Supporting older people
On this page
Who you will support
Support workers for older people, often referred to as ‘aged care workers’, work with people with age-related care and support needs.
These needs may be physical, cognitive, emotional or social in nature, and will likely evolve with time.
What makes support for older people different?
Support for older people involves helping them to live independently, fully, and with dignity.
A large part of the work is supporting the person to stay engaged in social, intellectual and physical activities, to maintain their wellbeing. The social connection and relationship you provide can be very important to the person you care for.
In providing support, you may need to be sensitive to the particular challenges faced by older people such as ageism, social isolation, and dealing with health conditions or deterioration of physical and cognitive capabilities.
Older people will often have other health professionals involved in their care, including their general practitioner. You may need to work alongside them.
What support you will provide
You may provide in-home assistance, helping the person stay in their own home by helping with daily tasks, household chores, personal care and errands. Alternatively, you may provide support in a residential aged care facility or a similar setting, where the care needs of residents are typically more complex.
The support you provide might include:
- domestic assistance such as shopping, laundry, cleaning, bill paying or meal preparation
- personal care such as help with eating, dressing, showering, hygiene or moving around the home or residence
- assistance with exercise regimes
- keeping the person’s spaces clean and free from hazards
- teaching and helping the person to use adaptive tools and technology, e.g. for opening jars or climbing stairs
- assisting with transport to attend appointments
- arranging and facilitating social outings, and helping the person participate in community events or recreational activities
- providing companionship, conversation and emotional support.
This page includes information about working with older people as an aged care worker. For information about other types of jobs working with older people, including allied health, nursing, palliative care and other specialised roles, see Types of jobs.