“Staffing solutions: Perks and technology are among strategies providers are using to fill shifts” by Natasha Egan was in the latest print edition of Australian Ageing Agenda. The article covers Capecare’s accommodation, student placements and bonuses to aid recruitment. A snippet of the article is below, and a PDF version of the full article can be found here: Australian Ageing Agenda March/April edition
“Capecare – a non-profit provider of residential and home aged care services and independent living accommodation in the south-west of Western Australia – is dealing with workforce shortages across the board from leadership to direct care and support roles, says CEO Joanne Penman.
“The shortages are impacting on our capacity to provide care and services to our residential aged care and community aged care clients,” Penman tells Australian Ageing Agenda.
Capecare has around 200 aged care beds and 75 independent living apartments across two villages in Busselton and Dunsborough.
“We opened a new 82-bed facility in nearby Dunsborough in August 2021 but due to an inability to recruit the required high quality suitably skilled workforce, we have not been able to open many of the available beds,” Penman says.
To help attract staff to work at the established Ray Village in Busselton, Capecare has temporarily converted cottage respite accommodation and office spaces into onsite beachside accommodation where staff can stay in their own bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and shared facilities.
“By opening up some of our respite and administration areas as nursing and care staff accommodation, we’ve been able to attract Perth-based staff who would otherwise not have been able to find rental accommodation.
“This has resulted in an additional 14 staff living rent-free in our accommodation, providing an essential injection to our teams. The incentive of free accommodation and the higher agency rates makes it a more attractive proposition to prospective staff,” says Penman.
Capecare has spent money and time refurbishing the accommodation and providing cleaning, maintenance and support to these staff free of charge. However, it is worth the expense, says Penman.
“This initiative has been a game changer for us, allowing us to maintain high-quality services and support our community by offering as many residential aged care beds and community services as we can.”