Home' Careers in Aged Care Feature : Careers in Aged Care Contents NATAGE H005
Careers in Aged Care
'We can't reverse dementia but we can foster
and develop a life they can enjoy.'
Ben Gatehouse has a cuppa with Maria Guastella, a resident at Templestowe Pioneers.
By SUE GOSS
As life expectancy increases in the
population, there will be a
corresponding dramatic surge in
the need for dementia care.
Training and preparation are essential
to ensure that staff and facilities are
ready as soon as they are needed.
''We'll need passionate and skilled
dementia care nurses,'' says Ben
Gatehouse, dementia care consultant at
Southern Cross Care (Vic). ''When I
graduated, there was little interest in
aged care because adult psychiatry was
more crisis centred and interesting.
People thought there was nothing you
could do for the aged. But the reality is
''We make a huge and positive
difference in people's quality of life here.
We can't reverse dementia but we can
foster and develop a life they can enjoy.''
With the aged care industry expanding
rapidly, attracting and retaining the best
staff is a challenge. Four years ago, Mr
Gatehouse became Southern Cross Care's
first full-time dementia care consultant, a
position recognising how seriously the
organisation takes developing dementia
''My job is about improving the
professional development of staff,'' he
says. ''Giving staff full support and
education improves their self-esteem and
confidence in their work. They will stay if
they know we value them and will train
them. Part of my role is to support,
advise, identify individual training needs
and be a mentor.''
Southern Cross Care (Vic) has
developed some key initiatives to provide
consultation within the community
about how best to support people living
''We have come up with a dementia
care task force made up of dementia
'care champions' from each of our sites,''
explains Mr Gatehouse. ''These are
people with a passion for their work, not
the nurse unit managers but the 'go-to'
person who staff can approach first to
discuss best practice dementia care. These
'champions' include a client who talks to
us about her experiences and tells us
what she feels is important to those living
with the disease. That helps to keep us
The number of male nurses in the
profession is still very low. Mr Gatehouse
says that there are times when a male
carer may be preferred: male clients like
a yarn about things that interest them
such as watching the football so that
their interests can continue.
''What's most important is that we
understand their life history so we
provide individualised person-centred
care,'' he says. ''They are unique
individuals; making the effort to
understand them gives greater quality of
Mr Gatehouse appreciates the number
of career avenues available working
within aged care.
''Different positions enhance your
professional development,'' he says. ''If
you include all environments within aged
care there are huge possibilities for
directions in career growth. And it's very
flexible, family-friendly work with
excellent educational opportunities.''
Southern Cross Care (Vic) provides
residential and in-home care to about
5300 older Victorians. Of these, between
50 and 60 per cent are living with
dementia which is the leading single
cause of disability in Australians aged
It is important to note that dementia is
not a normal part of the ageing process
but it can happen to anyone.
Churches of Christ Community Care seeks to stand alongside people
in the community, particularly those with special needs, encouraging
fullness of body, mind and spirit, and celebrating the cycles, transitions
& achievements of life.
Churches of Christ Community Care prides itself on fostering an
environment that is based upon great people and exceptional care.
We place great emphasis on rewarding and recognising our staff
through work/life balance, flexible working hours, competitive wages,
salary packaging & benefits, personal development and education
We currently have vacancies at several of our sites:
• Registered Nurses (Essendon & Murrumbeena)
• Enrolled Nurses with Medication Endorsement (Essendon &
• Personal Care Workers (Essendon, Murrumbeena, Oakleigh &
• Resident Lifestyle Assistant (Oakleigh)
Want to find out more or apply for a position?
Please visit our website at www.ccare.com.au/careers
Outstanding Aged Care Opportunities
for Outstanding People
Government Funded Training
Would you like to work in the Aged Care industry?
1300 887 696
* Eligibility criteria apply and
places are limited, so contact
Aged Care Services Australia Group Pty Ltd (ACSAG)
is Australia's fourth largest private provider of quality
residential aged care. ACSAG is a highly professional
organisation that values staff and provides a warm and
supportive team culture.
With over 3000 employees nationally, ACSAG is a major
employer within the aged care industry. As a result, there
are many employment opportunities available to suitably
qualified and experienced individuals to join our team.
With most facilities throughout metropolitan and regional
Victoria and some facilities in metropolitan New South
Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, there is sure to be an
opportunity to suit your individual and/or lifestyle needs.
To find out more, please visit our
employment page on our website
Links Archive Navigation Previous Page Next Page