Community & Social Services
Aged or Disability Carer
Aged or disability carers help clients with self-care and everyday tasks, and may also provide companionship.
Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does an Aged or Disability Carer do?
Aged or disability carers help clients with self-care and everyday tasks, and may also provide companionship. An aged or disability carer may also be known as a care worker or support worker.
You could work with people (known as clients) in their own homes, in group or community housing, at day centres or in nursing homes. Your exact duties may vary depending on where you work, but could include:
- getting to know clients, their interests and their needs
- helping clients with daily personal care such as washing, dressing, using the toilet and feeding themselves
- carrying out general tasks such as housework, laundry and shopping
- helping clients manage their budget and pay bills
- assisting clients’ families with their new caring responsibilities
- working with other health and social care professionals to provide individual care and development plans
- helping to organise leisure activities
- going with clients to and from a residential home (for example, young people who go to a local college).
You could also work as a personal assistant or personal care aide. This involves working closely with one aged or disabled person to support them in their everyday life.
Key skills and interests
To become an aged or disability carer, you should have:
- a friendly and caring approach
- a genuine desire to help people
- the ability to relate to people from a wide variety of backgrounds
- tact and sensitivity
- a respectful approach to clients
- patience and a sense of humour.
Working hours and conditions
An aged or disability carer's working hours will vary, depending on your job, and may include weekends or split shifts. Part-time work is readily available.
If you work at a residential location, you may be expected to stay overnight on a roster basis. In some jobs, for example as a personal carer, you might live in. If you work in the community you may need to travel between clients’ homes.
How to become an Aged or Disability Carer?
Entry Level Education
To become an aged or disability carer you usually have to complete a VET qualification in aged care or home and community care. You may be able to study through distance education.
You can also become an aged or disability carer through a traineeship in Aged Care or Home and Community Care. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
To work as an aged or disability carer, you must obtain a National Police Certificate and a Provide First Aid Certificate. Depending on the State in which you are employed, you may be required to undergo an aged-care sector employment screening assessment through the relevant State Government department. If you are working with children, you would be required to complete the equivalent of a Working with Children check or disability services employment screening.
A drivers’ licence is essential for those providing community and home support care.
Employment of aged or disability carers is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
As the baby-boom population ages, there will be an increase in the number of clients requiring assistance or companionship. As clients age, they often develop health or mobility problems and require assistance with daily tasks. The demand for the services that personal care aides provide will continue to rise.
Elderly and disabled clients who do not require medical care are increasingly choosing home care instead of entering nursing homes or hospitals. Home care is often a less expensive and more personal experience for the client. Because personal care aides do not provide any medical services, they are a less expensive option for families or clients who seek someone to perform light household chores or provide companionship.