Finding a career that is fulfilling, achievable and offers excellent job prospects can be tricky. For many, wanting to contribute to the lives of others and a better world are key ingredients when it comes to discovering that sense of fulfilment in the workplace and in life. If this sounds like you, then you could be suited to exploring a career path in aged care.
In the aged care sector, each day is dedicated to improving the quality of life for ageing individuals in our communities. In addition, caring and compassionate aged care professionals are in high demand, with Australia’s ageing population contributing to a booming aged care sector.
It is estimated that by the year 2042 Australia will be home to over 1 million people who are aged 85 and over. That’s more than double the figures from 2018! With more than 1.2 million people accessing aged care during 2017-18, there is no doubt that demand within the sector will continue to grow.
According to ‘A Matter of Care’, the report of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, approximately 1 million aged care workers will be needed by 2050 to provide care for over 3 million seniors across the country. The aged care workforce needs more people to enter the sector; people who are committed to caring for others, enhancing their lives and upholding a high standard of care.
With the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care set to overhaul the sector, those entering into an aged care career will benefit from a renewed focus on delivering compassionate care through more training opportunities to upskill throughout this meaningful career path.
Why aged care is a great career path
Beyond the growth of the aged care sector and its incredibly valuable role in society, a career in aged care has plenty to offer. Let’s take a look at five of the top reasons why aged care is genuinely a great career path.
Make a meaningful difference
As an aged care worker, you make a meaningful difference to ageing individuals each time you head into the workplace. Those in your care are able to enjoy a higher quality of life as a direct result of the work you do. Aged care workers help some of the most vulnerable members of society to feel comfortable, supported, nourished and cared for. The work undertaken by aged care workers enhances people’s wellbeing and supports them in staying connected with the world.
An industry that is evolving
With the growth of the sector and recommendations provided by the Royal Commission into Aged Care, aged care is currently evolving and changing to better meet the needs of communities. High quality care is the focus for aged care providers and workers. Expect more dynamic approaches to care along with more training and better support for aged care professionals to do their job more effectively.
A workplace with variety
Aged care is not a one-size-fits-all approach, with professionals in the sector delivering a range of care types. While some carers work within the context of an aged care facility with live-in residents, others may visit a client’s home to help them maintain independence. In some aged care roles, you will be focused on personal hygiene, dressing, eating and wellbeing checks.
In other aged care roles, you may be supporting clients with their shopping and home duties or providing social support. While working in aged care you might be involved in art, music and craft, or social outings with clients too. Each day is different, and you are likely to engage with a range of different people over the course of a shift. You will also likely hear and be inspired by some incredible stories from those you provide care to over the years!
Range of shifts and hours
There are a range of job structures in aged care that provide shifts and hours to suit many different lifestyles and personal commitments. Aged care is not necessarily a 9 to 5 job and can provide you with full time, part time or casual hours as well as night shifts or rotating rosters.
Excellent employment prospects
While aged care currently employs over 255,000 people, by 2050 around 1 million aged care workers will be required to care for Australia’s ageing population. Needless to say, the sector has a growing demand for well-trained aged care workers. Getting qualified for an aged care career means access to a successful and fulfilling career.
Understanding the variety of roles in an aged care career
With many pathways to follow within your aged care career, it’s important to know what your career outcome could look like. There are a variety of roles that work within different care approaches or settings, and your aged care career may focus on one or more of these.
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.
Home care assistant
Similar to a personal care worker, the home care assistant role supports clients who are elderly, 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.
As a care program coordinator, you are responsible for designing and developing a program of activities for older clients that works in tandem with care plans provided by other health care providers. You’ll devise activities that will engage clients, encourage social interaction and develop a sense of community with their peers. Your role will see you liaise with other care professionals, sharing information that will help assist individuals and groups to enjoy a greater quality of life.
Advancing an aged care career
Having the opportunity to progress in your career is important, and in aged care you can upskill to seek out new directions in which to take your career or shift into various other areas of care. For example, you might steer your aged care career to specialise in leadership and management within the sector. Alternatively, designing programs to improve the health of the elderly might be the way forward for you.
Your aged care career might begin with a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015). From here, perhaps you may take up a role as an aged care worker providing residential care services for a year or so. Next you could decide to upskill on the job — a Certificate IV in Ageing Support is a great next step to move toward a more senior role in the aged care workplace, such as Aged Care Team Leader.
With your foot in the door in the aged care sector, accessing further studies via workplace delivery mode can help you advance your career while you’re still working. Earning while learning makes progressing in your aged care career more accessible.
Discover a meaningful career in aged care
Finding a career that you can be proud of isn’t always easy but working in aged care and committing to the health and wellbeing of individuals who need compassion and care is truly fulfilling.
Make a genuine difference to the lives of others — discover a career in aged care with our aged care courses. Contact Selmar Education today for more information.