If you’re compassionate about caring and making a difference for people living with disabilities, then the home care sector could be a perfect fit for you. Looking after people as a disability support worker, with empathy and respect, can be an incredibly rewarding occupation.
Which is why disability care services provide a very gratifying career path for a person who is compassionate, caring and dedicated to helping people living with often challenging life conditions, while maintaining their respect and dignity.
If you’re looking for a more challenging and meaningful occupation, keep reading to learn more about disability support and care and why so many people are choosing this rewarding career change.
What is In-home Care?
In-home care is different from care in a facility, in that trained carers go into a person’s home. When a person is in their own home, they are often more comfortable, surrounded by familiar things and stay healthier for longer.
Thus, the goal of in-home disability care is to help support families and individuals care for their loved ones at home and manage often complex medical conditions. In-home care providers can offer care for 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
What Does a Disability Support Worker Do?
A disability support worker is trained worker who cares for people who are living with conditions, some quite complex medical conditions, that impact their daily life and need a variety of support to help them fulfil their daily needs. This may include physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities or caring for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
With personalised care and support, the person can live at home with their family or independently. Disability support workers also provide a vital lifeline of support to the family.
In-Home Caring tasks can include:
- Assisting with personal hygiene
- Assisting with mobility support
- Food preparation, shopping and running errands
- Arranging or accompanying on social activities and outings
- Performing household tasks such as cleaning, washing, ironing, folding clothes
- Assisting with personal care such as showering, dressing, shaving, doing hair and makeup
- Providing companionship and emotional support
- Assistance provided for feeding pets, dog walks or medication management.
- In some cases, carers may even live in or stay over from time to time.
Easing Solitude and Social Withdrawal
Loneliness and isolation among people living with disabilities is problematic. With so many restrictions during the Covid-19 crisis, many are experiencing an increase in isolation and ongoing withdrawal from their social activities.
So in these troubled times, providing reliable, empathetic contact and engaging conversation is an even more important aspect of a disability support workers’ duties. They provide much needed social interaction and companionship which helps keep their clients healthy, and are trained to detect any signs of decline in either physical or mental health.
Whatever the task, the role requires a special kind of person who is patient, caring and compassionate at all times, with a very giving nature.
What Are the Key Benefits of Being a Disability Support Worker?
Working in the care industry is challenging and tiring but can also be one of the most rewarding careers for the right kind of person:
Variety is one of the biggest benefits.
As a disability support worker, you’ll constantly be introduced to new environments, meet new people and do different tasks as part of your day-to-day.
No more watching the clock, and no more boring working days all blurring into one. The role is challenging, and no two days are ever the same.
There really isn’t ever a quiet or dull moment in the caring industry. Every day, our Care workers are helping make people’s lives easier and making a big difference to their day. This knowledge provides a real sense of achievement that is difficult to experience in any other occupation.
Additionally, they are building real relationships with clients, and their family and friends. And that personal connection is what makes disability care work so unique and fulfilling.
They enjoy providing care and support, “I enjoy looking after my clients and doing the best I can to make them happy everyday” said one disability support worker.
Caring roles offer flexibility with both full-time and part-time opportunities. This suits, many people who are juggling families, returning to work after finding themselves empty nesters, also those leaving highly demanding corporate careers for more rewarding roles with strong personal contact.
Often carers can find placements close to home, limiting travel time, which in a large city like Sydney, can be a huge advantage.
Disability Support Workers: Job Growth Opportunities
The community care service and health industry are increasing at twice the average rate of all other industries and is projected to generate one in four of all new jobs in the near future. The introduction of NDIS has also created many employment opportunities, as more people are able to access funding to help support them in their daily lives.
If you have a passion for caring for people, and are looking to work in one of the fastest growing industries in Australia, then this could be exactly the right career change for you
The average age group for a care worker currently is 45 to 55 years, and so it attracts many people looking for a career change or an opportunity to return to work. Whilst currently, 80% of carers are female, there is a growing trend for male care workers.
Making a Difference for Others
Often, we think of working with children when we think of making a difference in people’s lives. However, working at the other end of the spectrum with people who have experienced so much in life, have so many stories to share and years of wisdom can be extremely rewarding.
Offering them respect and helping them maintain their dignity and live with challenging conditions, is just one way of giving back.
At 365 Care, we also welcome candidates with the ability to speak another language, as many of our clients speak a language other than English. Bilingual carers help the elderly clients ‘connect’ back to their native language as they get older, and this can be something that brings great comfort to them.
Working with People
A care worker needs strong communication skills, a positive outlook, patience and remaining calm under pressure, with professionalism and natural empathy.
Working in the disability care industry will bring laughter, tears and lots of learning as you become an integral part of a client’s life. So, mentally and emotionally, a care worker must have the compassion needed to work with a patient who needs support to live their lives to the fullest, whilst also offering support to the family and winder support network.
Disability support workers need to love helping people and have a special subset of skills around physical strength. Physically, a worker might need to be able to help a patient by lifting them and steadying them and be familiar with how to use bed hoists and fall prevention.
Who Makes the Best Care Workers?
People become care workers because they love people, are excellent communicators and are passionate about what they do. They love giving great customer and personal service. Understanding a person’s needs and being able to listen is crucial, to be able to satisfy their needs.
A good carer should also have an interest in psychology and human behaviour. This helps assess a client’s personality, read their moods, learn their interests and adjust their behaviour and communication to suit the situation of the day.
Whilst being bilingual is extremely beneficial, carers need a competent level of English in both oral and written skills. There is paperwork that needs to be completed, clients, employers and family members who need to be communicated with regularly.
Training Requirements to be a Care Worker
Becoming disability care worker requires the right training. You must complete either a TAFE Certificate III in Individual Support or a Certificate IV in Disability. You then need to complete practical training as part of the course requirements. Additional requirements are an up to date First Aid Certificate and CPR training.
Other questions to ask yourself before becoming a care worker are:
- Do you like being physically close to people?
- Do you like close personal contact with people?
- Do you like working as part of a team? You may find yourself working with a wider team of allied health or medical professionals
- Are you accurate and exact, and can report/record things correctly?
- Can you manage flexibility and change at short notice?
- Can you work efficiently in PPE (personal protective equipment) and follow safety protocols?
- Can you work unsupervised and in unstructured environments?
If the answer is YES, then you might be highly suited for a caring role.
At 365 Care, we are now offering sponsored training opportunities to the right kind of person to join our team.
Are you hardworking, reliable, passionate about helping more vulnerable members in our community? If you love caring and can listen and understand a person’s needs and are willing to learn, then we’d love to have you join our team.
Apply here or contact us for more information.