• Just keep breathing

    Just keep breathing

    Today, more and more people are living to celebrate their 100th birthday.

    At Resthaven we recognise a new group of centenarians in each of our quarterly publications. Our staff explain how privileged they feel to hear about the experiences that have shaped these individuals, speaking about their history, their story, their life.

    A 25-year-old staff member who recently interviewed a 105-year-old war veteran at his home described how she followed his every word, mouth agape, learning about a war that finished over 75 years ago.

    Just the other week, I was fortunate to attend his 105th birthday celebrations, and another of a 104-year-old. Active in the community, one still holds a Driver’s Licence and drives his own car!Man in blue suit standing with older man in grey suit

    Centenarians now even have their own club, with the cheeky motto, “just keep breathing”.

    The fact is that centenarians do much more than that, having wonderful stories to tell about the twists and turns in their life, as well as their recent achievements. Their resilience shines through.

    The assistance of a home care package or other support allows people to continue to live independently in their own home. The Australian Government continues to release the 80,000 home care packages that were committed in the 2021 Federal Budget.

    The challenge for aged care providers is in attracting the workforce to deliver the care and services required. In a recent publication, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) reported that they expected an annual shortfall of 30,000 to 35,000 direct care workers. Lower levels of migration and higher attrition rates suggest that 65,000 workers are leaving the sector each year.

    The announcement by the Fair Work Commission of a 15% increase in the wages of direct care staff is encouraging; however, we are yet to learn when it will commence and how the government will fund the well-deserved increase.

    Aged care is an incredibly rewarding career, providing many opportunities to develop and advance in a wide variety of roles and disciplines. It is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of older people.

    Our 105-year-old said that he counted all the years after the end of the Second World War as his ‘bonus years’ of life, giving him 75 bonus years.

    Just keeping breathing indeed!

    Opinion piece by Darren Birbeck,
    Chief Executive Officer,
    Resthaven Incorporated