Working in aged care is a noble profession that requires dedication, empathy, and a genuine passion for helping the elderly and improving their quality of life. In this article, we’ll explore the responsibilities and rewards of this fulfilling career.
What is Aged Care?
Aged care encompasses a wide range of services tailored to meet the physical, emotional, and social needs of elderly individuals that require assistance with daily activities or medical needs. These services can include personal care, medical assistance, companionship, meal preparation, housekeeping, and support with mobility. It’s about crafting a haven where seniors can maintain dignity and independence.
Responsibilities of an Aged Care Worker
Aged care workers have several essential responsibilities to ensure the well-being of elderly individuals, including:
- Personal Care: Assisting with activities like bathing, grooming, dressing, and toileting
- Medication Support: Ensuring that seniors take their medications correctly and on time
- Health Monitoring: Keeping track of vital signs, observing any changes in health, and reporting to healthcare professionals
- Emotional Support: Providing companionship, engaging in conversations, and offering emotional reassurance to combat loneliness and isolation
- Meal Preparation: Preparing nutritious meals according to dietary requirements and assisting with feeding if necessary.
- Mobility Assistance: Helping seniors move around safely, using mobility aids when required
- Social Activities: Organising recreational activities, outings, and social gatherings to foster social interaction and mental stimulation
- Care Planning: Collaborating with healthcare professionals to develop personalised care plans for each resident
- Documentation: Maintaining accurate records of care provided, observations made, and any concerns or changes in condition
- Collaborative Approach: Working as part of a team to ensure comprehensive care and effective communication among healthcare providers, residents, and their families
Understanding these responsibilities, let’s explore the many benefits of choosing this career path.
Why Work in Aged Care?
1. Job Security
According to a report by The Big Care Shift, the aged care workforce is on the rise, seeing the addition of an impressive 24,000 new workers each year, outpacing that of any other workforce in Australia.
The organisation also highlights an interesting trend: over the past decade the number of Australian population aged 80 and above has increased by approximately 30,000 individuals per year. Projections suggest that this yearly increment will double to over 60,000 by 2030, with the baby boomer generation moving into the pivotal ‘aged care’ phase of life. This means that there will be an ever-increasing demand for qualified professionals in the aged care sector.
The demand for aged care professionals is predicted to trend upwards for decades to come. This means that securing a career in aged care offers not just stability and security, but also an abundance of opportunities for career progression and professional development. Enrolling in CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support can provide you with the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in this growing industry.
One of the main advantages of pursuing a career in aged care is the increased flexibility that comes with your work environment. You’re provided with the option to work in an array of settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care, or even hospitals. With such a diverse range of environments to choose from, you’re empowered to choose a workplace that aligns with your personal preferences and interests.
In addition to this, aged care offers various shift options, including part-time, full-time, and casual positions. This flexibility allows you to tailor your work hours to fit your personal commitments and responsibilities outside of work. Regardless of whether you are a parent, a student, or have prior obligations, the flexible nature of aged care can accommodate your unique circumstances
3. Personal Growth
Working in aged care can provide personal and professional growth, and will give you the opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable experience working with seniors from diverse backgrounds. You will develop strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as empathy and compassion, which will be valuable in both your personal and professional life.
4. Meaningful Connections
Imagine being able to forge genuine connections with extraordinary individuals who have lived rich lives and hold a wealth of wisdom. Working in aged care provides you with the opportunity to build profound relationships with seniors, offering companionship, support, and a listening ear. These connections will not only brighten their lives but will also enrich your own.
5. Emotional Rewards
There is a unique joy that comes from bringing happiness and contentment to someone’s life. In aged care, you will witness firsthand the impact of your care and the immense gratitude shining in the eyes of those you serve. The sense of purpose and fulfilment that stems from making a difference in their lives is simply indescribable.
6. Leave a Lasting Legacy
Working in aged care allows you to leave a lasting legacy. The impact you make in the lives of the elderly individuals you care for will extend far beyond their time in your presence. The love, compassion, and support you provide will be etched in their hearts, and your presence will be remembered by their families and loved ones. Your contributions to the field of aged care will have a ripple effect, inspiring future generations of caregivers to follow in your footsteps and continue the mission of bringing comfort and joy to the lives of the elderly.
7. A Noble Purpose
Few callings are as noble as dedicating your career to caring for elderly individuals. By working in aged care, you will be providing essential support and assistance to those who have contributed so much to society. Your role becomes a beacon of light, ensuring their well-being, comfort, and dignity throughout their golden years.
8. Career Progression
A career in aged care offers a variety of career pathways and opportunities for progression. Your options span various settings like residential care facilities, community care, and respite care. Within these environments, you have the flexibility to assume roles such as a personal care worker, registered nurse, occupational therapist, or social worker.
With experience, and additional studying you can apply for the following roles in Aged Care:
For those interested in a management role, the field of aged care offers various opportunities. Aged care facilities require skilled managers to oversee daily operations, coordinate staff schedules, and ensure regulatory compliance.
Leisure & Health
Leisure and Health assistants care for the daily social, emotional and psychosocial needs of our residents. Leisure therapists use recreation and activities to maintain or improve the health, capabilities, and quality of life of clients.
Registered nurses in aged care are responsible for managing the overall healthcare needs of elderly patients. They administer medications, monitor vital signs, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure the well-being of their patients.
The job growth opportunities in aged care are abundant and diverse. Whether you are interested in providing direct care as a personal care assistant, managing operations as a facility director, or offering support as a home caregiver, the aged care industry offers a fulfilling and rewarding career path.
9. Training and Development
With continual learning, you can expand your skill set and knowledge through various training programs and certifications. This means that you can choose to specialise in a particular area or explore different roles within aged care, such as becoming a dementia care specialist or a palliative care nurse.
The flexibility to grow and evolve in your career ensures that you can continuously challenge yourself and find fulfilment in your work.
10. Competitive Salary
On June 30 2023 the Australian Government announced its support for a 15% pay increase in the aged care sector. The Hon Anika Wells MP, Minister for Aged Care, announced that The Australian Government is investing $11.3 billion, marking the largest hike for aged care workers ever. This move aligns with the government’s commitment to the Fair Work Commission’s Aged Care Work values case, aiming to provide vital support to aged care providers.
A valued workforce with the right skills and knowledge is critical to reform the aged care system so elderly Australians are front and centre. By emphasising fair wages, supportive workplaces and acknowledging the often undervalued work, this initiative strives to revitalise the sector. The FWC is considering further increases for these workers and increases for other workers in the aged care sector, including administrative and support staff in Stage 3 of the Work Value Case.
The impact of this pay increase is far-reaching. It brings stability to aged care workers’ finances, recognises their valuable contributions, boosts motivation, and attracts talent to the industry. Ultimately, it enhances aged care services, ensuring the elderly’s well-being and quality of life.
11. Community Engagement
Aged care is built upon a foundation of teamwork and collaboration. You will work alongside dedicated healthcare professionals, creating a supportive network where knowledge is shared, ideas are exchanged, and challenges are faced together. The bonds forged within this community will uplift and inspire you throughout your career.
12. Diverse Workforce
Working in a culturally diverse environment can bring numerous benefits for both employees and employers. It opens up opportunities for personal growth, enhances creativity and problem-solving skills, and fosters a more inclusive and global mindset.
The aged care environment workforce and people requiring support is incredibly diverse in people from various backgrounds, cultures, and traditions. By working in this field, you will have the privilege of embracing and learning from the rich tapestry of humanity. The exposure to different perspectives will broaden your horizons, foster cultural appreciation, and promote a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.
13. A Dynamic and Varied Environment
Aged care is an incredibly diverse field, offering a plethora of roles and responsibilities. From personal care to healthcare coordination, recreational activities to emotional support, each day presents new challenges and opportunities for growth.
No two days are alike, ensuring a vibrant and stimulating work environment.
Why Study Aged Care at Intercare Training
InterCare is a leading Registered Training Organisation in Australia, dedicated to community services education. We pride ourselves on our commitment to fostering student success with a mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. Our seasoned trainers, passionate about their roles, create a nurturing learning environment tailored to individual needs, ensuring students are not just educated but truly prepared for real-world scenarios. Understanding the uniqueness of each student, we provide personalised guidance and support, always prioritising their goals and potential. At InterCare, our ultimate satisfaction comes from witnessing our graduates flourish in their careers, impacting the community positively.
The field of aged care is ever-evolving, driven by advancements in healthcare and research. By embarking on this journey, you will have the chance to engage in continuous learning, honing your skills and expanding your knowledge in geriatric care.
Studying aged care is an excellent choice for students who want to make a real difference in the lives of others while pursuing a rewarding and stable career.
If you are interested in a career in aged care, consider enrolling in an aged care course to kickstart your journey towards a fulfilling career.