What We Can Learn from Aged Care
Nurture Marketing Specialist at Kineo APAC
Professional development sits at the top of the priority list for many of us. Developing solid operational practices with an emphasis towards continuous learning is vital in a sector that has been insufficiently funded through government, where it is widely known that staff are overworked and underpaid and where quality standards are monitored inconsistently.
Frontline carer leadership
As a leader for frontline carers, you want a staff culture that is based on respect and that builds trust with an older person. This is as important to care as is community, compassion and family involvement.
Feedback to The Royal Commission has detailed that poor culture among staff, as well as recruiting the wrong people, may be resulting in substandard care. An emphasis not only needs to be placed on hiring individuals with experience, but with the emotional intelligence to operate effectively.
Empowering those best placed to look after our elderly
Upskilling across Aged Care, directed by those responsible for training and development to the wider workforce will fill learning gaps that can be overcome by workforce training programs that tackle key challenges, at industry level and operationally.
The risks of apathy
Training for health professionals and students for continuous quality improvement will alleviate the many care-associated infections that plague hundreds of millions of patients worldwide every year. Infections lead to more serious illness, prolong hospital stays, can lead to long-term disabilities, financially burden patients and their loved ones, contribute to a huge cost burden on the health-care system and, often result in lost lives. The causes behind infection can mostly be prevented.
This is largely down to systems and processes of care provision, inherent biased behaviour that is a cause of education, political and economic influence and is often based on regular instinctive habits and beliefs.
Key challenges around nutrition management in our elderly
Another significant factor negatively affecting Aged Care is poor nutrition, costing the nation a staggering $2 billion a year. Malnourished older Australians are at a greater risk of hospital admissions, broken bones and diabetes that results in premature admission to aged care facilities. We need to get nutrition right in our elderly to prolong their independence in the comfort of their own homes.
In February The Royal Commission into Aged Care proceedings detailed;
"We know that nutrition can be an issue as people get older as well and adequate nutrition, if people develop, for example, problems with swallowing, then actually obtaining adequate nutrition without the input of dietetics and nursing staff can be difficult as well as working towards patients or people’s preference around what sort of modifications to diet and hydration that they have."
Muscles used for the act of swallowing deteriorate as you get older and when we look at conditions associated with this, such as stroke, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease and dementia, the issues are widespread. Challenges with swallowing can also be a side effect of medications. Therefore, it is critical that our workers know how to manage the discomfort that is caused by a combination of medical conditions, ageing and reversible causes of dysphagia associated with swallowing.
What can be done to upskill staff quickly and effectively?
Kineo is one of the largest elearning specialists in Australia and New Zealand, a not for profit organisation, part of the global City & Guilds Group with a 140-year history of learning. Kineo exists to deliver best practice for learning and helps organisations improve performance through learning impact.
Working with subject matter expert University of South Australia to support the Aged Care and Healthcare workforce, our collaborative course; ‘Nutritional Needs in Aged Care’ tackles the implications and management of Dysphagia. This taster video provides a little insight of what you can expect to experience.
If you’d like to discuss your organisational and employee learning requirements, learn more about our Healthcare course bundles that include many Aged Care course titles, built with you and your industry challenges in mind, Kineo is here to help. Get in touch