Journal article

Time for Good Care and Job Quality: Managing Stress among Older Workers in the Aged Care Sector

Aaron Hart, Dina Bowman, Shelley Mallett

JOURNAL OF AGING & SOCIAL POLICY | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2021

Abstract

Improved job quality will make longer working lives in the aged care sector more sustainable. We interviewed 20 older aged care workers to identify which job characteristics are significant for health and to identify policy remedies. Workers take pleasure and pride in responding autonomously to a care recipient's situation, developing understanding, maintaining morale and performing intimate bodily care with dignity. However, a shortage of staff time requires workers to take a task-oriented approach. This causes worker stress and diminishes their desire and capacity to delay retirement. In the Australian context, regulating minimum staffing is the most suitable policy response.

Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP160100467) entitled "Working longer, staying healthy and keeping productive". It is one component of a larger project bringing together researchers from the Australian National University, the federal departments of Social Services and Employment, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the University of Melbourne, Safe Work Australia and Queensland Treasury. The Chief Investigator is Prof Lyndall Strazdins (Australian National University).