Is there a place in the Aged Care industry for Volunteers?

Mrs Tammie Guy1

1Comlink, Sunshine Coast, Australia


While the Aged Care sector attracts almost 250,000 direct care employees in Australia, it continues to face a serious skills shortage. Furthermore, meeting the genuine needs of our clients requires a stable workforce, and this stability can be difficult to maintain as funding changes and the sector lives under a media microscope. Doing ‘more with less ’ now appears to be a proprietary discipline. So, is there a meaningful place for volunteers in our industry?

Statistics show Australia has a rich volunteering community, with millions of volunteers giving up their time to support and assist sporting clubs, children’s services, religious groups and emergency services. However, Aged Care continues to be a neglected pathway, despite the fact that volunteers often include highly-skilled, educated people looking to make a difference in the world.

Could a creative, evidence-based approach to engaging volunteers be part of the Aged Care sector of the future?

In this session, we will explore:

  • The positive impact volunteering can have on our clients and our industry as a whole, including the purposeful roles a volunteer might play within our industry
  • How research demonstrates that volunteering can have a positive effect on the mental health and wellbeing of both the volunteers and clients
  • The financial return on investment for building a structured volunteer program, and a case study of how volunteers stretch the funding dollar even further
  • Contemporary strategies for attracting cross-generational volunteers to what can be perceived as a ‘dull and grey industry’.
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