Consumer Directed Care (CDC) is being rolled out in community aged care programs, providing care recipients and their carers with greater control over the design and delivery of care and services they receive. What does CDC mean for workers in aged care? How can they prepare for the likely changes in their roles?

A number of questions remain in relation to the aged care workforce:

    How will providers meet the challenge of finding individuals with the required set of skills to implement CDC?
    How will aged care workers up-skill to meet the challenges and take advantage of new opportunities in the sector?
    Are new positions being created or are new responsibilities being added to existing jobs?
    Are skills in CDC being included when recruiting for current vacancies?
    Are additional resources being made available in the sector for re-training?
    Are staff being offered training?
    Will the Government support programs for aged care assist in this re-skilling and up-skilling?

It’s clear the introduction of CDC involves a fundamental change to the nature of work in the aged care sector. At the very least, a significant program of skills and cultural training will be required to ensure all workers are equipped to operate in the new environment.

While some providers may be taking some action to train staff to adopt the new approach to care, it seems most have adopted a “wait and see” attitude. If they leave it too long, there will be a rush to retrain staff. Under these circumstances, they may run the risk of providing inadequate training.

For individual aged care workers, CDC represents both an opportunity and a challenge. For those who are ambitious and keen to embrace the new approach, an investment in self-education (providing suitable training is available) may provide them with a significant career advantage.

It’s clear the brave new world of CDC will change the nature of aged care. An industry approach is required to address the workforce issues – and fast!

About the Author