Support Workers are unsung heroes in our society. They work with some of our most vulnerable community members to enable them to enjoy a quality of life and maintain as much independence as possible. They never know what sort of crisis they might be walking into each time they visit elderly and disabled clients in their homes, but they continue to show up and devote their energy to their vocations day after day.
In this five-part series, I will explore some of the key reasons Support Workers are so important in our community, and in the lives of the people they help.
Reason #1: Support Workers are Incredibly Dedicated
What an absolute understatement! Before I started this topic, I asked myself, what is dedication? What does it look like? Prior to having a child, dedication to me was finishing a series on Netflix, even if it wasn’t that great. I started it, so I must finish it. Clearly, this is a poor example, especially in comparison to the dedication of the amazing team of Support Workers I work with.
I then asked myself, what is dedication in relation to my Support Workers? It isn’t just finishing something because they have started it. It isn’t a dedication to earning a weekly wage to pay their bills and expenses. Their dedication is to the aged or disabled individuals they are helping.
Let’s explore this idea for a moment. Most Support Workers are employed to help with housework, personal care, shopping and transport. However, to say that’s all they do is an over-simplification – they are actually giving so much more. They provide essential companionship, assistance and care to the people who need it most. Because of their genuine 110% dedication, the support they inherently provide is multi-faceted.
Our Support Workers are with their clients for a very limited period each week. However, in such a short amount of time, they do everything they can to make them feel valued and cared about. They are dedicated to making a positive difference in that person’s day, and for some people, it may be their only source of contact with the outside world (that’s not a medical appointment). They do all this not because they are seeking recognition or praise, but because they want to have a meaningful impact on people’s lives.
A great example of this is a Support Worker had discovered one of her regular consumers was running worryingly low on toilet paper! This was during the first wave of “panic-buying” where such a commodity was highly sought after and rarely found. Our amazing support worker had searched high and low in her own time to find a packet of toilet paper which she then provided to her consumer. Something as small as a packet of toilet paper meant so much to this consumer and their family. It wasn’t the toilet paper on its own that was so appreciated though. The toilet paper was a token of to demonstrate not only how much this support worker cared for their well-being, but also their dedication to them.
To all of the amazing Support Workers that read this, thank you. I can only hope that when myself or my loved ones are in need of help, that we are fortunate enough to have someone as dedicated as you.
My challenge to anyone who is reading this is: If you know a Support Worker, whether they are a friend or are providing care to a relative, thank them. They are some of the unrecognised, unacknowledged champions in our community. Let’s give them the respect and appreciation they deserve.
Look out for the next blog in this series where I will discuss more reasons Support Workers are so invaluable, and feel free to get in touch if you are looking for a Support Work job or have a role you need to fill in Victoria – I’d be happy to help with all your Support Worker recruitment needs.