29 October 2018

The Revolution in Aged Care has begun

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The Productivity Commission forecasts that the number of people accessing aged care services in Australia will jump from 1 million to 3.5 million by 2040.

But the numbers are not telling the full story. The profile of aged care consumers has to be taken into account too.  In 2040 the bulk of baby boomers will pass age 85 years, and will have different expectations from service providers.  They will have lived an affluent life and will bring their highly consumerist values and demands into the aged care space. Providers will have to rise to new levels of choice, convenience and service excellence or they will lose out to competitors.

When consumer directed care was first established in the UK and New Zealand, there was a significant shift of services from the NFP sector to commercial providers and new entrants, as NFPs were not able to adapt and change their operating models to be consumer-focused enough to retain clients.

Providers must understand that even now, but definitely by 2040, the consumer is king, unencumbered by brand with greater choice. New loyalties will be developed based on needs, convenience and price and the system will support people to stay at home, and part of their communities, for as long as possible.

It will be critical for providers to build their brands and enhance loyalty by understanding the people they serve, meeting all their needs and maintaining excellent client relationships.  Aged care providers must become acutely customer focused or go out of business.

Providers will also need to be open to using new technologies available in the future to serve their clients’ needs better.  Genius new technologies like robotics and sensors will help providers monitor their clients’ well being in their own homes.  Nestle is developing a device that designs meals around individuals' nutrient needs which would make it easy for older Australians to make healthful food without doing groceries.  Self-driving cars that pick up clients and take them shopping, to medical appointments and to visit friends and family at low cost could reduce the social isolation experienced by older people now.

In order to lead the revolution in aged care, providers must innovate and change their operating models, build agility and adaptability into their systems and understand that free-market forces will reshape the way that aged care is provided by creating competition, fostering innovation and driving down cost. 

Attend the 3rd Australian Future of Aged Care Summit from the 27 - 29 of November 2018. More information here.

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Káti Jahromi Gapaillard, Executive Director, Social Impact, Government, Healthcare, Education

Káti Jahromi Gapaillard has worked for major multinationals such as American Express, Vivendi, Philips, Xerox, Kimberley Clark in Marketing and Communications, in Government for the Department of Education, DFAT and Austrade, and non-governmental organisations such as The National Heart Foundation, Life Without Barriers, Your Side in Growth, Strategy and Engagement and Tour de Cure as CEO.

She is passionate about social impact which can be brought about through the intersection of all three sectors.

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