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What to expect from a career in Community Services

What to expect from a career in Community Services

Want a career in the community sector but not really sure what avenue you want to take?

Need those difficult questions asked but don’t know who to ask?

Have a list of questions?

What course do I need to do to get into Aged care?

What course do I need to do to get into disability?

Can I work in home and community with these certificates or do I need to do another course?

What would be involved in my daily duties?

Can I work in aged care and not in disability?

Do I have to provide to personal care if I work in the aged care industry?

Is the work similar in both Aged Care and Disability?

So many questions but yet so many unanswered questions…………………

 

So let’s look at a few realistic statistics of what the community sector is requiring over the next 10 years or so!

In 2016, there were an estimated 235 764 workers in residential aged care and 130 263 workers in home care and home support. The majority of these workers were employed in direct care roles.

It is a fact that 88 % of care workers are females and the average age of our current workforce is 49 years of age. We have had a slight increase of male workers enter the community sector but it is an industry where we would like to see more males.

Research has found that by 2026, it is estimated that 18 per cent of the population will be aged 65 years and over (5.0 million people) and 2.3 per cent (644,000 people) will be 85 years and over. By 2055, the proportion of Australians over 65 will increase to 22.9 per cent (8.9 million) of the total population. The number of Australians receiving aged care is projected to increase by around 150 per cent over the next 40 years.

REF: 1 Department of Health, 2015-16 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997, 2016, p. 6.
2 Australian Government, 2015 Inter-generational Report, March 2015, pp vii–viii.

 

It has been projected that the aged care workforce will need to increase from approx. 366 000 to 980 000 by 2050, this is to  meet the needs of our ageing population and the older Australians that are requiring aged care services.

For more information about this I would recommend that you go to this site https://engage.dss.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Aged-Care-workforce.pdf

So now you know the statistics let me tell you that if you have the right attitude and want a career in the community sector and show your organisation that you are “talent” you will always have a position, good organisations want good employees.

 

What is an average aged care workers day looks like?

An average day can start at 6.00am, 2.00pm or 10.30pm depending on the shifts that you decide that you want to do. A week can start on a Saturday and your weekend can be a Thursday Friday. An aged care facility does not shut down for Christmas or public holidays. Closing times do not exist and they need staff 24/7… It is someone’s home, you could say a community of many people’s homes where the average age varies from 65 years and above.

No two days will ever be the same. You might be undertaking the same types of duties, but how and when will always be different and in some cases can be very challenging. You could come in to a shift in complete chaos and everyone is behind the eight-ball, due to 2 people calling in sick…. Followed by a day where things are just great and the day is running on schedule…….. (Very rare but can happen).

Working in an aged care facility, you will need to be prepared. Being a care worker the expectations will be that you will be doing those caring jobs as we call them, such as personal care. This involves showering, toileting (yes and that means that you will be required to ensure that all private areas are clean and sanitised). It doesn’t mean that there is a line up and that is all you do all day how often do you shower and go to the bathroom? Yes it is part of the role and sometimes it is really hard to move past the first one. It just takes us to realise that this is a person that has now lost their independence and we want to maintain their dignity! How would you feel if you were in their position?  I try to tell people to step out of their comfort zones and before you know it, it becomes second nature………… there is some great tips and techniques that can be taught to get past the first encounter………….  We don’t only do personal care and toilet our residents. This is their home and we need to help them feel like it is their home as much as we can and we can do that by making their bed and cleaning up their room. Giving them the paper to read, taking them out into to the garden interacting with them as much as we can. Feeding them those foods that they love to eat and ensuring that our residents maintain adequate hydration and nutrition.

Remember that working in the community sector it is a heavily legislated industry. Documentation such as daily care notes etc.  is a requirement and you must ensure that you stay on top of your documentation.

 

So what does a career in disability services look like? 

Disability work is very rewarding but also needs someone that has a high level of patience and time management skills as well as been a great communicator. People working in disabilities will have the privilege to work with people with varying types of disabilities. A disability job description can range from taking care of an individual or a group of clients this could include personal care, incontinence care, domestic cleaning, cooking, managing money and using public transport to taking individuals or groups out on outings or to work. You will find that most great employers are looking for talented people that are passionate, caring, and dedicated workers, who give people with disabilities the empowerment to live the lives they want. Documentation is also an important requirement in your daily duties so remember to be diligent when it comes to documentation and daily living notes is really important.

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