Every year Bupa surveys older Australians regarding their attitudes toward growing older. This helps us tailor our aged care services to meet the needs of our ageing Baby Boomer generation. The latest study, conducted in June 2012, interviewed 1,000 over 50 year olds about their attitudes toward ageing and aged care.
The research found increasing concern amongst older Australians about dementia and the demands the disease places on both individuals and families.
Whilst most older Australians view the years ahead as a time of freedom to travel and enjoy time with family; there is also concern about loss of independence and who will provide care, if and when it is needed.
In late 2011 Bupa Care Services undertook a study to understand the barriers facing aged care recruiters in attracting the best people into the industry. As part of the study, Bupa spoke to a total of 30 nurses (internal and external) ranging from recently graduated to experienced senior managers to gauge their attitudes to aged care.
Whilst the study reaffirmed that aged care is not what it used to be and aged care nursing is a highly specialist role, there was an obvious disconnect with those from outside aged care who still prescribe to many of the long standing negative perceptions that have dogged aged care for many years. The outdated image of aged care as a regressive industry still impacts on nurses decisions to consider aged care as a serious career choice.
Aged care nursing is still seen from those outside of aged care, including university nursing faculties as a last chance saloon for registered nurses. The view is that a move to aged care would be the beginning of the end for a nurse’s clinical skills. Whilst it is true aged care nursing may not be the “sexy” option for a nursing graduate and we may never see a weekly prime time television drama set in an aged care home, aged care nursing is a specialism and brings with it’s own rewarding challenges.