Valuing and supporting the older person at Calvary
1st October 2023
By Kerryn Vine-Camp, Calvary National Director People & Corporate Services
This Sunday, 1 October, on the International Day of the Older Person, Calvary is proudly recognising the valued contributions of the older members of our workforce and is creatively seeking ways to further encourage seniors to consider new career options with us later in life.
Traditionally, the day acknowledges the contribution, wisdom, dignity and needs of our senior community members, and puts a spotlight on how to ensure we are doing our best as a collective to protect their wellbeing.
Being a not-for-profit healthcare provider across hospitals, aged care and home care, Calvary has a strong connection with caring for older patients, residents and clients, providing a range of services designed to promote and support positive ageing, healthy living, active lifestyles and community connections.
This commitment extends to active participation in research to improve the lives of older people in the healthcare setting and constantly looking for ways to contemporise the delivery of care that directly responds to the changing needs and demands of older Australians.
Calvary is not alone in needing to be more creative in how it attracts and retains a skilled health workforce during a chronic shortage. Currently, 11 per cent of our 17,566-strong workforce is aged over 60 years, and the breakdown is not what you would expect.
There are 804 workers aged over 60 in our residential aged care homes, 273 in home care, 777 across our hospitals and 45 hold corporate roles in our head office. Then of course there are the many volunteers in the older age bracket that willingly give their time to support Calvary in its mission to care for others.
However, the 2023 Employing and Retaining Older Workers Survey, developed by a partnership between the Australian HR Institute and the Australian Human Rights Commission, found one in six organisations will not consider hiring people aged 65 and above, while only a quarter are open to hiring those aged 65 and above ‘to a large extent’.
This is despite Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealing job vacancies were almost double the pre-pandemic numbers.
Globally we are dealing with a number of economic trends that are impacting the health sector. This includes a population with a higher proportion of people in the 65-80 age group. While many may be seeking assistance to sustain a quality lifestyle, many are also living well but dealing with the economic pressures associated with being a self-funded retiree or living on a pension.
Calvary’s workforce is predominantly female, and both current and future employees are being offered opportunities to retrain to support shifting demands in healthcare trends and negotiate flexible work patterns complementing different lifestyles. If looking out for others is what you do, we’ll look out for you at Calvary.
If you’re interested in joining our growing team at Calvary, find out more on our Careers website.