- It’s a career where you can really make a difference
For the older people that you work with, you may be everything from a personal assistant, a physical carer, an emotional supporter, activities coordinator, a cook or cleaner, a confidante and more.
- You’ll really understand the value of social connectedness
Seeing people at the latter stages of their life is a great daily reminder of the importance of family, friends, relationships and the importance of staying socially connected.
- There’s a plenty of job opportunities
There’s no secret that Australia’s population is ageing and according to joboutlook.gov.au, there’s expected to be high job openings (more than 50,000) in the coming years. Aged care is a job that can’t be outsourced overseas, it will always be there.
- There’s flexibility to work around your family or other priorities
According to joboutlook.gov.au, aged carers have a relatively low proportion of full-time jobs compared to other occupations. This is great when you’re looking for part-time, shift work or weekend work.
- Every day is different
Like any job that involves people, not too many days will be the same. There will be challenging days, days that are more physically or emotionally demanding than others, days where you may work with people who need high levels of support, days where it’s easier.
- You’ll hear stories that you can never have imagined
Have you heard the saying “fact is stranger than fiction”? Older people often love to tell stories as they reminisce about their own lives and often you’ll find that their true, factual stories are indeed stranger than fiction. You’ll hear stories of love, resilience, humour, tough times, fun times, careers in often long-gone occupations, families, travels and more.
- You won’t only be working with older people
As well as the people you are caring for, you’ll be working with your colleagues and a whole team of other professionals. You’ll also often be involved with families of the older people.
- There are plenty of ways to advance in your career
You may start off a support worker or carer in one aged care setting and move to another area of the same setting eg low level care to high level care or to a special unit for dementia. You may move to another service that gives you the opportunity to work with older people that need a different type of care and support, for example home care. You could also go on to supervise a team of workers, move to administration, do more study in the field or branch out into lifestyle support. You could start your own business with the opportunities that are now opening up under the NDIS. There are so many options.
- You will develop rewarding relationships
The relationships that you can develop by caring for the elderly can be heartwarming and memorable. There’s something about providing personal and emotional support to a patient as they approach the end of their life that creates a special bond. Even a simple smile can make a huge difference at a time of life when each moment counts.
- There’s opportunity to find a real sense of fulfillment
Aged care is great if you’re the sort of person who is always actively looking for ways to help people and want a job with meaning where you get to interact with people.
- It’s a great motivator to care for yourself
Seeing people as they age and develop various ailments is a daily reminder of the importance of caring for your own health and well-being and can give you the boost you need to prioritise these areas of your own life.
- There are many different options to get started
You may think of working in aged care as working in a nursing home. This is just one option – you may also work in home care, day programs, hospitals and even the jobs can vary from carer/support worker roles to administration to lifestyle coordinators. As far as study goes, you can choose – start at a Certificate III in Individual Support or a Certificate IV in Ageing Support.
- You may even witness a miracle or two
There’s no guarantee in this area but miracles come in surprising ways … like when a person with dementia remembers the name of a family member who comes to visit or when a stroke patient who was expected to die, recovers and regains their speech or ability to walk.