The 5 skills you need ( and probably already have) to be a great aged care worker

Looking for a career change or deciding what to study? Have you thought about becoming an aged care worker? There is a growing need for aged care workers in Australia which means it is a safe and reliable career choice for the next decade and beyond. In fact according to McCrindle research:

“If we are to keep the current ratio of aged care workers to people aged over 85 in our nation, we need to add 77,976 workers in the next 10 years, which equates to recruiting 650 new workers per month AND not to mention replacing the 668 staff who are going to retire every month.“

Through recruiting care workers for the Careseekers platform we have come to understand that care workers can have a variety of experience, qualifications and skills. An Aged Care Certificate gives you some basic skills necessary for the job however there are some life skills you would have obtained that would make you an excellent aged care worker and you may not even realise it.

Real world caring experience

If you are new to the sector and are struggling to get jobs due to the fact you have no experience, you need to re look at your life experience. Do you have children? Then you have probably had more caring hours than you are realizing. This is one of those careers where you need to shout out loud about all the hours you spent at home with the kids. Your learning from these years is invaluable and quite hard to “unlearn.”

A great multitasker

Each job will be different, in fact every hour in every day may be different. You could go from helping someone get ready for the day, to driving them to a doctor’s appointment, to doing some physical exercise with them. The better you are at jumping from one task to the next, the better you will be in your role as an aged care worker.

Being able to have a good old fashioned chat

If you are tasked with the job of preparing dinner for a frail elderly person it will be 50% meal prep and probably 50% chatting. An aged care worker provides so much more than just domestic assistance or personal care. They can often be the only contact an elderly person has all day. Often the family relies on the care worker as they are a companion to their parent when they just cannot be there. So all those hours you have spent chatting to friends really can come in handy when being an aged care worker.

A good listener

Following on from the last point, being able to listen to the needs of the person you are caring for makes a huge difference to the way you deliver care. Their grumpy behaviour might be due to them not feeling 100% or being worried about something. Listening to what they are saying and worrying about may give you some clues about how they are feeling and why they are acting in a certain way.

Respect for the elderly

Although this seems obvious some people have an innate respect for elderly people and always have. They see them for who they are and what they have achieved in their long life. Having this understanding about the elderly in our society will not only make you a fantastic aged care worker but it will mean you find the role rewarding and uplifting.

So go on, start the journey of becoming an aged care worker today. There is a real need and you probably have many of the skills that you simply cannot learn in a classroom.
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