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Aged care workers in demand

Aged care workers in demand

By Cara Jenkin    

Workers will need to fill an increasing number of vacancies in aged care in 2011 and can be qualified in as little as six months.

The ageing population and improved health of people living into their twilight years means more carers are needed to look after older people. But a host of other workers also are needed to run aged-care services.

Resthaven residential services executive manager Wendy Morey says work is available in aged care as a home support worker in clients' homes and in nursing homes and hospitals.

She says jobs range from health specialists such as podiatrists, occupational therapists and registered nurses to hospitality, clerical and grounds staff.

``Aged care is a very diverse employer,'' she says.

``There's a huge hospitality component - everyone has to eat.

``There are opportunities for people with a clerical background (and) we employ electricians.''

Information technology workers are in increasing need, as well as business managers.

Qualifications also vary, with workers able to obtain TAFE certificates or university degrees to work in the health side of the sector.

Ms Morey says nurses always are the most in demand, as well as other health professionals who are willing to go to their patients in their home because of their limited mobility.

Home support workers and carers can be qualified in six months by studying a certificate III in aged care and many staff have worked their way up with further study into nursing and management positions.

``The community (side's) always expanding. Aged care is going to need more and more people to work in people's homes,'' she says.

``Residential services is expanding, which is basically more of everything. Nurses are top of the list but nurses have to have a commitment and a passion for aged care as a specialty or already have experience.''

Physiotherapists also have been in demand in the past few years, Ms Morey says.

Resthaven's North East Inner West Community Services co-ordinator Kathy Monks says working in aged care was something she has always enjoyed.

``I started off as a volunteer many years ago,'' Ms Monks says.

She then worked as a chef in the hospitality industry for 20 years before she went looking for a change and returned to aged care as a carer and support worker.

``Aged care was good for me,'' Ms Monks says.

Article from The Advertiser, January 22, 2010.

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