For many people, working as a personal carer (or support worker) in aged care or disability is an incredibly rewarding career. It offers flexibility, variety, interaction and the ability to positively impact someone else’s life. Our carers are the backbone of Harmony House. To find out more about a career as a carer, read on…
What does a personal carer do?
As the name implies a carer provides care, emotional support, physical support and assistance, and supervision for people with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities or needs arising from age.
Carers working in in-home aged care will be providing this care at the participants own residence, as well as on outings such as social engagements, appointments, shopping and church attendance. Typically in the home carers will support people needing help with eating, showering, administering medicines, dressing, cleaning and other household and admin tasks, as well as providing much needed companionship.
What type of people make good carers?
It goes without saying that carers require empathy and compassion. They also require patience, as they will be dealing with people who have challenges. People who get satisfaction out of helping others, and making life easier for them are well suited to a career as a support worker or personal carer.
Communication skills are critical, as they will be dealing with people who face special challenges.
Caring is also a physical job, so it is well suited to those who hate to sit behind a desk and would rather be actively helping in the community.
A carer also requires a certain degree of organisational skills – being sure to be on top of things, being able to plan for contingencies and also for being able to schedule your own working hours. Caring provides a fair amount of planned flexibility in terms of hours and days, which is one of the benefits of the role – however, planning to ensure that the care recipient is always covered means good communication with your employer or agency.
People who love caring as a career often cite their passion for dealing with all kinds of people from different backgrounds and with different needs as a key factor. This is often reflected in their cheerfulness and ability to bring positives to difficult situations.
It’s amazing to see people thrive and grow and do things they thought they were incapable of doing. You get to be a part of that *
The ability to help someone feel comfortable and secure in their own home is paramount. Helping them with daily care, house work, administration, outings etc. provide a level of care that enlarges the client’s life experience and makes variety and challenge for the helper makes work not a chore but a pleasure.
What experience and qualifications does a carer need?
Generally formal qualifications are not required. Candidates will need to undergo Police Clearance and Working WIth Children checks if relevant, but training is often provided by the care organisation.
However, candidates can do certificates in Individual Support, Aged Care or Disability Care through vocational education and training (VET) studies, which would enhance their employability and give them a good foundation in their career.
(To find a certificate course in personal caring see the Australian Government Careers site, click here)
The Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) supports carers with resources and information for carers or those aspiring to be. As a member you will be recognised as a professional in your field.
A world of opportunity
The Australian Government cites future demand for carers as “Very Strong”, meaning that people entering into the profession will be assured of many opportunities going forward.
How do I get a job as a carer?
Carers are most often employed via registered agencies or organisations such as Harmony House who provide care.
A good employer will have excellent HR practices and support, training, community and remuneration. They will work with you to manage your time, give you face-to-face or online training, and handle all the admin with regards to payment and employment.
Most good employers will have a career section on their website where you can apply.
To find out more about his rewarding career or to apply at Harmony House click HERE
We would love to chat to you.
*Source: Seek Career Surveys