Taking care of the elderly or those with disabilities in the aged care sector may be one of the most demanding and challenging jobs within the health care industry. It also comes with many rewards and ample opportunities that can lead to a gratifying career.
1. There is abundance of opportunities
With the number of people requiring some form of aged care set to double in Australia by the year 2050, the demand for professional support workers is increasing rapidly. This means there is ample opportunity for you, once qualified, to gain a position within the aged care sector relatively quickly and begin to start building a successful and fulfilling career.
2. Roles and aged care situations can vary
There are many positions within the aged care industry to suit a variety of skills and personalities. There are careers in frontline support, administration, human resources, and catering as well as managerial and corporate roles.
There are also a variety of situations you as a support worker can work within. You may work with the elderly, younger people with disabilities or families with people who are receive aged care. Careers can be sourced in community care were you can offer your support and services to people in their home, at a residential aged care facility providing continuous nursing support or assisting in a community-based facility.
3. Rewarding but challenging
Without a doubt, working in the aged care sector can become an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career. However, it does come with its challenges both physically and emotionally. Caring for an aged person or one with a disability can have its physical demands. For example, if you are in a support role where you are required to provide hands on assistance.
You may also be in a situation where you are required to manage someone with difficult behaviours or health issues, you may be working in an environment where you will experience grief and loss and you may be exposed to the emotion of friends and family throughout your career as a support worker.
4. Ideal skills and attributes
There are several key skills and attributes that aged care workers require to build a successful career in the industry. Employers look out for those with a caring and supportive attitude, good communication skills, patience and discretion and physically fit. Embodying a positive outlook, having a high level of professionalism and showing a natural empathy towards the elderly or disabled are also desirable traits of an aged care worker.
5. You will be making a difference to someone’s life
If you love working with people and helping people a career in the aged care sector could be suitable for you. Working with the elderly or those with a disability that requires assistance can bring so much joy into someone else’s life. You may become their personal assistant, their confidant, their emotional crutch, perhaps their cook or cleaner. It’s more than just being a carer. It is a very satisfying career which will leave you knowing you have enhanced the lives of your clients by allowing them to remain living in their own home for as long as possible or providing them intensive support within a high care facility.