New beginnings – Loi’s aged care story
Care and support workers are a diverse group, with different backgrounds and work experiences, and Loi is no exception.
Originally from Vietnam, Loi has been working as an aged care worker for the last six years, after he was made redundant from his previous role in a car factory.
“Many car factories were closing in Australia and moving their operations overseas,” Loi says. “As someone who was over 50 and non-skilled, it was very difficult to find work.”
Loi sought advice from different job networks, some of whom recommended the care and support sector. Loi was interested, as there were plenty of jobs available and the opportunity to work flexible hours.
However, his family and friends felt hesitant about his decision to pursue a career in aged care.
“My family and friends were worried I would find it difficult or that I wouldn’t enjoy it,” Loi says.
Loi took the plunge and went on to complete a Certificate III. The course took six months and included 150 hours of job placement experience and dementia knowledge in a local nursing facility.
Fast forward several years and Loi is happy to say that it was absolutely the right decision.
“I feel really confident and satisfied in my role,” he says.
As someone who is multilingual and speaks four languages, Loi says this has also benefited his work and helped him to connect with the older people he cares for.
“We have a similar cultural background and can communicate in the same language, which helps me to better support them and understand their needs,” he says.
For Loi, the most rewarding part of his job is the ability to help older people to live fully and independently in their own homes. On a day-to-day basis, that might be helping people to prepare meals, take medication or do their gardening, or accompanying them to the shops and social events.
“The first thing I do every morning is check my roster and plan out my day,” he says. “Good time management is really important when every day looks different.”
He also feels lucky to work in a sector that has strong job growth, income security and employment opportunities – even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loi encourages anyone who is considering working in the care and support sector to go for it.
“This career has allowed me to support the rights of older people to live dignified, healthy lives, and to continue building my confidence and communication skills,” he says. “It’s been truly rewarding.”
See more stories about working in the care and support sector.