- Wait times for home care are often elongated due to staff shortages.
- NSA’s Let Pensioners Work campaign calls for pensioners and other government payment recipients to work as much as they want without losing their pension.
- Benefits of mature-aged employment include a continued sense of purpose, keeping physically and mentally active, maintaining important connections with community and extra income.
- Register your interest on CareAbout’s website in working in the home care industry and they will help connect you to providers that have work opportunities.
National Seniors Australia and CareAbout have come together to promote the benefits of mature age employment to help ease an over-stretched home care system.
Representatives of both organisations were on the Gold Coast last week with members of the Gold Coast Seniors Tennis Club to discuss the benefits of seniors working flexible hours with home care providers.
CareAbout founder Kyra-Bae Snell said wait times for home care were often elongated due to staff shortages. Recruiting mature workers could help people find suitable home care options and reduce waiting times.
“A lot of older people would like to work casually or part-time but do not have the opportunity,” said Ms Snell. “When we speak to families seeking home care, we find seniors are a great match. Their life experience, reliability, and ability to relate to older people are highly valued.”
She pointed out that some home care jobs don’t require extensive formal qualifications.
"It may be driving care recipients to medical appointments, assisting with cooking and cleaning, or perhaps giving them a social outlet by having coffee together.
“It can give people a continued purpose when they’re winding down work or considering retirement.
“Seniors can register on CareAbout’s website where we will help connect you to providers that have work opportunities."
Lin Chaplin, from Palm Beach, has recently taken up a role working in home care for Hazel Home Care on the Gold Coast.
“After decades running my own business in the finance sector, I was looking for a change as my career wound down,” she said.
“As I’m getting a bit older, I want flexibility but also something with a community benefit.
“So, it’s been the best of both worlds for me. I’ve been able to continue running my business in a flexible way but also take on hours in home care that suit my lifestyle.
“It not only provides extra income but also provides a sense of connection with great people.”
National Seniors Australia Chief Operating Officer Chris Grice said there’s a collective benefit for older people keeping engaged through employment.
“Older people often bring with them life experience, reliability, and flexibility. These are attractive attributes for any employer, including those within home care,” Mr Grice said.
“Mature workers have a continued sense of purpose, keep physically and mentally active, and maintain important connections with community.”
Mr Grice said while governments had introduced programs to help increase mature age employment, the Age Pension income test had been a major hurdle.
“This is the driver behind NSA’s Let Pensioners Work campaign, which calls for pensioners and other government payment recipients to work as much as they want without losing their pension,” he said.
“Pensioners who chose to work would not only benefit from extra income, but understaffed sectors, such as home care, would also benefit from more workers to deliver their critical services.
“National Seniors is advocating for a Mature Age Traineeship Program to help meet home care staff shortages. There’s already a successful pilot program in South Australia that trains mature age workers for home care.
“This must be rolled out across the country to encourage mature workers back into the workforce.”