Many disability support workers double as un-paid workers at home. During National Carers Week, we acknowledge how much all carers contribute to our community.
Chris used to work in I.T, then horticulture before a friend suggested he’d be a “really good carer”. Seven years on and he hasn’t looked back, becoming a support worker for Options and delivering many different activities to a variety of people.
When asked how this role compares to others Chris explains, “you can’t coast when you’re a carer, if you’re having a bad day you can’t let it interfere with your work, you can’t be selective about caring”.
Support Worker Sindy agrees, also with Options for 7 years, she is both a paid and unpaid carer. Her daughter has Asperger’s and her son has Autism, so her caring roles are around the clock. Formerly a nurse, Sindy got tired of seeing people with a disability stuck in dementia wards or left in aged care facilities and wanted to make a difference.
The satisfaction of watching Options participants grow and achieve their goals is a huge motivation for Sindy, “seeing our clients truly able to be themselves and be accepted in the community is what I love” she says.
Chris shares just how broad the role can be from physical help, skills building and volunteering to talk about relationships and sex, technology and social skills. And there are lots of laughs along the way, “you’ve got to spread a bit of sunshine” Chris says “if I go home having made someone smile today, it’s been a good day”.
Whether it’s caring as a job, for a terminally ill friend, an aging parent or child with special needs, during National Carer’s Week we salute all the paid and un-paid carers in our community who contribute so much to the lives of individuals and ultimately to the wellbeing of the whole country.