Making great memories – Angela’s aged care story
With over two decades of experience in the care and support sector, Angela believes that working in aged care can bring an incredible amount of joy to its workers and the people they support.
“It’s a very rewarding job,” she says. “Every older person has a story.”
Angela moved to Australia 30 years ago and has been working in aged care since 2000. She is currently a Program Development Manager in residential aged care.
“I work in management, planning and organising programs for people from Chinese backgrounds,” she says. “This involves organising meals, activities, and outings. My employer allows me to work both in management and on the frontline, which helps me to learn more about people’s needs.”
With her own Chinese background, Angela understands the importance of delivering aged care from a multicultural perspective. She started working with a Chinese-specific organisation initially and transitioned to a multicultural group after 12 years.
“I really enjoy working with people from different cultural backgrounds,” Angela says. “My curiosity about people’s cultures drives me.”
For Angela, care begins with communication. Having an open dialogue with someone you support helps you to understand and apply solutions to their problems.
“Through listening, we enrich our lives while also giving back to the community,” she says.
Angela believes that aged care is a promising sector for young people looking to broaden their career horizons.
“Most of the older people we support enjoy spending time with young people,” she says. “They really enjoy the conversations and feel welcomed.”
The feeling goes both ways, she adds. “Both sides learn from each other.”
Angela highlights the flexibility of aged care as another benefit of working in the sector.
“I always encourage people to volunteer first and see if it’s the right fit for them,” she says.
Angela recommends studying a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) while volunteering or working on a part-time or casual basis, as it helps increase understanding and effectiveness of the job.
“We also provide on-the-job training, which allows people to deliver their roles more confidently,” Angela says.
She believes it’s more important than ever to build a culturally diverse care and support workforce.
“It’s a priority in aged care because we talk about individual and person-centred approaches,” she says. “We need staff members who know the culture and language of the person we are caring for. When people are receiving care and support, they need to feel comfortable about expressing their needs.”
Angela encourages anyone who is looking for a truly rewarding role that brings great job satisfaction to give a job in the care and support sector a go.
“There is a strong demand for workers in the sector, so there is a lot of opportunity for young people looking to start,” she says.
“We make such great memories from the job and really, what’s better than that?”
See more stories from the care and support sector.