According to a background paper produced by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety,
by 2058 the Australian population aged 85 years or over will increase by 1.5 million with this demographic representing 3.7% of the overall population as a whole.
When you consider that presently there are only just over half a million people in the same age bracket, the growth over the next 35 years is significant; with greater advancements in modern medicine and better preventative measures and treatments for diseases like cancer continuing to be researched and developed, human life expectancy in Australia is only increasing.
And with this growth there understandably comes increased pressure on the aged care system to ensure there are enough resources and certified healthcare professionals to support the industry as it moves forward.
As outlined in this year’s recently released National Budget,
the government believes the aged care sector needs an additional 57,000 workers over the next several years, including 18,000 to provide in-home care services. Based on this, the government will fund 13,000 home care workers through a $92 million grants scheme.
In this article, we will look at reasons why the aged care sector is worthy of career consideration, what an aged care job involves and how to take steps in the right direction to establish yourself in the industry.
What does an aged care job involve?
Generally speaking, a job in aged care works to support elderly people with their daily activities and personal tasks. Aged care workers
often assist their patients with day to day requirements eating, hygiene, dressing, domestic chores and attending appointments.
In addition to this, aged care workers are also responsible for improving and enhancing overall well being
- physically, emotionally and mentally - of those in their care. Whether that’s organising excursions, playing games, getting out in the garden or encouraging gentle exercise, a significant part of the role is to keep older people engaged, connected and happy.
Why should you work in aged care?
With the aged care sector needing 1 million extra workers by 2050
- a quadrupling of the current workforce - the demand for accredited aged care professionals will only continue to grow. Here are several reasons why pursuing a career in aged care might be worth thinking seriously about.
1. Opportunity for career development.
The aged care industry is structured to promote various opportunities for career growth and development. Once you gain enough experience as an aged care professional, there are potential opportunities to step into more senior positions across aged care management. With an average salary
of $110,000 per annum, there is the capacity to earn a very healthy income as well.
2. The older population is rewarding to work with.
If you are lucky enough to have a close relationship with your grandparents, or even parents, think about all the nuggets of wisdom and life experiences they have shared with you over the years.
In this sense, working with the aged population can be enlightening for your own personal growth and development
- listening and learning from stories of their own experiences of love, hardships and successes. It’s a job where you can build a genuine bond and relationship with someone you deeply care about.
3. Improving quality of life.
As entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said, “one person caring about another represents life’s most significant value.”
Aged care workers have the unique opportunity to bring comfort, joy and compassion to older Australians while also helping to improve their feelings of independence and self worth. They can additionally offer companionship and conversation, which can encourage ways to remain socially connected and in touch with their community.
4. Various career pathways.
The aged care sector offers various career pathways across both clinical and residential care sectors. Depending on your passion and personality, there is everything on offer from aged care support workers to physiotherapists to registered aged care nurses. All avenues have the potential to create a stable and fulfilling career
in what is a rapidly growing industry.
How to become an aged care worker
- Education - complete a nationally-recognised course like CHC33015 - Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) from Upskilled
- Training - look into undertaking a traineeship at an aged care facility, supervised and mentored directly by senior aged care workers
- Volunteering - to gain more experience within the industry, there are various senior and aged care organisations that offer volunteer opportunities
- Furthering your skills and knowledge - it may also prove helpful for your career growth to look into additional certifications like advanced first aid or other learning pathways like CHC52015 - Diploma of Community Services
How to succeed in the aged care industry
As with any job or career that requires a genuine connection with others, successful aged care workers have a tendency to be people with patient, warm and empathetic personalities.
In addition to credentials, experience and professional skill set, finding fulfillment in the aged care sector depends just as much on a willingness to offer care and compassion that goes beyond the position description.
For more information about how an Upskilled course
can help you on your journey to a career in aged care, contact us today on 1300 009 924.
Katie Quirk is a PR and communications professional who has almost a decade of experience working with clients across a myriad of industries under her belt, including several in the education, government, not-for-profit and business sectors. In October 2019, Katie launched her own consultancy Katie Quirk Communications and is passionate about continuing to use her professional skill set to help inspire, encourage and ignite positive change within the community.