Male assisting elderly lady in wheelchair

Entering an aged care facility as a new starter or on student placement can be daunting if you don’t know what to expect. While no one facility is the same and residents are different in each, you can bring the right attitude to any facility. Similar to How to Become a Leader in Aged Care, this article will provide the tips you need to ensure you can confidently meet the challenges you’ll face day-to-day in your new facility.

Good Communication & Listening

The ability to effectively communicate is an important part of any job but for aged care, it is essential. A personal care worker that can communicate clearly is one that is able to provide the care that is required. They should be able to sit down, spend time with them and really be engaged in the moment.

On the other side of communication is listening and it can be taken for granted whether or not it is a trait in itself. In aged care, learning to listen to residents can help you to observe when they aren’t feeling themselves, and this could be due to some deeper issue they can’t or don’t want to, tell you about.

Be Prepared to Multi-Task

Every day is different in aged care and the schedule for the day and the tasks within it are sure to change throughout. Daily tasks could include cooking, cleaning and making sure your client gets to their appointments on time which can become overwhelming if done task-by-task. It might be difficult at first but over time, and with enough practice, you can find a balance that ensures some tasks can be juggled together.

Being Physically Fit Helps

The aged care industry is a physical one and workers spend a majority of the day on their feet. It is also required that aged care workers assist residents with mobility issues, which can often demand some physical exertion. While aged care staff are not expected to be as fit or as strong as Olympic athletes, you need to be prepared for the physical demands of the job to avoid the possibility of injury.

Be Supportive, Caring & Patient

These three traits might seem obvious but to ensure you deliver the best care to residents, they are perhaps the most essential for an aged care worker. Becoming old can make life difficult and residents want more than any medication, someone to make them feel cared for and heard. This extends to how you support them throughout their day by helping them with their routines, which can make a real difference in their lives.

However, due to residents being their own people and the unique personalities that come with that, they can also present many challenges. The same type of care won’t work for everyone, so it is important to be adaptable and patient with each of the residents under your care.

Attitude & Initiative

In order to enjoy a long and positive career in aged care, having the right attitude at the beginning and maintaining it, can make sure that happens. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or present questions to your fellow staff members, because you are all there for the same reasons, to care for and serve the residents.

Another great tip you can take to your first shift and beyond, is to become a hands-on participant rather than an observer.  This is especially helpful when dealing with those tasks that might seem menial – like cleaning and washing – but when done with initiative, these opportunities can really help out the wider team, and of course, the residents. Thinking of a career in aged care? MyPath Education can help get you there!