, she said.
“Take the time to familiarise the person with the organisation’s vision, mission and values. Engaging in open and honest conversations will benefit the client, the organisation and colleagues,” Ms Panuzzo said.
She suggested the following tips for effective communication:
- Describe your own feelings or thoughts
- Describe the other person’s behaviour
- State your preferred outcome
Also at the conference, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation federal secretary Annie Butler addressed the issues of staffing in the aged care sector.
Ms Butler said staff need to be recognised for work that they do.
“We think value comes from pay that recognises and respects the work that’s being done and conditions that ensure there is enough support to allow the work to be done correctly,” Ms Butler said.
“What they want more than anything is to feel valued, recognised and respected for the meaningful roles they perform,” she said.
Poor conditions, lack of career pathways and opportunities, stressful work environments and poor management practices are among other challenges staff in aged care report, Ms Butler said.
Staff are further frustrated by these issues being ongoing, she said.
The ACSA National Summit takes place in Sydney from September 3-5.
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