For anyone living within Victoria’s Stage 4 restrictions like myself, there is one hurdle that has been the toughest – not being able to see family and friends. These restrictions have required us all to adapt, stay positive and find alternative ways to keep in contact with loved ones (I am proud to report my mum is now fully across how to video chat!). I’m already planning all the places I want to take my daughter to once we are permitted, a visit to my favourite café, and what to cook for when my family can finally come and visit again. More than anything, this time has shown me what it means to genuinely care for someone, which brings me to the third reason that I love Support Workers.
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 #3: Support Workers Genuinely Care
There are two parts to consider when talking about this topic: “genuine” and “care.” What does this mean? Is caring for someone always genuine? I would have thought so – however, it’s not always the case.
If you think back to a time when you’ve heard someone out, just for the sake of letting them vent, you will understand what I mean. Some good examples may be an annoyed customer, a colleague, a friend, or perhaps a family member calling you just to fill time. You may listen to them, throw in a few interjections of “yeah, that must be annoying, I understand,” but you’re not fully committed to their issue. Although you are showing you care, it’s not genuine.
When I think of what it means to be genuine, I think honesty, integrity, truthfulness and sincerity. To genuinely care for someone is to truly care for that person. It isn’t listening just so they feel heard – they need to feel supported and understood, without you having to force it.
For Support Workers, genuinely caring about people is an inherent part of who they are. It is easy to be upset or disappointed when hearing the horror stories out there regarding the aged care sector, believe me. However, in saying this, I seek comfort in hearing the positive stories from my amazing team – the same people that often take the time to sit with aged care residents and just talk with them, and who happily provide support to the most vulnerable members of our society. They take time out of their days, take on additional hours, put themselves at risk and want to help in any way they can.
I often get asked by those in my network, “why do you think Support Workers are choosing to continue working?” My answer is quite simple: they genuinely care. If I’m honest, I don’t think there is any other response!
At the same time, I also genuinely care for my team. I check in with them all VERY regularly (often daily), not only because it is part of my role and duty of care but because I truly care about them all. However, this is nothing compared to the genuine care they are displaying; some of my team even ask how I am feeling (they also tell me that my caffeine intake may be a little high, but that’s not relevant to this topic)! Support Workers, make no conscious effort to present themselves this way – it’s simply how they are.
Personally, I find some level of comfort in the thought of the amazing work my team are doing, and that they are there for our more vulnerable community members who have not been able to see their families in quite some time. Knowing these people have access to someone who genuinely cares for them helps me sleep a little easier at night.
As always, I want to use this platform, and my voice, to say thank you. Thank you to all the amazing Support Workers that are out there – the work you do matters.
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.