Why an aged care career is rewarding
If you’ve been considering working in aged care, you’ve probably wondered what this career path has to offer. It’s important to know that a profession in aged care is one that is fulfilling and can truly change the lives of others for the better.
Australia has an ageing population, with figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics projecting that more than 1 million Australians will be aged 85 years and over by 2042. This will represent double the figures from 2018 and result in a continually growing demand for quality aged care professionals. According to the report of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, the aged care workforce will provide care to around 3.5 million Australians by 2050 and will require an estimated 1 million highly skilled aged care workers.
With the Royal Commission into Aged Care set to bring about an industry overhaul in the coming months and years, it is likely that we will see more mandated training and a renewed focus on recruiting well-trained aged and disability care workers who have what it takes to care for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.
Aged care careers have much to offer
A career in aged care has more to offer than being a growth sector. The benefits of working in this industry extend to work-life balance, career progression and fulfilment.
Broad variety of roles
Aged care involves a range of different roles, from delivering care within an aged care facility to visiting a client’s home to helping elderly individuals remain as independent as possible. Your aged care job could involve supporting clients with their shopping and home duties or providing social support. Personal hygiene, dressing, eating and wellbeing checks may be a part of your role. Aged care workers can care for individuals living with dementia or disability, or may be involved in palliative care services. A role within this offers a range of varied responsibilities where each day is different.
Shifts and hours to suit
Due to the variety of roles and growing number of approaches to aged care, you will also find that there are many different job structures, hours and shifts available. This can enable you to find the work-life balance you are looking for, and can fit in with your existing life commitments or family situation. For example, night shifts or casual hours are an option in an aged care career.
Personal and professional fulfillment
The work you do every day in aged care is improving the quality of life for another human being. You will help them to feel more comfortable and ensure they are nourished and maintain good health and personal hygiene. Your care will enhance people’s wellbeing and support them in staying connected with the world.
An evolving industry
The commitment to quality care is vital for aged care. As the Royal Commission into Aged Care rolls out its recommendations, we will likely see a range of changes implemented to ensure the workforce can be the very best they can be through regular training and more dynamic approaches to care. Aged care is not just growing, but evolving too and now is a great time to join this sector.
Future-proof job opportunities
Aged care is a booming industry with a growing demand for highly skilled care workers, offering qualified carers the access to a sector with excellent job prospects. While the industry currently employs over 255,000 people, it is forecasted that 1 million aged care workers will be required by 2050 due to Australia’s ageing population. When you complete aged care qualifications, you know you will have a successful career waiting for you at the end of your training.
Where an aged care course can take you
The aged care sector has many pathways to follow within your career, each offering a different approach or setting to care. Depending on the qualifications you choose and the pathway you opt for, your career in aged care could result in a number of different roles in the sector. Let’s consider a few of them.
Personal care worker
A personal care worker, or personal care assistant, delivers care to ageing individuals or individuals living with a disability. The care is provided in care facilities or at home depending on who employs them. In this role you may help people to bathe, get dressed or eat. You could accompany those in your care to appointments, help them clean their homes, or even provide social opportunities such as outings.
Community care worker
As a community care worker, you will support people in the community who are living with a disability. This could involve bathing, dressing and feeding them, or helping them to do these tasks. Your role will be crucial in maximising the individual’s ability to be active and lead a full life.
Home care assistant
Similar to a personal care worker, the home care assistant role supports clients who are elderly or living with a disability, however they provide the care in the clients’ homes. They are responsible for helping their clients to maintain a level of independence. This can involve transporting them for social outings, running errands for or with them, administering medications, tidying and even providing companionship.
Progressing in an aged care career
There are many pathways in which to progress your aged care career. Upskilling can provide you with the opportunities to take your career to the next level or shift into various other areas of care. This might be extending your skills to disability care, designing programs to improve the health of the elderly, or specialising in leadership and management within the sector.
For example, if you commence your aged care career with a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015), you might work as aged care worker providing residential care services for a year or so before deciding to upskill on the job with a Certificate IV in Ageing Support, with a view to advancing in your career and taking on a more senior role in your workplace.
Workplace delivery mode enables those already working in the aged care sector to undertake further studies to upskill. Earning and learning simultaneously means taking your career to the next level.
A career you can be proud of
Being able to say you are proud of the work you do doesn’t happen every day – that is, unless you work in aged care. With high quality aged care training and a commitment to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable individuals, a career in aged care provides the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. The aged care industry is growing and needs skilled aged care workers to make a meaningful impact. Now is the time to make your move towards a rewarding and reliable career.
Our aged care courses can give you the qualifications, skills and support needed to become a sought-after aged care professional. Take a look at our range of courses here and commence your aged care career.