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Why you should be working in aged and disability care

04 April 2019

Health care professionals and medical workers dedicate their lives to helping others. Nursing in aged care and disability is never boring and every day is emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging. It takes a lot to continuously support others every day, which is why health care professionals are highly respected in society.

In Australia, there is a shortage of health care professionals and increased demand for aged and disability carers due to the aging population. In 2017, 15% of Australia’s total population were over the age of 65, which equates to 1 in 7 Australians. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare projects that the number of Australians aged over 65 years will double by 2057.

Aged and disability care workers provide physical and emotional support to the elderly and people who require assistance in their daily life. They are employed in aged care facilities, private residential homes, hospitals, clinics, local government, and other facilities that require personalised care.

Aged and disability care roles include:

  • Domestic assistance: assisting with housekeeping and cleaning
  • Personal care: attending to the personal needs of aged and/or disabled people who are physically unable to take care of themselves, includes personal grooming and personal hygiene
  • Social support: maintaining social contact with older people through community activities and helping older people connect with their families
  • Palliative: specialised medical care for terminally ill people and their families

Being exposed to different areas of care allows you to gain a variety of experience in supporting people with different needs and different health conditions. In addition, these skills, which include empathy, stamina, and resilience, are transferable and can be applied in other industries.

Working in aged and disability care allows you to meet a variety of people. You have the opportunity to develop relationships with different people, improve their quality of life, learn from older people, and gain great personal satisfaction.

Australia has a National Disability Insurance Agency, which implements the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that aims to support a better life for hundreds of thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability. It promotes a wide range of opportunities for assisting people with significant and permanent disability, and following its rollout in Victoria in 2017, there has been an increased demand for trained disability support workers.

To start your career in aged and disability care, you can gain a qualification with practical placement through vocational education and training. Qualifications include Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015), Certificate IV in Ageing Support (CHC43015), Certificate IV in Disability (CHC43115) and Certificate IV in Mental Health (CHC43315).