What Happened In Aged Care 2022? A Total Flip In Major Trends

8 Minute Read

In 2022, DR Care Solutions experienced an aged care trend reversal: decrease in home care; increased moves into residential care.

What Happened In Aged Care 2022 - A Complete Flip in Major Trends
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions

At the end of every year, DR Care Solutions reflects on the aged care trends emerging from our service of looking after senior Australians over the past 12 months.

While we continued to experience 20% annual growth in demand for our service, there was a marked reversal in the nature of client requests.

In 2022, there was a sharp increase in requests from clients (and their families) to move into residential aged care rather than remain at home with in-home care.

2022 DR Care Solutions Service Summary

Of new families assisted by DR Care Solutions in 2022, close to 80% involved requests to move their loved ones into residential care; around 50% of those moved were couples; and a large percentage were pensioners.

The three aged care issues of 2022

While I remain a firm advocate of in-home care, it has been difficult to negotiate three factors that emerged during the year:



The very real shortage of quality skilled aged care workers, particularly in the field of home care.

Many home care providers now offer minimum in-home care shifts of four hours to make their business models work. For clients requiring simple daily medication monitoring and meal preparation, four hours of care is not required and just too expensive.



Increases in the cost of living for older Australians.

One obvious increase was the minimum two-hour shift requirement introduced by the Fair Work Commission on 1 July 2022[1]. In watching their budgets, clients would often request one-hour shifts of in-home care on Saturdays (~$96 per hour), Sundays ($122 per hour) and Public Holidays (~$152 per hour). With a minimum two-hour shift, their spend has now doubled and some cannot afford it.



The 'sandwiched' Generation Xer.

Generation Xers (the Sandwich Generation), along with managing work and teenagers, do not have the time to provide regular care to their parents. This also includes those adult children domiciled overseas - their guilt in being unable to provide care for an ageing parent is very real.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, these family members are concerned about the ongoing social isolation of their older loved ones living at home. They feel keenly that residential care provides a vital level of engagement and activities. In fact, for around 2% of our clients in residential aged care, we were asked to arrange additional companionship for loved ones.

For example, we have in place an arrangement where a paid companion takes the client out of residential care once a week to go shopping for four hours. This companion care is paid privately by the family.



Other observations

COVID and residential aged care

Perhaps the only positive outcome of the pandemic was the marked improvement in levels of cleanliness in residential aged care facilities, and their disciplines around infection control.

While residential homes can no longer shut visitors out, if there is a COVID-19 variant outbreak, the infected residents are isolated and cared for by designated staff in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Family wishing to visit an infected resident must wear full PPE.

Aged care workforce shortage

As mentioned earlier, shortages of aged care staff have impacted in-home care service providers, with some now only offering a minimum shift of four hours.

Clients not needing or unable to afford four-hour shifts are bypassing the My Aged Care registered service providers and going to marketplace online to recruit their own carers.

Clients have asked us to interview and recruit carers for them through these websites. While carers must have a current police check to be registered to a site, we warn clients of the potential issues around workers’ compensation, reliability and managing rosters. Clients must make sure their insurance covers any injury sustained by the carer while at the client’s home.

These online platforms are also feeding the exodus of care workers away from in-home service provider employment. Through these platforms, carers set their own rate and obviously earn more running their own business as an independent contractor. The question remains: Are they adequately protected by way of workers’ compensation and sick leave? Are they protected by turning up to a stranger’s home?

Two novel experiences

Everybody's Oma

A real highlight was being featured (albeit just a cameo) in the film, Everybody’s Oma, and attending the Sydney Film Festival Opening Night of the film[2]. Sadly, Oma passed away earlier this year after her long journey of living with Alzheimer’s Disease. It remains a generous gesture on her son Jason van Genderen’s part to share with the world the family’s ways of caring and supporting Oma.

Visit to Canada

Another novel experience arose while visiting British Columbia, Canada. I was there in August/September supporting my partner, Mike, and his family, on the death of Mike’s father, Hugh. During my stay, I was approached by six Canadian families to find appropriate care for their elderly loved ones. I applied the DR Care Solutions 5 Easy Steps 4 Care© and found solutions for all six families. I continue to monitor outcomes from my Sydney office.

With new clients seeking assistance from British Columbia, Perth, Adelaide, Victoria, Queensland, along those with those in rural, remote and metropolitan cities in NSW, our scope of serving older people continues to expand!


Download: DR Care Solutions'
5 Easy Steps 4 Care©

See the steps we take to help families get the right care, support and accommodation solutions that meet their needs, wants and wishes, in the quickest possible time. Simply submit the form and we'll email it to you.

5 Easy Steps 4 Care - Downloadable


That's a 2022 wrap!

It is an honour and privilege to assist and I take this opportunity to thank all the cleaners, allied health professionals, care workers and nurses who kindly, tirelessly and graciously help so many.



Seeking care for a loved one? Please feel free to call me, Danielle Robertson, for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.
- Contact Danielle - For An Impartial & Confidential Conversation



[1] DR Care Solutions: In-Home Care Changes Being Introduced from 1 July 2022
[2] DR Care Solutions: Everybody's Oma - A Family's Dementia Journey
[3] DR Care Solutions: 5 Easy Steps 4 Care©



Danielle Robertson

Danielle Robertson

Working with you and your support network to get the right care outcomes for you and your loved ones. Danielle Robertson is founder and CEO of DR Care Solutions, offering aged care and disability care concierge services and expertise on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place. Danielle's experience in the Australian care sector spans over three and a half decades. Now that's a lot of experience, wisdom and networks!