Older Warrnambool residents are seeking employment as carers in the aged care sector, according to a local provider.
La Bella Life co-founder Tricia O'Keeffe said she had seen a "grey army" of care workers emerge since she started her business last year.
"We've had an influx of people in their late 50s and early 60s coming to work for us. They are the most wonderful people," she said.
La Bella Life offers Home Care Package management for older people in Warrnambool.
Ms O'Keeffe said she had seen an increase in demand for in-home care services in recent years.
"After what we've seen during the pandemic, no one wants their loved ones inside a residential aged care setting if they can help it," she said.
A majority of Australians aged over 50 would stay in paid work if supported, according to research undertaken by Australian Seniors in 2021. It found more than nine in 10 semi and full-retirees were considering re-entering the workforce.
Ms O'Keeffe said despite reports of workforce issues in the local aged care sector, she has had no problem attracting staff, particularly those aged over 50.
Warrnambool resident John Benington, 68, has been a carer at La Bella Life for eight months and said the role was "very rewarding".
Mr Benington was a dairy farmer in Warrnambool before experiencing some health issues.
He said Ms O'Keeffe had suggested at a barbecue he take on a job as a carer.
"At first I didn't take her seriously, but then I realised I could be helping people in the community," he said.
Carer Sandra Meehan, 58, said her role was "mutually rewarding" for her and her clients.
"No two days are ever the same. It's an adventure," she said.
I didn't think this is what I'd be doing at my age. I thought I'd spend the rest of my life watching TV.- John Benington
Mr Benington and Ms Meehan both said they had a lot to offer the community as older people working in aged care.
"I didn't think this is what I'd be doing at my age. I thought I'd spend the rest of my life watching TV," Mr Benington said.
Ms O'Keeffe said workers had been deserting aged care facilities due to low pay, poor conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said recent changes to the award rate for carers had resulted in more seeking employment outside aged care homes. "This will put further pressure on residential facilities being able to attract staff..."
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