A day in the life of a disability support worker
Hi, my name is Kelly. Welcome to a day in the life of a disability support worker.
The majority of my shifts are morning shifts, but I do some afternoons, and some sleepovers. Because the shifts can change, and the residents need 24-hour support, you do need to be flexible.
When I first come on duty, I say hello to all the residents and greet the other staff. The next thing I do is a handover with staff from the shift before, and check the house diary to see what needs to be done for the shift ahead.
Because I normally do morning shifts, the first part of my shift is usually getting residents ready for the day. The mornings can be quite chaotic trying to get a group of people ready for all their different activities such as bowling, art, gardening, or medical appointments. For some residents assistance or supervision is needed to help prepare their breakfast, for others they may need assistance when eating, and we also need to assist with personal hygiene.
Part of my day is also spent keeping the house organised. This includes things such as making the residents medical appointments, and ensuring all their activities are planned and organised. As part of this, I often need to talk to other care providers or the resident’s family members.
As with all homes, there is always the usual housework that needs to be done. We do encourage our residents to be as involved in all these tasks as possible.
There is quite a lot of paperwork involved in this job. I usually prefer to spend the last part of my shift working on this. At the end of every shift, I have to write a report. This report would tell other staff what’s happened during my shift. As well as these daily reports we also, as a team, keep records of all the activities the residents have participated in, and personal achievements.
At the end of my shift, I do a handover with the next staff coming in. We discuss my shift report and I highlight any issues that they need to be aware of. Once my handover is done, I go around and say goodbye to all the residents and the staff, and head home for the day.
Working in a community residential unit, you work very closely with other staff. You need to work very well with other people and as part of a team.
I’ve worked in this field now for over 20 years. The things I really enjoy about this job is working really closely with the residents and I feel like I have a positive impact on their lives. The staff that work here are fantastic. We’re in a really supportive team and everyone’s really focused on the resident’s needs.
At times, this job can be very demanding and it does require a lot of patience, but it’s also very rewarding.
I love my job and that’s what keeps me here.