ISSI Fellow Chirag Patel talks aged care

International Specialised Skills Institute / Fellow News  / ISSI Fellow Chirag Patel talks aged care

The International Specialised Skills Institute supports passionate workers in various sectors. The Innovation in Ageing Fellowship looks to address the cracks in our system and offer an opportunity for people to travel overseas and learn new approaches to aged care.

Our Communications Manager Kyle caught up with Chirag Patel, who was awarded the first Innovation in Ageing Fellowship in late 2021, about why is he passionate about the aged care sector.

Q: How did you start working in the aged care sector?

I completed a pharmacy degree in India and came to Australia. Completed nursing from Monash University and started working in a hospital after that. I also picked up some work in aged care and fell in love with the industry and grew my career in the residential aged care sector.

Q: Why are you passionate about aged care?

Because of the ability to build ongoing professional relationships with staff and residents. Older people have a lot of time and humour. I enjoy listening to their stories. Opportunity to create care and offer meaningful services to those who serve the community.

Q: What do you think needs to be looked at for further research in the age care sector?

The models of care, role of carers, and a homely feel to residences. It’s important to have a meaningful connection between the older person and carer, and investigate the role of technology and mental health of older people –  and care for multicultural communities. Motivation factors for workers and education contents. 

Q: Why do you think it is important to establish a good relationship between the carer and person receiving care? 

It will help both parties. It will create better understanding of the needs of older people and improve quality of care. It will improve social wellbeing. It will improve the satisfaction of older people and their family members.

Q: What do you think a person needing care wants out of the experience?

A comfortable lifestyle as they have worked their whole life. Safe care provided in a timely manner. A carer to know them well and be able to connect. 

Q: Do you think Australia’s attitude to aged care is changing?

Post royal commission expectations from older people and families have definitely changed but the system is not really designed well enough to meet exact needs of older people. Lot of work is needed to get there. 

Q: Should Australia be looking towards any other countries for inspiration on how to treat their elders?

Definitely. It is very important that older people are treated well and receive safe and quality care. The system should be less about paper and more about people. 

The Innovation in Ageing Fellowship is currently seeking applications. Apply here.