I have been meaning to sit down and write my second part of my article for a few weeks now. After all, I think this is a great opportunity to share my gratitude and admiration to the Support Workers out there and provide a positive message in an ocean of negativity.
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 #2: Support Workers are Selfless
When I think about the act of being selfless, I always think of an interaction between two (or more) people where there is no hidden agenda, no trade off and no point scoring. An honest act of kindness where one does something without expecting anything in return. This sounds very similar to the work Support Workers do on a daily basis – to them, it is so much more than just a job.
With the current situation in aged care facilities, it is difficult not to have a leaky eye. If the vulnerable members of our society needed support before, the demand right now is heartbreaking. When I first got the call that there were some facilities with known COVID-19 outbreaks needing urgent assistance, I thought I could maybe place a Support Worker or two to help. Fast forward just two weeks, I now know I was incredibly wrong – we have many more than one or two Support Workers now working in these facilities, and dozens more still that are interested in helping.
When explaining the situation to each Support Worker, I am always expecting an understandable “I don’t know about that.” The majority of the time, however, response is along the lines of, “That’s fine, they will provide me with PPE, correct?” With every conversation, I make sure to reiterate that there is no pressure at all to accept the role, and to let me know at any time if they change their mind. After all, how can you look after someone else if you are not looking after yourself?
I check in with my team a few times a week to make sure they feel safe, supported and welcomed. Sure, I’ve had a few support workers request a day off to relax or ask to change to a different shift, but I’ve heard any of them complain and I have not been asked once about pay rates! This is because, at their core, Support Workers are incredibly selfless.
I couldn’t think of a better example of a selfless action: Delivering valuable support to those who I can only imagine must be feeling increasingly scared, anxious and lonely. Although their risk is lowered by wearing PPE, following social distancing where possible and maintaining personal hygiene, there is still a risk. But in spite of this, Support Workers are still committed to delivering quality care to those in need.
To any Support Workers that may be reading this (and not just those in my team), I want to personally thank you! Please know that your selfless actions are in no way going unrecognised.
Look out for the next blog in this series where I will discuss more reasons why I love Support Workers, 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.