The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety commenced in Adelaide this February. United Voice is working to ensure that members’ voices are heard at every opportunity. The current stage of the Commission is focusing on Home Care services.
Anna Hansen has worked in home support in aged care for over 8 years. On Tuesday the 19th of March, she gave evidence at the Commission with three other United Voice members from Home Care.
“I love my work supporting older Australians to stay in their homes. But I only have 20 guaranteed hours of work a fortnight. It’s not enough to live on, especially with a two year old daughter.
“People don’t understand all the work we carry on our shoulders on a daily basis. We often deal one-on-one with dementia clients, as well as clients with mental health and other medical issues.
“It is difficult work and we’re not paid enough for the level of responsibility we have.
“That’s why turnover is so high. We need to keep people in the industry but to do that workers need recognition, better pay, more training, and less isolation.
“In Home Care, there aren’t enough packages to go around. This often results in older Australians being forced into residential care because they are not getting enough help to stay at home.
“When someone does receive a Home Care package from the Federal Government, it’s not enough funding for services to meet their needs.
“Fees are high - the clients are paying ridiculous amounts, yet none of it is being passed on to workers like me. Our wages are low and we are working increasingly uncertain hours.
"All aged care workers need better conditions such as better pay and more guaranteed hours for workers.
“We need to be able to work in this industry and be able to afford to live.”
To get involved with the Our Turn to Care campaign or for more updates on the Royal Commission, follow the campaign at: www.facebook.com/ourturntocare