Aged care workers assist senior patients who can no longer care for themselves with their activities of daily living. The type of care each patient requires varies due to the individuals condition and needs. While some patients might only need assistance with daily household tasks such as making beds, doing laundry, preparing meals and housecleaning, other patients need more services. Companionship plays a large role in working with seniors, and sometimes it is reading to a patient, lending an ear or sharing a laugh that makes all of the difference to them. There are patients who will need a lot more help than others, and will require assistance with toileting, bathing, dressing and may even need assistance with feeding. Aged care workers perform all of these tasks, while helping and allowing patients to retain a sense of independence, dignity and respect.
Aged care workers care for seniors either in their homes or in nursing facilities called Long Term Care Facilities. Working in a home environment is a more personal and intimate type of experience because there is only one patient to care for, but there might be several houses that must be visited each day. When working in a larger facility, the time spent with each patient is much less for there are several patients who must be cared for during a single shift. No matter which type of facility is worked at, this type of employment requires working closely with a team of other care workers and includes keeping up patient charts, reporting any changes to the supervisor and remembering that communication is key. Documentation is necessary and is important to things such as a patients blood pressure, pulse, respirations, urine output and bowel movements. Tracking this information is vital in order to notice any patterns or changes right away. Careful documentation is vital as an aged care worker and just as important for your patients well-being.
Aged Care Worker Tasks
- Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.
- Maintain records of patient care, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
- Check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration.
- Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
- Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.