Bridging the Knowledge Gap in Aged Care

Last updated on 9 April 2024

Quality of care and dignity in ageing are closely tied to the expertise applied in their care strategies. [Source: Shutterstock]

Written by Tanya Connor, Insider Information Founder

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the Australian aged care sector, businesses, caregivers, and older people alike face a myriad of challenges that extend beyond the mere provision of care. 

Among these hurdles, one stands out for its pervasive impact on the quality and effectiveness of care delivered: the challenge of obtaining expert knowledge and advice easily and quickly. This knowledge gap, if left unaddressed, can exacerbate existing issues, hindering the sector’s ability to provide the highest standard of care to its ageing population.

The complexities of aged care, compounded by regulatory landscapes and industry reforms, have created an environment where even the most seasoned professionals find themselves in need of guidance. The reality is that the aged care system is a maze with complicated and sometimes conflicting paths leading to confusion and inefficiency. 

For businesses within the sector, this complexity translates into operational challenges, compliance risks, and, most crucially, an impact on the care received by those in our care.

Professionals working in aged care, from frontline staff to management, confront a daily barrage of decisions that require specialised knowledge. Whether it’s navigating regulatory changes, implementing best practices or addressing the unique needs of residents, the demand for expert advice has never been greater. Yet, the traditional avenues for obtaining this guidance are often time-consuming, costly and, at times, inaccessible.

For the people living within aged care facilities, the stakes are deeply personal. Quality of care, independence and dignity in ageing are closely tied to the expertise applied in their care strategies. As ageing is not just a physical process but an intricate interplay of emotional, mental and social changes, the need for nuanced and informed approaches is critical. The absence of readily available expert advice can lead to solutions that are at best, generic, and at worst, detrimental to the well-being of our older people.

Recently in Melbourne’s outer east, a new manager at a small aged care organisation was nearly overwhelmed just months into her role. The daunting scope of her responsibilities seemed to expand daily, pushing her to consider resigning. Aware of the turmoil a management change would cause for both staff and residents, the facility sought support from Insider Information, connecting her with a selection of experts for guidance. Initial ad hoc calls evolved into weekly discussions that spanned six weeks. 

These conversations provided more than just answers; they offered a crucial outlet for her concerns, rebuilding her confidence and decision-making clarity. The effect rippled to her team who responded to her strengthened leadership and confidence. Now, the manager reaches out as needed, for quick queries or deeper dives into complex issues, sometimes seeking specific HR advice. Her confidence remains though, buoyed by the knowledge that expert guidance is just a call away, and any thoughts of resignation are a thing of the past.

Tanya Connor, Founder of Insider Information, understands that aged care can feel like a maze for many professionals working within it. [Source: Supplied]

A ‘pick the brain of an expert’ model represents a significant shift from the traditional consultant and organisation-centric advice towards a genuinely more human-centric approach that prioritises the specific needs of each situation. Whether it’s risk, compliance, clinical, operational, technology or hospitality, quick expert answers provide big wins for aged care providers and the people working and living within their care.  

Online resources are dominated by one-size-fits-all information that fails to address the nuanced challenges faced by those within the sector. Personalised guidance from experts with firsthand experience in aged care ensures that the guidance provided is not only relevant to the unique needs of each person but also actionable.

By connecting aged care businesses and professionals with highly experienced aged care experts, Insider Information facilitates the flow of unbiased, targeted information and advice. This approach is rooted in the recognition that every aged care facility, professional and resident has unique needs. 

The platform’s value extends beyond just the provision of advice; it embodies a proactive stance towards problem-solving in aged care. For instance, understanding the early signs of ageing and implementing preventative strategies can vastly improve the quality of life for older people, reducing the likelihood of crises that leave caregivers feeling powerless, guilty and rushed in their decisions. 

With this knowledge, aged care professionals can guide and provide accurate information to support older people and their caregivers in making informed decisions that foster independence, choice and confidence.

As the Australian aged care sector navigates through its myriad challenges, the necessity for readily accessible expert knowledge becomes increasingly critical. Platforms like Insider Information are stepping into a pivotal role in addressing this urgent need, offering much more than just guidance – they provide a strategic advantage in a landscape marked by the dual obstacles of staffing shortages and varying levels of expertise among professionals. 

At a time when the sector is also wrestling with escalating complexity, ongoing reforms and heightened expectations, the role of such services in mitigating risks cannot be overstated. In the intricate web of aged care, having access to a reservoir of expert knowledge is not just beneficial – it’s essential for steering through the challenges with confidence and competence.

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