What Are The Duties Of A Disability Support Worker?
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Many people take for granted the simple things in life that they are able to do like going to the grocery store, getting themselves dressed, or even brushing their teeth. For millions of Australians, daily life is a challenge. Nearly 1 million working-age people are unable to work because of a disability. In addition, 16% of the population is over the age of 65.
This creates work opportunities for people who are passionate about caring for others. If this sounds like an interesting and rewarding career, you might consider becoming a disability support worker.
What is a Disability Support Worker?
A disability support worker is someone who provides a wide range of support services to people with disabilities or other physical restrictions. These services are typically provided in-home with the goal of improving their physical, social, and mental well-being of those who have challenges that prevent them from caring for themselves.
These challenges can be physical or intellectual as a result of old age, mental disability, traumatic brain injury, or amputation, for example. Not all patients need permanent care. In some cases, support is needed for a temporary impairment or illness.
Daily Duties for a Disability Support Worker
Your daily duties as a disability support worker will depend on the individual needs of your client. Some clients simply need companionship or help running errands. Others will require more hands-on care. The duties of a typical in-home disability support worker include:
- Household Chores - Washing laundry, cooking, and cleaning.
- Personal Care - Bathing, grooming, getting dressed, taking medication, and eating or drinking.
- Dependent Care - You may need to help care for your client’s children or pets.
- Errands - Going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions, taking clients to doctor’s visits.
When taking on a new client, it will be your responsibility to evaluate their living situation and determine what type of assistance they need. In many cases, clients find it difficult to admit that they need support. Oftentimes, it’s the family that is encouraging this service, so you may need to help make the client feel comfortable.
Disability support workers will need to be flexible with their schedules as care may need to be provided during the week, in the evenings, or on weekends. This all depends on what the client needs.
How to Become a Disability Support Worker
If this sounds like the right career for you, you can get started right away. In Australia, there aren’t any specific education requirements to become a disability support worker. However, there are some certifications offered by the Australian Government that can provide you with the skills you need and make you more reputable. The two most popular are Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Disability. If your position requires working with children, you may also need to get a Working with Children Check, a first-aid certificate, and a National Police Certificate.
While you can start working full-time with an agency or at a facility, many disability support workers enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed. This gives you the ability to choose the clients and work schedule to fit your lifestyle.
The most challenging part of being an independent disability support worker is building your business and attracting clients. Start by establishing a professional presence in the form of a website, social media accounts, or marketing materials to promote your services. From there, spend time networking with providers and being active in the community. This will help you meet the right people to put you in contact with your first clients.
Trust upcover to Protect Your Disability Support Business
Unfortunately, situations could arise that result in people making legal claims against your business. At upcover, we’re here to make sure that your business is protected with high-quality insurance for Allied Healthcare Professionals. Check out our instant quote generator to get a policy estimate for your disability support business.