Publicly Funded Domiciliary Aged Care: A Workforce Case Study

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This presentation begins with an overview of Australia’s ageing workforce and population with particular reference to implications for the publicly funded domiciliary aged care industry. It is argued that this demographic situation does not represent a crisis, but employers must act now to avert future problems. It is argued that as employers respond to skill shortages they will seek to embed their high performing employees more in their employment and the health and well-being of employees will be given increased prominence. It has been reported that younger employees, especially women, are integrating work and life in ways that are different from their older colleagues. To facilitate understanding of these differences life course theory, the emergence of culture and the social construction of generations are discussed. Consideration is given to the possibility that these younger employees may require different incentives to remain in the workforce or with their particular employer. The industrial justice implications of this are explored with particular reference to traditional public employment environments where regulations abound and apply equally to all employees. It is argued that public employers need to be supported in targeting their responses to different groups of employees in ways that are transparently fair.

Keywords: Domiciliary Aged Care, Government, Workforce, Culture, Life Course, Intergenerational Relations, Generations
Stream: Organisations
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Responding to Diversity in the Publicly Funded Domiciliary Aged Care Workforce

Peter Nixon

Doctoral Candidate, School of Communication
Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

My professional aged care work began in the mid 1970’s when I worked in the Port Adelaide Central Mission residential aged care program and was involved in committee work with the people who initiated Western Domiciliary Care Service, which was something of a pioneer in the Australian context. It later became part of Domiciliary Care South Australia (DCSA). My employment at DCSA began in 1985 and I have worked there in allied health, case management, supervision, research, teaching and agency management roles. I am an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Social Administration and Social Work at Flinders University and have been a researcher in the Department of Public Health, Flinders University for over two years. My combined research experience spans the fields of qualitative and quantitative research in epidemiology, gerontology, work/life balance, work and well-being, program evaluation and social health. DCSA and the University of South Australia provide financial support for this doctoral research.

Ref: D08P0137