Deborah Parker writes in The Conversation (24.1.17) about how, as Australia's population ages and life expectancy increases, so does the need for comprehensive health and care services for older people.
'As our population ages and life expectancy increases, the need for comprehensive health and care services for older people becomes greater. Older people access health services across lots of different settings, but the ability for different services to share patient information is poor, and the opportunity to shift the costs from state and federal systems provides disincentives for them to coordinate services.
'By 2031, almost one in five people will be aged 65 and over. If the system does not change by then, poorly equipped and uncoordinated services will fail our most vulnerable. Health carers need to be trained in dealing with the issues of the ageing population, and we need to be able to identify appropriate models of care that reflect the whole person’s needs.
'... With the demand for the aged care workforce nearly tripling, the need for an appropriately skilled and regulated workforce is needed. We still don’t know how this can be done, or how to make sure workers are properly trained.'