** This article was updated in March 2020**
According to the government’s job outlook website, there were 175,800 people employed in the aged care sector in 2018. That number is set to jump to 245,000 by 2023. There are lots of career options, both in residential and community settings and in a variety of direct-care and non-direct care situations.
But when we think about the day-to-day realities of working with the elderly, a lot of us might have different ideas about what the job actually involves. A career in aged care might at first seem gloomy or depressing from the outside.
But as anyone who has worked extensively in aged care will tell you, there are many rewarding and fulfilling aspects of the job that you might not have considered.
7 things about working in aged care that might surprise you
1. When you spend a lot of time with the elderly you begin to develop a deep respect for resilience.
Particularly when you see the way that resilience builds over the course of a lifetime. This means that you begin to develop a greater sense of resilience for yourself, which can have a lasting benefit, particularly when it comes to dealing with difficult situations.
2. You really understand how important social connectedness is.
When you work with people who are facing the end of their life, you can see the true value of social interaction right in front of you. For some, this might mean working harder on relationships with family and friends.
3. Working with the aged is also a daily lesson in the importance of keeping your mind and body active.
This can mean that you work harder on your own physical and mental health which will help to give you a sense of wellbeing.
4. One of the greatest privileges of working with the elderly is hearing the stories of those in your care.
Sometimes it is a tale of romance, sometimes war, but they are stories that can transport you to another time, which can feel very different to our own. This will also help you give a real sense of perspective on how you see the world.
5. You get to experience the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are doing a job that genuinely makes a difference.
It is easy to get up and go to work when you know that what you do has a positive impact on the community.Your clients will be diverse in their care requirements, and some will need a little bit more help than others. But knowing that you are providing them quality support in care, in whatever form that takes, will help you get out of bed every day and give you a real sense of purpose.
6. You get to witness miracles.
There are lots of miracles in aged care. It could be a dementia patient remembering a loved one who has come to visit or a stroke patient learning to talk again. When you work in aged care you see things that people thought were impossible.
7. When it comes to working in aged care, there are lots of different options.
You might be surprised to learn that jobs vary from nursing to administration.
While the majority of people employed in this sector work in healthcare and social assistance, jobs can also be found in administration and support services.
Thinking of a career In Aged Care?
If you are interested in following a stable and reliable job in aged care, a good starting point is to check out the different range of career options and qualifications you need first. You can also hear what people in aged care have to say about their day-to-day experiences.
Because of advances in medical science people are living longer than any previous generation. And, with a generation of ‘Baby Boomers’ approaching retirement age, there is a big demand for Aged Care Workers in Australia.
If you’re looking to pursue a meaningful and fulfilling career in a stable and reliable industry that also allows for growth, then a career in aged care might be the right fit for you.
Ready to change your part of the world with a meaningful career? Download your free Aged Care course guide via the form below.
Please note: Work placement opportunities are available in South Australia with our industry leading Aged Care partner, Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc. Find out more here.