Looking for work as an older Australian can be tough, but if you’re like Stephen and willing to think outside the box, then it can open-up a wealth of benefits and opportunities.
People sometimes retire a bit sooner than they had planned. Changes in the workplace culture, new technology, or even forced redundancies, can result in some workers out of a job in their late 50s and 60s.
There are many older Australians who are keen to get back into the workforce but aren’t sure what opportunities are available.
Some are looking for the routine of having a job which gives them a sense of purpose or would like the opportunity to earn some extra income, while others enjoy working to stay active and engaged.
Stephen, 63, from Dorrigo, in NSW, made a life change when he got tired of the endless shift work after years of being a registered nurse at a hospital.
“I thought at the time I should be able to go to my grandchildren’s birthdays and be home for Christmas,’ he recalls.
In his younger years, Stephen cut his teeth working as a registered nurse at Sydney Hospital, St Vincent’s, Hornsby Oncology, Manly General Medical, and Prince Henry Coronary Care.
“I have been working in healthcare since 1976. When I was a young nurse, I thought the more high-tech the working environment was, the more exciting it would be,’ he says.
“Having worked in high dependency wards in major Sydney hospitals I realised that the big fancy machines could be broken down into simple repetitive tasks. But the things that were forgotten were basic nursing care of the people attached to the machines.”
Stephen made the decision 4 years ago to take a step out of the hospital system but wanted to retain his nursing skills, as well as pursuing his ambition to provide patients with better care and a more respectful and dignified experience.
He landed a job at integratedliving where his mature age and life skills were welcomed, and soon discovered that visiting elderly people in their own homes and helping them remain independent for as long as possible provided many more benefits than he first realised.
Apart from the flexibility and the opportunity to work partly from home carrying out the organisational tasks of being a registered nurse, Stephen found he could build a long-term rapport with his patients.
“I love being a community nurse working with older people because I am curious about them as people and can utilise the best of my skills to assist them to retain their self- determination and dignity,” he says.
‘It takes all of my observation and listening skills, my professional knowledge, and my clinical experience to provide a quality service in someone’s home.”
“Older people have a role in in-home aged care as nurses and support workers because of their lived experience.
“We are providing care in the homes of people who are the same generation as our parents, so we can relate to their lives because we remember many of the major public events. We recognise in their photos the cars, the clothing, the past times and can use this shared experience to engender trust.”
Peta Mullin, Head of Talent Acquisition at integratedliving, says mature age workers bring a lifetime of knowledge and experience to the workplace.
“Mature workers are a great asset for mentoring emerging or career-transitioning professionals and they tend to have a broader view so can contribute with their own ideas and life experiences,” she says.
“This is beneficial to the more experienced worker too, as it makes them feel like a valued member of our team, they stay socially connected with other people, and we recognise the benefits this has on their mental and emotional wellbeing.”
If you are interested in working in community based aged care, please contact the friendly recruitment team at integratedliving on 1300 782 896.