How to get a job in aged care

Today we bring you part five of our Be ambitious in 2017 series. This time we're looking at the aged care sector, an area that continues to grow in tandem with our ageing population.

What does an aged care worker do?

An aged care worker provides the physical and emotional support for older people who require assistance with day-to-day living. Working with older people can be physically and emotionally demanding, but it can also be extremely varied and immensely rewarding. Your work can take place in residential care facilities and, increasingly, in clients' homes. Many older people prefer to remain in their homes, something that governments actively encourage as it takes some of the pressure off the demand for places in residential care facilities which are costly to build and maintain.

Your work will involve home visits, organizing appointments and transport for clients, attending network meetings and updating file notes and other paperwork.

Personal qualities

To become a successful aged care worker there are a couple of personal qualities that will stand you in good stead. Principally among these qualities is patience. Many every day activities often take a lot longer for older people than they do for the young. Being patient and calm will go a long way towards reassuring your clients that you genuinely care about their needs. Other important qualities are a caring disposition, empathy, flexibility, discretion, good judgement and reliability.

Formal qualifications

To become a professional aged care worker you will also need some level of formal qualifications.

The Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) is a good starting point as it has no entry requirements. This qualification will give you a broad and basic range of factual, technical and procedural knowledge of the practices and concepts required for providing person-centred support.

If you already have some experience in the aged care sector, the Certificate IV in Ageing Support is a good study option. This qualification is more involved than the Certificate III and covers areas such as implementing falls prevention strategies, providing loss and grief support and delivering care services using a palliative approach.

What's next?

Think you might be a good fit for a career in aged care? Click here for more information and to download our free aged care course guide.