Aged Care: Essential Skills for an Essential Sector

on the Thursday, July 22, 2021

Deciding to undertake aged care qualifications is a big commitment. But it’s so much more than just training for a future job – you are training to make a difference in the lives of others.

Aged care workers can have a big impact on the elderly community, as well as their loved ones and society as a whole.

Vital sector needs essential workers

Quality aged care is essential to keep our communities safe and thriving. It’s not difficult to see why aged care workers are so valuable to society – they are responsible for upholding the quality of life of elderly people in both residential and home care.

Again, the people studying to work in the aged care sector are not just skilling for a job – they are skilling to make a difference in people’s lives. From live-in care requirements to short term support or assistance remaining independent in their own home, aged care needs vary greatly between elderly individuals.

Many older Australians would have no support without aged care workers, meaning many would not have their basic needs met such as eating, bathing, and getting dressed, not to mention more complex health requirements. Aged care also offers companionship to elderly people and helps them to maintain a clean and healthy living space, as well as opportunities to get out and about.  

As Australia’s elderly population continues to grow, aged care workers and the sector itself will only become more important.

Demand is growing

Recent data from the National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey found there were approximately 366,000 paid workers in aged care in 2016. The Royal Commission into the Aged Care states that the workforce, already one of the largest sectors in Australia, will need to grow to around 980,000 aged care workers by 2050.

This demand for workers is due to the evolving demographic of Australians who are living longer than ever before. The Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report summary includes projections that the number of Australians aged 85 years and over will increase from 515,700 in 2018–19 to more than 1.5 million by 2058.

The Australian Government has responded to the Aged Care Royal Commission with an investment of $338.5 million. Delivered over three years, this funding is aimed at growing, training and upskilling the aged care workforce to drive improvements to the safety and quality of care experienced by senior Australians. The expansion of the government’s Job Trainer program will present the opportunity to train a further 33,800 aged care workers over the next two years, going a long way in alleviating staff shortages.

Supporting aged care from within the sector

Aged care organisations can play a key role in shaping a sector that is highly skilled. Empowering your aged care staff to upskill or reskill, exploring career progression opportunities is a must. This support can help aged care workers feel valued and appreciated, with a drive to continue to contribute as an essential aged care professional.

Supporting skill development not only benefits aged care employees, but it also ensures that aged care organisations are providing the best care possible. Recipients of care and their families with reap the benefits of a high-quality sector and workforce.

Benefits of working in aged care

If you want to join the aged care workforce, or you’re wondering if staying and reskilling is a good option, there are key aspects of the sector that offer benefits you won’t find in other careers.

Here are just some of the professional and personal benefits of working in aged care:

High demand for workers: When you are qualified to work in aged care you can be confident that you will find employment, with options for employment across the country.

Essential sector status: When many felt the anxiety and stress of the pandemic and its resulting impact which meant many could not work, aged care workers remained in their essential worker roles.

Room for growth: In an aged care job you have the chance to explore options to progress your career. This might mean jobs in the lifestyle side of aged care, or it could be looking toward taking on a position in leadership.

Make a meaningful difference: There aren’t many jobs where you can be guaranteed to make a meaningful difference for the lives of others during every shift. But this certainly true in aged care.

A new perspective: The people you meet and the stories you hear in aged care can really have an impact. At times, you will have experiences in aged care that make you see the world through new eyes. You might have your opinions challenged or changed, and you will certainly have plenty to learn.

A sense of purpose: Many of us are looking for a sense of purpose in life. That feeling of fulfilment. In aged care work, you find purpose through giving back. You are fulfilled from the knowledge that you are enhancing someone’s life and helping someone who really needs you.

Joining the sector

Whether you’re entering the sector for the first time, reskilling or upskilling to advance your aged care career or you are keen to support your aged care staff to level up their qualifications, Selmar is here to help.

The team at Selmar are experts in the aged care sector, dedicated to supporting Australia in creating a sustainable and highly-skilled aged care workforce. With experienced trainers, relevant and up-to-date course material and a thorough yet flexible approach to studies via our online learning portal, thriving comes naturally when you train with Selmar.

If you are interested in upskilling or entering the aged care workforce, call Selmar today on 1300 484 158.