Key messages

  • To support an effective workforce in public sector residential aged care services, the Department of Health & Human Services commissions research.
  • Recent major research initiatives have shown the residential aged care sector is facing changes that will demand innovative responses, including education and training for skills development.

Workforce challenges in residential aged care relate to population ageing with increasing numbers of older people requiring care and the need for an appropriately qualified and skilled workforce.

Contemporary better practice was found to be associated with:

  • person-centred, interdisciplinary care that supports resident’s psychosocial and clinical needs
  • evidenced based practice
  • transformational leadership and staff development.

There is evidence that quality resident outcomes and staff satisfaction are linked to good leadership, flexibility, devolved managerial responsibilities, staff development and a sense that all stakeholders are being valued and included in decision making.