Working with elderly people in a care home can be a wonderful career path. The care worker is responsible for providing emotional, physical, and social support to a diverse range of people, helping them with their daily needs either at home or in an assisted living centre. Becoming an aged care worker is a noble choice, but it does require certain steps and skills. Make sure you have everything you need to start your career with this guide.
Training And Certification
While some carers do enter this profession without formal qualifications, there is certainly training involved that will help you to perform the job with confidence and competence. A qualification like a Certificate III in Aged Care will help prepare you for your new position, or you can enter into a traineeship that specialises in aged care work. Even if you train on the job, you’ll have to learn emotional skills like communicating with very disabled people, as well as practical skills like how to operate a ceiling hoist system.
The route you take may vary depending on your prior education and knowledge, but it’s important to undergo some form of training or certification to be able to tackle the daily tasks required on the job. As you work in the aged care field, your skills will naturally develop over time and you should be able to progress professionally. Your salary will also increase as your experience becomes more substantial.
The Skills Required For Aged Care Work
Some of the skills involved in the daily work of aged care are natural talents that some people innately have. For example, a good aged car worker should ideally be empathetic, compassionate, and caring in their attitude to others, particularly the elderly. They should be patient and sensitive in their treatment of others, and not easily irritated or over-sensitive. Aged care can involve some emotionally tough situations and difficult interactions at times, so workers need to be prepared to persevere and balance their empathy with a certain level of detachment when necessary.
An aged care worker needs to have particularly strong communication skills. Much of the job involves interacting with others, whether it’s the elderly people in your care or the colleagues you’re working with as part of the overall team. Effective teamwork and excellent care of the elderly requires strong communication at all times, and an ability to help those who may struggle with their communication skills to express how they feel.
As a carer, you will also need to be alert to the needs of the clients, and quickly able to notice any changes in their emotional or physical state. Carers are often responsible for reporting medical or emotional problems to management to ensure that proper care is carried out, so being alert and attentive is key. A certain level of medical knowledge can also be useful, as some basic medical assistance is often required from aged care workers.
Aside from these skills, some level of physical fitness can be helpful if you want to work with the elderly. The job involves a fair amount of physical activity – there’s plenty of walking around, lifting heavy objects, and assisting clients with their physical needs. Being physically fit and healthy will make the job far easier.