Aged care involves tending to the needs of the elderly – people who are often too weak or debilitated (from diseases like dementia) to take care of themselves. It’s a demanding job, and involves many aspects of care such as feeding, physical support, cleaning, and emotional support.
Although working in an aged care facility like Kew Gardens is demanding, a career in aged care comes with many benefits (after all, nothing great comes easily), from gratification to respite care. So, here are some reasons why you should consider a career in aged care.
There’s plenty of room to wiggle your toes.
And by that, we mean two things. One, the aged care industry is very flexible and there are a number of different roles that you can try. And two, there’s plenty of room for growth.
Regarding flexibility, if you’re looking for a stable nine-to-five job, you can work in a facility as a residential support worker, looking after the elderly for extended periods. However, if you’re looking for something less demanding, you can choose to provide personal care via home visits. In 2020, home support clients made up a whopping 64% of the total aged care consumers in Australia!
About growth, a career in aged care comes with many opportunities for climbing up the industrial ladder. If you’re a natural leader, you might end up as a care manager with a significant increase in your salary.
A care manager orchestrates the entire facility, overseeing the clinical program, the staff, and any feedback from clients. But that’s not the only position that you can climb to — if you’re interested in healthcare, you can get trained as a registered nurse or an assistant to a nurse.
Both these roles will increase the clinical aspect of aged care in your life, allowing you to work alongside healthcare professionals and give you an even deeper insight into the lives of your patients. Of course, there’s a monetary benefit of this shift as well — the average salary of a registered nurse is around $77k.
The world needs you!
And we mean that literally because the aged care industry is on the rise. The stigmata around aged care are starting to break down as governments are estimating increases in elderly population in the future and realizing the need for aged care needed to manage this sector of the population effectively.
For example, the 65+ population of Australia is projected to grow around 7% by 2057. Another estimate predicts that the number of people needing aged care in Australia will double by 2050. These estimates mean that the demand for skilled aged care workers will soar in the coming years.
And that’s why it’s a great idea to invest in an aged care career today because as the demand for your field rises in the future, so will the benefits and compensation associated with it. And the earlier you jump in, the higher your chances of climbing to the top of your industry!
You get to work with the most wholesome bunch of people out there.
Many people don’t realize it, but co-workers are an extremely important aspect of any career. And nasty coworkers can take a significant toll on your mental health and job performance.
But nasty coworkers are something very rare in the aged care industry. That’s because employers are often on the look-out for people with a positive attitude, excellent communication skills, patience, and many other qualities that are required to deal with an elderly patient empathetically.
And because people working in aged care facilities are naturally “good” people, you get to work in a very supportive, positive, and non-toxic environment. In fact, many people who work together in an aged care facility end up being lifelong friends. A career that can give you lifelong friends is certainly worth it!
You make your patients extremely happy and that happiness permeates through your life.
The elderly in aged care facilities are some of the most vulnerable (and sometimes, sad) people out there. These people need every bit of support they can get and when they find someone (like you) spending hours looking after them, their happiness is often immeasurable.
Plus, aged care is not only about the technical (or the medical) aspect of elderly care — it’s so much more. It’s kind gestures, warm conversations over a cup of coffee, a little secret shared, or even just a genuine smile — people in aged care are going to thank you for eternity for these things.
This makes a career in aged care very gratifying. And because you’re surrounded by so much positivity and gratitude at work, happiness permeates through other aspects of your life as well and you get to lead a very fulfilling life overall!