Caring for the Carers Final Report. Caring for the Carers

Patrick Shearman, Ben Farr-Wharton

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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The Caring for the Carers project incorporated a substantial benchmarking process of aged care
organisations, and their employees, examining the state of management support, employee wellbeing, the provision of proactive care, and on the reporting of the aged care quality indicators –
pressure injuries, sudden weight loss and the use of restraints. The project collected survey data
from eight aged care organisations across two states (New South Wales and Queensland). In all,
data was collected from 26 separate sites, and from 410 individual employees. The sample includes
employees from private and not-for-profit aged care providers, from both regional and urban centres.
This benchmarking report provides participating organisations with an overview and comparison of
the distribution of results for each of the variables examined through this project. Key findings from
the project include:
Provision of Care Findings
 Proactive Care – a self-report measures that accounts for the ability of an aged care employee
to prevent and/or recognise and respond to health issues facing residents - was generally strong
across all sites.
 Higher levels of Proactive Care were associated with supportive supervisors, higher individual
well-being, teamwork and work autonomy.
 Across all of the sampled respondents, instances of pressure injuries, sudden, unexplained
weight loss and the use of physical restraints were infrequently observed by all sampled aged
care employees. Aged care employees typically observed these clinical challenges in less than
30% of the residents they cared for.
Management Support Findings
 Positive perceptions of support from supervisors was higher for aged care workers in urban
 Support from managers was associated with a range of positive work behaviours, including
higher levels of safety participation, proactive care, teamwork, wellbeing, and a lower intention
to leave
 Employee autonomy, a crucial consideration for advancing employee work morale, was higher
in for-for-profit organisations, while instances of managerialism (negative micro-management of
employees) was lower in these firms.
Human Resource Considerations
 The average age of surveyed staff at regional aged care facilities was 48, in contrast to 42 years
of age for their urban equivalents.
 Migrant workers were more commonly found in the sampled urban, and for-profit, facilities; and
not difference was found the approach of this cohort towards proactive care.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Technology Sydney Early Researcher Grant Scheme
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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