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Studying and working in Aged Care is a family affair

Elena, Steve and Kaitiya discuss their experiences studying and working in Aged Care. Elena and Steve are siblings and Kaitiya is Steve’s daughter and in the past seven years they have completed their Aged Care qualification at Pines Learning.
Elena and Steve both work for home care providers and Kaitiya, who completed her qualification in July, has just started work at an age care facility in their Leisure and Lifestyle department.

Why study at Pines Learning?

Steve and Kaitiya both replied, “Elena was the first one!”

Elena: It was convenient. I had two small children at the time and a sick husband. It just fitted my schedule perfectly. Classes were within school hours. Flexible. Kevin was great, his classes were fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anybody.

Steve: It was a fun class. It is a great facility, it is a great area (aged care) to study in. I felt so relaxed, our class was so relaxed and so much fun. It was so comfortable in there and we did not want to go home.

Kaitiya: The small classes. I had not studied in a while and class was small and intimate. It was the perfect environment to walk into. And for me, now I am confident to go onto Nursing. I would not have done that if I did not do this course.

Elena: Kevin was great. His classes were fantastic. I would highly recommend it to anybody. He gets you through with ease and fun.

What were the classes like? 

Steve: It was a fun class. It is a great facility, it is a great area to study in. I felt so relaxed, our class was so relaxed and so much fun. (Everyone) said they were so nervous walking in, but you would not have picked it with those people, they have done well in life. For me personally, it was going back to school which I was not really good at initially. Going back in the classroom environment was really important, it sort of gave me confidence to study further and be in the classroom environment. It was so comfortable in there. We did not want to go home.

Elena: But even with the classes, there were different nationalities. You came in thinking you were going to struggle but you and people who had just learnt the English language. Which gave you more confidence to help them. So, you became helper to them, and it bonds you as a class. You do not want anyone to fail.

Steve: And I think everyone is like-minded, they have that empathy and want to bring something to the outside of their life. It is the same the personality in the same room so you ca not help but gel. You do form some great friendships.

Kaitiya: Kevin is good. Its discussions in class too and not just do this, do that.

Are you working in Aged Care? 

Elena: Home care the whole time, mainly respite. I take clients out a lot. These families are struggling as they are full time carers for their parents. They talk to you and become a counsellor, which I love as I love to diffuse the situation and make them realise it is not very long. Respite 5 or 6 years with the one company. Works up to 30-35 hours per week Monday to Saturday. I would like to do a little bit less, but the demand is there, and I can not say no. I still have the same clients.

Steve: I was employed through placement straight away and stayed there until the facility closed. I knew home care was my thing, so I got a job with a provider. At the time it was a lot of hours, a lot of sleep overs. Sleep overs were good it was just the experience of being in a family, getting up a couple times a night assisting someone to bathroom. I was doing 70-80 hours a week of that on casual hours. I knew that was sustainable, then they offered me a fulltime job. But I am the floater so if someone calls in sick, I cover that shift. 38 hours a week 8am-4pm. I am also registered with 2 other providers. The works out there. If one company loses work there are so many other companies to work for.

Kaitiya: I am on a permanent part time contract, 7am-3pm Monday to Friday in Lifestyle, at the facility I completed my placement at. I am going to apply to do my Bachelor of Nursing next year. I wanted more structure than what home care provided. I think the facility is good for my age and my contract can be altered to fit in with my nursing studies. I want work life balance and it fits in with my partners hours.

What would you say to someone who is hesitating to enrol? 

Elena: The problem with aged care is people only see the negative side. There is more to it than just the physical side of looking after someone. Not just in the nursing home if you do home care, respite you are an extension of their family, you know your boundaries. But there is taking them out, doctor’s visits, lunches, coffees galore. And they are a world of information, you get to know them from the beginning. And they want to talk to you, they are not dead! There still human and they still have a lot to say. It is very rewarding, very rewarding.

Steve: It changed my life, absolutely. I was not sure I would get through it but then when once you are through it, you think that was fantastic.

Kaitiya: If you are worried to study, I think the best thing to keep in mind is that its small class its intimate. It is a small group and you have support around you, and you are not left alone. It is not something where you will not get help and assistance, you are going to get the help that you need. You can always ask, and the class supports you. If you are nervous to study, you should not be. I think if you are confident with computers, you are good with people and you are willing to learn, your open to the possibilities of a different career and you want support around you it is a perfect thing to do.

Steve: And there is such a demand, and the work is there.

Elena: There is lots of work.

Kaitiya: It is a great pathway into further study.

Steve: It is all positives!

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