The health and aged care markets are evolving rapidly. Australians are living longer than ever before, meaning senior care workers are increasingly in demand. In addition, older individuals today have an increased preference for independent living arrangements. As such, aged support workers must transition to person-centred care and commit to lifelong learning to keep pace.
At Sage Education, we’ve been at the forefront of the aged care industry for over fifteen years. We’ve charted the trajectory from simple community care programs to personalised home care solutions and committed ourselves to helping Australia’s aged care workers level up in line with changing trends.
In this guide, we’re going to provide you with ten of our top tips for keeping pace in the aged care industry. You’ll learn all about emerging technologies, discover all of the fantastic courses available to help you build experience, and learn about all the skills you should be practising to keep up in one of the world’s fastest-moving industries. Let’s get into the list.
10 ways to keep pace in the aged care industry
Aged care is changing all the time. Let’s explore the ten top things you should do to keep pace.
1) Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
The best way to keep pace in the aged care industry is to commit to Continuous Professional Development (CPD). New technologies, best practices and ideas emerge all the time in the aged care space. To keep up, it’s vital that workers invest in ongoing education and training.
If you’re looking to grow your professional experience, consider enrolling in VET courses to build more specialist knowledge. Certificate IV and Diploma courses are an excellent way to build on the knowledge you have. Plus, you can complete them part-time while you work.
For example, if you’ve already completed a Certificate III aged care qualification in the past, consider a Certificate IV in Ageing Support program. This course will allow you to build more advanced skills in niche areas. Plus, you’ll gain more up-to-date knowledge about modern best practices. This is especially relevant if it’s been a long time since you last completed a qualification.
Gaining new qualifications does more than improve your standard of care. It also makes you more attractive to employers. Completing a Certificate IV or Diploma course will give you the experience you need to find new jobs and transition into well-paid senior roles.
2) Build new skills
Aged care is becoming increasingly fast-paced. To keep up, workers must diversify their expertise and learn new talents. A diverse portfolio of skills allows you to provide more holistic, person-centred care. It also makes you more attractive when applying for promotions.
If you’re looking to grow your expertise and build new skills, consider a short skill set course from Sage. We currently offer two industry-leading, accredited skill sets.
Our Case Management Skill Set teaches you how to manage cases in a variety of contexts.
Our Assist Clients with Medication Skill Set is all about understanding, dosing, and administering medication.
The beauty of a skill set is that you can complete it in a short space of time. You could gain a valuable certification to add to your CV within a single day. If you’d like to learn more about our skill set programs, visit our individual course pages or reach out.
3) Commit to lifelong improvement
As the Australian aged care industry evolves, so too does the expectations and responsibilities of support workers.
It’s essential to keep an open mind in the aged care industry. Committing to lifelong learning is the key to remaining on the cusp of change.
Be willing to accept feedback and reflect on your own practices. Stay informed about recent developments, improve your skills where you can, and be ready to look at things differently. The more you’re willing to learn, the faster you can adapt to new changes. This puts you at the forefront of the industry and allows you to build expertise faster.
4) Embrace the home-based care trend
The Australian government’s consumer-directed care model gives older individuals autonomy when deciding how to spend the remainder of their life. As such, many older Australians are now choosing to age at home.
Residential aged care has several perks, both for you and your client. You get to foster a stronger relationship with your clients and provide them with a better quality of life. For your client, home-based care allows them to age comfortably in a location they’re familiar with. This gives them confidence, empowers them to work toward their goals, and makes them more receptive to your care.
The key to high-quality home care is knowing how to adapt your strategy for different individuals and living arrangements. Understanding your client’s home support preferences and becoming familiar with their routine allows you to provide a more personalised level of care.
5) Emphasise communication and collaboration
Effective collaboration is essential for smooth functioning in modern aged care facilities. Staff shortages and a rapidly ageing population mean care workers must rely on their colleagues for support.
Endeavour to make communication and teamwork a constant part of your work routine. Emphasise the importance of effective information sharing, active listening and respectful communication with your colleagues. Strengthening these skills results in more coordinated care plans, an improved response time to resident’s needs, and a better standard of overall care.
6) Focus on organisation
As the aged care industry becomes more demanding, the need for effective organisation increases.
Ensuring you’re always on time allows you to use your time more effectively. Accurate note-taking reduces logistical headaches down the line. Keeping thorough records means you’re always aware of the treatments you’ve administered. The key to staying on top of your work is remaining organised throughout the day.
7) Encourage empowerment and independence
Aged care is all about empowerment. Australians transitioning into retirement want to make their own decisions and perform the tasks they always have. As we transition toward client-first aged care, it’s becoming increasingly important to help older people develop the skills they need to remain independent.
The keys to encouraging independence are empowerment, motivation and empathy. You have the power to help older people achieve their goals, learn new skills and build confidence. In doing so, you’ll improve the quality of life of your clients. You’ll also set yourself up for a lifelong, rewarding career in the aged care sector.
8) Get the best out of technology
Telehealth technology has revolutionised home-based care. Aged care workers can now remotely monitor their client’s well-being through digital consultations and remote patient monitoring devices.
To keep pace in the increasingly demanding aged care industry, it’s vital to make the most of technology where you can. Telehealth allows you to monitor patients’ vital signs remotely, perform checkups, and collaborate with healthcare professionals without conducting a physical visit.
Using technology in aged care roles is like a superpower. It allows you to be in multiple places at once, reducing the need for physical visitations. This improves the efficiency of your care delivery and reduces the strain placed on you, especially when managing multiple clients.
9) Foster cultural diversity
Australia’s aged care landscape is rich with cultural diversity. In 2021, 27.6% of people living in Australia were born overseas, up from only 22% in 2006. Aged care workers must be prepared to provide appropriate care to people from various backgrounds, cultures, and belief systems.
Understanding your biases and how to challenge them is a crucial aspect of quality aged care work. An aged care course from a registered training organisation like Sage Education will teach you how to respect and provide care to people of different cultures and beliefs.
10) Practise compassion and empathy
Person-centred care means ageing support workers must prioritise empathy and understanding when working with clients. Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes to understand their unique needs, then work to deliver care that meets them.
To begin cultivating empathy, practise active listening and communication. Take on board what your client says and consider why they may feel that way. Taking the time to build genuine connections improves the quality of your care. It also leads to more fulfilling experiences, both for you and your client.
How Sage Education can help you stay on top in the aged care industry
The aged care sector moves quickly. Keeping pace requires continuous skills development, a willingness to improve, and the ability to adapt to different situations.
As one of Australia’s leading providers of quality aged care courses, Sage has the expertise to help you stay at the forefront of your industry.
Our accredited courses will teach you everything you need to know about aged care. When you enrol with us, you’ll learn
- All of the updated best practices for aged care
- How to foster cultural diversity
- How to make the most of technology
- How to practise empathy and compassion
- How to adapt your service to different situations
- Much, much more.
We offer courses for all experience levels and abilities. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level program to land your first job or a diploma to secure a leadership role, we have the training program for you.
We currently offer three training courses tailored to the aged care sector. These are:
- CHC33021 – Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing or Disability)
- CHC43015 – Certificate IV in Ageing Support
- CHC52015 – Diploma in Community Services
If you’d like to learn more about each course, click the links above. Want to find out more about Sage? Don’t hesitate to reach out. A member of our team will be on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have.