The cost of living is taking its toll on millions of Australians, with prices rising for everything from petrol to groceries.
But for some, the impact is even greater, with new research from the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) showing aged care workers are really feeling the bite.
The analysis found that, after expenses, a single aged care worker was living off $112 a week, while an aged care worker in a two-parent household with two kinds had just $17 a week.
Also read: Budget 2022: Everything we know so far
Shockingly, an aged-care worker in a single-parent household cannot afford basic essentials, with weekly costs exceeding income by $148 a week.
The aged care workforce has been on the frontline of the pandemic response in Australia.
Several waves of outbreaks and the delayed roll-out of vaccines placed severe strain on the sector.
The AACC said the pandemic worsened the workforce crisis in aged care and the skills shortage in the local market meant a support worker could earn more in hospitality or retail.
“Older Australians cannot get the best available support and care without respect and support for aged care workers,” the AACC said.
“Aged care workers deserve better pay to keep up with cost-of-living pressures, and career certainty.
“The royal commission recognised this when it called for higher wages, better qualifications, and more time for workers to spend with older people.”