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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone work in Aged care?

    Ive been doing cert 3 in aged care since feb and have just started work experience.

    Only a couple of days in so I know its early days.

    Ive been placed in the dementia wing and honestly its not at all what I expected.

    The residents seem bored and the carers don't make much effort to engage them. One carer I find to be quite mean and rough with the residents. Others not so bad but there doesn't seem to be a great deal of stimulation for the residents and the staff don't seem to do a great deal of caring...just jobs. Like showering, feeding, toileting and not much else. Where is the care/empowerment/fun??

    Would love some thoughts from those in the industry.

  2. #2
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    Default Anyone work in Aged care?

    Welcome to aged care.

    The ideal world and the real world are two very different things.

    I always do my best for my residents. I am limited by what I can do due to time management and staffing constraints. As you gain experience you will become more aware of what is we are required to do and what we are actually responsible for. There is a lot of mundane but time consuming things going on behind the scenes (paperwork, wounds, medication changes, proving level of funding etc) that you may not be aware of. We ensure their basic needs are being met, albeit in a "caring" manner (such as the jobs as you described) and anything else is a bonus.

    Unfortunately you will find people who are working in aged care who are not suited for the role or have become jaded and refuse to move on. I have still yet to figure out how to handle this myself (as do my managers, unless there is actual abuse it can be difficult to manage).

    It is still very early days for you, and it can be such a shock. I have been doing this for over 10 years now and I will never forget my first few weeks, they were very overwhelming. I also am responsible for training and mentoring new staff to help them settle in, and I can assure you you are not alone.
    Now, despite the difficulties, I want to do this forever. It can be very rewarding you just need to take those moments when you can, and know you are making a difference. You cannot change the world but you can make someone smile as you learn to bond with them.
    I'd like to add Dementia specific care is really really hard. (personally I prefer the high care wings)

    Also some facilities/providers are much better than others. If you are unhappy, shop around. There is plenty of work going.

    Good luck xxx
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 24-05-2016 at 21:28.

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    I work in aged care and I love it! 😂

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    Sounds like a pretty cruddy facility.
    We adore our residents. Our staff are wonderful, but I do admit that we luckily have a very very good team, and are well known for our excellent staff and caring environment. Our nurses not only attend all the 'nursey' things, but dance, sing, joke and laugh with our residents all day long. We have RAO's that do activities and entertainment, physio aides that do group exercise sessions, we have entertainers/musicians/dancers/animals that come in as well. We have outings, romantic dinners, happy hour drinks, movies, gardening, woodwork. We have chickens and nice gardens. The dementia wing has fiddle stations for the wanderers.
    I could go on. We are forever improving the environment for our lovely people.

    The place you are at sounds sad. Plus the mean rough nurse should be reported.

    I hope that gives you hope. Good luck in your studies.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by loislane2010 View Post
    Where is the care/empowerment/fun??

    .
    I was pleased to hear about some of the good facilities mentioned by PPs above.

    However, maybe something other than being a carer might suit you better? Maybe something like an Activities officer role, that sort of thing, bringing the fun?

  6. #6
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    I've worked in aged care and had to leave for my sanity. I started, day 1, at the opening of a brand new facility in Sydney. All was well at first, but shortly after the reality of what we signed up for became evident. The staffing on one floor was 2 staff to 50 residents plus one doing meds - sure, they were mostly low care residents, but all needed some form of assistance. We found ourselves constantly getting called down to the office for lack of documentation, despite not finishing showers until 12:30 (lunch time) and after our lunch breaks was toileting of some residents. We literally didn't stop from 6:45 to 15:15 and didn't even get a chance to sign on to a computer let alone complete any documentation. The staff turnover at that place seemed to be a daily event.

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    Welcome to lack of staff and big time constraints. I have been working in high care for 5 years now. Most of the people I care for have dementia at different stages. When I worked morning shift, we had a wide range of dementia but all high care(some bed bound, some wandering but they never left the floor). I could work on a different floor and be in a secure unit because they like to abscond so you are constantly watching them while trying to do cares for other residents(one unit we have to lock doors while doing cares otherwise that residents dignity is taken away from people opening the door and walking in)

    The building I work in has 160 odd residents. I work night shift now because I found morning shift too stressful for myself. Being expected to finish at 1:30pm but making sure all documentation is finished(basic documentation from showering, toileting, food and fluid charts) to the ACFI documentation. Working night shift, I do about 2 hours of documentation throughout the night but that also depends on the night too because there is only 2 staff to 61/62 residents.

    During the day, we have dedicated activity staff. I did activities for a few weeks back last year for something different from the nursing side of things. We organised special days(mothers day, fathers day, ekka days, bus trips, high tea, happy hour on fridays). It really depends on the facility and whether they have the budget and staff for such things. They also count on a lot of donations especially for craft days.

    Once you finish your placement, hand your resume in to other places but don't expect to have plenty of one on one time with the residents because they expect a lot from the nursing staff, paperwork is really important especially if they want the funding. Some of the people you care for, you will be their family because their actual family doesn't visit for whatever reason. You will build up relationships with them, gotta give them time more than anything.

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    I don't mean this to sound horrible...the place I'm working has a lot of ethnic people working there. A lot of Africans and Indians...Its very interesting being the minority (I'm Australian). I'm finding it difficult to communicate with the staff and I find them very un-friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loislane2010 View Post
    I don't mean this to sound horrible...the place I'm working has a lot of ethnic people working there. A lot of Africans and Indians...Its very interesting being the minority (I'm Australian). I'm finding it difficult to communicate with the staff and I find them very un-friendly.
    That's what you find in aged care. A lot of Africans and Indians. Once you get to know them, it will be much easier to understand them. Or just be straight up with them and ask them to repeat themselves again until you have understood. Good communication makes the shift so much easier.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by loislane2010 View Post
    I don't mean this to sound horrible...the place I'm working has a lot of ethnic people working there. A lot of Africans and Indians...Its very interesting being the minority (I'm Australian). I'm finding it difficult to communicate with the staff and I find them very un-friendly.
    Yes that is pretty normal in this industry, to be the minority! In terms of communication, you do get used to the accents, I can understand everyone pretty well now, and vice versa, I know how to speak when I give instructions to make sure things get done and are understood.
    Re. unfriendly... I do find one of your mentioned groups to be very blunt; I did initially find them very rude but I have come to realise that it's just that they are blunt, they are not meaning to be rude (except for one or two, but you get that in every nationality of course!). The other group you mentioned tend to 'stick together'; if you open up communication and friendliness with them, they are in return very friendly and welcoming. In my experience anyway!


 

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