Amanda* said older workers are “doing a damn good job” despite understaffing, huge workloads and unrealistic expectations from families, employers and the quality agency.
“The pressure is incessant and comes from all sides. We need ratios, salary increases and support,” she told HelloCare.
A sector that gives
Some older workers revealed that while they enjoy caring for older people, they also benefit from working in the sector.
Natasha* said she was ‘never ashamed’ of working in aged care. In fact, the job had given her the “skills I needed to move forward in my life.”
She had also met some “great people” along the way.
For some, the fact that the sector is so maligned amplifies their pride – they continue to care despite the challenges.
Maria* said “not many people want to work in an industry with such a bad reputation”, but “without us, who will take care of them?”
She continued: “It is an honour” to care for older Australians, and described their many attributes: “vulnerable, caring, brave, tough, scared, shameful, stereotypical, loving, compassionate, worried, lonely , funny, abandoned, forgotten”.
Maria said she learns something new from older people every day.
“They have the best life stories and experiences, and what they’ve learned in their lives teaches us what we should be doing.”