aged-care-worker

In the next 20 years the New Zealand population is expected to grow by 20% (from 4.2 million to 5 million). However the over 65 population is estimated to increase by 84%* increasing the need for Aged care workers.

By 2026 an extra 20,000 residents will require aged residential care. Our ageing New Zealand population will see  workforce demand increase dramatically.

As an Aged care worker you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of those who made a difference in yours

What’s involved in being an Aged care worker

Aged care workers provide support to the elderly to improve their quality of life. You’ll work with a range of different people each with different needs and abilities that must be respected. With a goal to preserving independence for as long as possible you’ll provide physical, social and psychological support while helping your client to maintain their choice and control.

You’ll provide assistance and support to the elderly in a variety of settings; aged care facilities; community residential home; adult day care facilities; hospitals; or in their own home where they live independently.

As an Aged care worker, no two days will be the same. You may be required to travel to a person’s home to help them with daily tasks and you may be required to do shift work, including evenings and weekends.

A typical day for an Aged care worker

Aged care workers may do some or all of the following, depending on where they work:

  • help with daily living, personal care and hygiene.
  • arrange and manage activities designed to enhance physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
  • provide emotional support and companionship.
  • assist with housework such as cleaning, washing and ironing.
  • lift and move clients.
  • prepare and serve meals.
  • assist with medication.
  • support an individual with dementia and other complex conditions.

“Being in this kind of caregiving industry – you are not there to do everything for them – You have to encourage them at the same time. You give assistance, but mainly encourage them to become independent to do things for themselves.

It’s nice because you can talk to them and they tell you about how things used to be. I like to hear their stores. It’s fun, I really enjoy it.”

 Jerome, Healthcare Assistant, Rannerdale Veterans Care

Characteristics of an Aged care worker

Aged care workers need to:

  • have a good level of fitness.
  • be practical, organised and responsible.
  • be friendly, patient and understanding.
  • relate well to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds.
  • be a good communicator.
  • have a caring attitude.

Aptitudes of an Aged care worker

Aged care workers need to have knowledge of:

  • basic patient care skills.
  • the needs of the elderly.
  • health and safety procedures.
  • first aid skills.

How to become a qualified Aged care worker

Volunteering is a good way to start to gain some experience.  You learn to become an aged care worker through on the job training supported by Careerforce, so you will need to be employed.  Your employer can help you gain relevant, practical qualifications while gaining experience in a work environment.  Assessment is carried out by assessors within the workplace.

Career Journey

At School Introductory Roles Advancing Roles Leadership Roles/Senior Roles
  Role Titles Role Titles Role Titles
SUGGESTED SUBJECTSThe Arts
Health and Physical Education
Social Sciences
Aged Care Support WorkerCare Worker
Care Giver
Nurse Aide
Home Care Support Worker
Health Care Assistant
Activities Coordinator
Senior Support WorkerSupervisor
Diversional Therapist
Service Coordinator
Team Leader
NursePhysiotherapist
Occupational Therapist
Assistant Manager
Manager
Social Worker
Qualifications Qualifications Qualifications
Gateway SubjectsFollow the Purple Pathway (Social and Community Services New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2)
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Health Assistance and Support Work
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Advanced Support)
Tertiary qualifications

More information
Read more about youth work qualifications

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2)
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Health Assistance and Support Work
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Advanced Support) 

In employment

  • Talk to your employer
  • Contact 0800 277 486 and talk to our Apprenticeship and Vocational Pathways Advisors at Careerforce

Still at school?

  • Talk to your Careers Advisor
  • Contact 0800 277 486 and talk to our Apprenticeship and Vocational Pathways Advisors at Careerforce

*source: Careers NZ 2016 Nursing Support and Care Worker

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