‘They become your family,’ said the elderly care workers who live on the job.

Joeben Roxas is one of 50 workers who have lived on-site at various times during the pandemic. Ryman Healthcare, an aged care provider, offered the option to its workforce who live with housemates in high COVID-risk jobs. They are one of many operators to implement the unusual practice, as the sector continues to be plagued by staff shortages. “It’s our own decision not to put ourselves at risk,” he says. “I can’t actually bear it, the thought of bringing something inside.” The Omicron wave is still keenly felt in senior care.

Although staff aren’t paid more to move in, there are no costs associated with staying on-site. Mr. Roxas says he spends his days off with residents chatting in the cafe and playing table tennis or lawn bowls – activities he said he wouldn’t have time to do in the “outside world”.

On-site workers live in self-contained apartments in the same building as residents. The army has deployed to help fill gaps at 40 facilities across Australia. Marketing and sales staff have been kitted up in PPE to collect dirty washing, deliver meals to residents and clean high-touch surfaces.

We are grateful to our health workers who have been there to help our loved ones.

Visit this link to read the full article: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/they-become-your-family-the-aged-care-workers-living-on-the-job-20220217-p59xc8.html