Aged Care Volunteering: Test Drive Your Future Career!

residential aged care

Volunteering in your community is a great opportunity to make a real difference. It’s the freedom to pursue something that you’re passionate about and it rewards you with bliss of knowing you’ve made the world a better place. The spiritual reward is worth far more than money, not to mention that by volunteering you get to try out a potential new career.

There’s little reason not to volunteer somewhere. Most people already do without realising by helping out their friends, family, or loved ones when they’re in need. So why not take an extra step, get out of the house, and volunteer in your community?

Aged care volunteer opportunities are among the most versatile. Volunteers assist with cooking, cleaning, chores, and even just providing company by playing games, watching TV together, or even just sharing stories and having a chat. You name it, if it’s there’s something you enjoy doing in your everyday life, you can also do it as an aged care volunteer.

Why Volunteer?

In a perfect world, everyone would already be a volunteer. Helping the underprivileged or needy by providing a service you’re already passionate about should be second nature. If you’re not already sharing the activities you love with your community, here are a few reasons you should give it a second thought:

No Obligations

One of the great things about volunteering is that for all the good it does, you don’t need to do it. If you ever need to take a step back, you’re welcome to stop at any time and focus on your own needs.

There’s also no minimum effort required. Volunteer as much or as little as you want. Even if you can only spare a few minutes per week, making a little difference is still making a difference.

Fits Your Schedule

Live a busy life? Already working full time and feel like you don’t have the room in your life to volunteer? No problem. There’s no time commitment, and volunteering opportunities are so abundant that there’s bound to be something near you that fits into your busy schedule.

Volunteering opportunities are available 24/7. Lend a hand on a quiet weekday night, on weekends, or wherever you can squeeze in the time, even if it’s only for just a few minutes.

Test Drive a Career

Have a feeling that aged care might be for you, but not completely sure about it yet? Give it a spin and test the waters by volunteering.

Gain invaluable experience that will help you when you apply for a paid role later on down the line. Whether you’re looking at aged care or any other means of helping people in your community, if you like what you find then you’re taking your first steps into turning your passion into your career.

Social Connections

Volunteering is a great way to meet passionate people like yourself! Expand your social circle and make new friends with your fellow volunteers and even with your clients as you provide social support and meaningful engagement to people in need.

That Wonderful Feeling

You can’t talk about volunteering without mentioning that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from knowing you’ve put some good into the world. You. You made the world a better place, and if knowing that isn’t reward enough reward then the satisfaction running through your veins ought to be.

Helping others helps you. Enriching your community enriches your spirit. People think volunteering is meant to be free of rewards because it doesn’t pay, but that’s simply not true. Feeling good about yourself and your place in the world is as good as it gets.

Make a Positive Change

At the end of the day, volunteering is all about making a positive change to someone’s life. Taking a some of the struggle away someone who needs a helping hand and a friendly face is the easiest way to do the most amount of good.

How Do I Volunteer?

community visitors scheme

Finding volunteering opportunities near you is simple. Just how easy it is all depends on how set you are on what field you want to volunteer in. The more flexible you are, the more opportunities there will be available to you.

The simplest way to find volunteering opportunities near you is to search the internet. There are sure to be dozens, maybe even hundreds or more, of opportunities in your local area no matter where you are. Looking up the Community Visitors Scheme is a great place to start your search.

If you’re after something specific and you can’t find what it, see if there’s a local volunteer coordinator in your area. A volunteer coordinator connects potential volunteers with opportunities and is a great way to find something that suits your niche interests.

I Want to Make Volunteering My Career, What Next?

Once you’ve tested the waters and made volunteering a central part of your life, what comes next? If you’re passionate about it, even moreso than your existing job, then the next step is to turn it into your full time career. Do more good, and follow your passion day in and day out. All you need to do is take the next step.

If you’re a volunteer in aged care, then that next step is taking an aged care course. By successfully completing a Certificate III in Individual Support you can easily turn the work that you’ve already been doing into your career. Meanwhile, you’re welcome to continue volunteering.

What You’ll Learn

aged care volunteer

Skills Training Colleges offers a Certificate III in Individual Support course which gives students the new skills needed to take on additional responsibilities in aged care and turn their volunteering time into paid work. Through this course, students will learn the basics of physical health, the legal responsibilities that come with working in ages care, how to provide emotional support to those experiencing grief and loss, how to identity and report abuse, how to assist their clients with taking their medication, and learn the specifics of providing ongoing support to patients with dementia or who are in palliative care.

A Certificate III in Individual Support takes three weeks of fulltime training to complete in addition to 120 hours of work placement. If you’re already volunteering in aged care and have found that it’s the career for you, then putting in those hours couldn’t be any easier.

Careers in Aged Care

While aged care facilities and retirement homes are the first places many think of when they think about working in aged care, there are many more opportunities out there. The possibilities available to aged care workers are vast, both in terms of the places one might end up working and the careers they may end up following.

Where Aged Care Workers Are Employed

There are dozens of organisations looking to hire aged care workers, or where aged care volunteer opportunities can be found. Here are just a few examples of places where you can volunteer to help an older person:

  • Hospices

  • Community centres

  • Respite care centres

  • Hospitals

  • Aged care facilities

  • Retirement homes

What Aged Care Workers Do

The range of jobs which support elderly residents is just as diverse as the organisations in which you’ll find them. Even looking only at entry level jobs and volunteer opportunities there’s something for everyone. Here are just a few of the roles in which you can get your start assisting aged care residents after earning your Certificate III in Individual Support:

  • Residential aged care

  • Nursing assistant

  • Personal carer

  • Support worker

  • Activity coordinator

  • Rehabilitation assistant

Disability Support: An Alternative

A Certificate III in Individual Support has two elective streams. One for aged care, the other for disability. With so much overlap between an aged care and a disability support course, it’s little surprise that many students who enrol in a Certificate III in Individual Support end up changing their specialty or floating between the two. A Certificate III in Individual Support with Skills Training College is one of the best qualifications to work in disability support.

Aged care and disability support are ultimately both all about helping some of society’s most vulnerable people. They’re both fields which take deep compassion and care to work in, and both have a swath of volunteering opportunities which are perfect ways to test drive them as a career.

Test Drive Your New Career Today

emotional support

Looking for a new career? Are you a deeply passionate person who wants to do more for your local community? There’s no reason to keep waiting, step into aged care volunteering today to start making a real difference.