Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a disability support worker in the community? You see them at each booked appointment and while most are ready and happy for their time with you, let’s see if we can share a little of what life CAN be like for your worker.
Before going to bed last night, your worker checked their schedule to ensure that all of the expected shifts were there and there were no cancellations or additions.
They woke up this morning and prepared for their day, which probably included feeding their family and packing school lunches, maybe even walking the dog.
They got to their car, ensuring they had their ID, sufficient gloves and sanitiser, pen, fuel and maybe other protective wear. Their first client is at 8am, a 10-minute drive away. They arrive at the home to assist the client out of bed, into the shower and while the client did what they could for themselves, the worker tidied the bedroom and perhaps put on a load of washing. Assisting the client to dress and get to the kitchen, they assisted with breakfast preparation, cleaning the dishes in the sink and cleaning the bathroom. They put the washing out with the assistance of the client and together they wrote out the shopping list for tomorrow. A quick tidy of the lounge and a vacuum of the lounge and hallway. The client needs their lunch prepared and together they make a sandwich and cut up fruit. The worker makes a hot drink for the client before leaving, ensuring everything is safe and that the client has their phone and has taken their medications. It is now 10am and time to leave.
5 minutes away is client number 2. Repeat the process for Client 2 from 10.30 am until lunchtime.
After lunch, the worker has no clients until 4.30 pm. In this time, they do their own housework and shopping, prepare meals for their family and collect the children from school. At 5.00pm, they are off to see clients again to fix their meals, assist with toileting, moving from wheelchairs to bed and ensuring that the clients are safe and comfortable for the night. They finally return home at 9.30pm. All in all, the worker has seen 5 clients in this 1 day and provided 8 hours of support as well as managing their own home and family. It can be a long day and sometimes it can be frustrating, heart-breaking and stressful. BUT they wake up the next morning and do it again and again.
What would life be like be like without them?