How to start a career in Aged Care

23rd March 2021

If you enjoy working with elderly people and helping them get the support they need, a career in Aged Care could be for you. This industry is a rewarding one and you’ll usually work with multiple clients with a wide range of individual needs. Whether you decide to work with clients in their own home or in a residential care facility, the aged care industry offers various career pathways. You might decide to focus on lifestyle support, service coordination or specialise in a particular type of aged care such as dementia support.

A career in Aged Care means you’ll need to be understanding and a good listener. Communication skills are important and you’ll need to be able to liaise with clients, their families and support providers. Aged care workers should be patient and willing to be involved in a range of activities with clients. Depending on your role, you may have to work irregular hours including weekends and public holidays. Some physical work may also be involved, including heavy lifting.

If you’re interested in a career in Aged Care, the following courses can help you get started:

Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
A Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) will give you the practical skills you need to provide support to elderly people. You’ll learn to provide support to a wide range of clients and meet their individual needs. The course will prepare you to work in a range of settings from in-home personal support to respite care or other aged care services. You’ll learn strategies to promote independence and monitor health and wellbeing.

Certificate IV in Ageing Support
A Certificate IV in Ageing Support is an excellent qualification for anyone wanting to work in aged care. The course is suitable for people planning to get a job in a residential care facility, but will also provide the skills to offer individual support to clients in their own home or as part of a community service program. You’ll learn about topics such as palliative care and dementia and develop strategies for liaising with families and other support providers.

Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
A Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance can help you work with older people as a therapy assistant. You’ll assist clients with a program from a qualified allied health professional such as an occupational therapist or physiotherapist. You might help your clients with rehabilitation as they recover from accidents or illness, assist them to maintain their range of physical movement or address any problem issues they might experience.

An Aged Care qualification could lead to a range of careers including the following job roles:

Aged Care Worker
An Aged Care Worker works in an aged care facility or assists elderly clients living in their own homes. You might also take part in community support programs or offer specialised support as required. Aged Care Workers may take clients out into the community to attend appointments or run errands. You might also assist people with daily living tasks such as cooking, cleaning, showering and dressing.

Residential Care Worker
A Residential Care Worker supports elderly clients with their daily lives in an aged care facility or nursing home. You might provide practical assistance with tasks such as dressing, showering or eating or you might help with social interactions. This might involve organising events and activities or accompanying residents on outings in the community. Residential Care Workers liaise with other support providers and communicate with family members and carers.

Diversional Therapist
A Diversional Therapist organises and delivers social and recreational activities for elderly clients. You’ll usually be employed by a residential aged care facility but you might also provide programs for clients living in their own home. Diversional Therapists might address the physical needs of their clients or other issues such as social interactions or lifestyle needs. You’ll work with a small group of clients at once but you might also work with individual clients when required.

Getting started

If you’d like to work in Aged Care, make sure you collect information from a range of course providers before you decide to enrol. Course providers usually vary in the way they deliver their programs and it’s important you find the right course to meet your needs. Make sure you get information about course duration, costs, any prerequisites and the content the course will cover. Once you have all the information you can compare details and work out which qualification is the best fit for you.

Written by Jodie Magrath
Jodie Magrath
Jodie is a freelance writer with a background in communication and journalism. She’s spent almost 20 years working in roles such as Special Projects Writer and Publications Officer.

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