A reflection by Kathy Wright as she concludes two decades of work in the aged care sector, and a six-year term at BallyCara.
As I approach my resignation and retirement from working 20 years specifically in the Aged Care sector, I wanted to share some reflections on our role as Support Workers within the Home Care setting.
First and foremost, our role as Support Workers may not be classed as the “sexiest” job on the planet by some, but it is a very important essential service – which has only been highlighted by this year’s pandemic experience. Our role is physically demanding, but also emotionally and mentally demanding at times.
In carrying out our role, we provide many different services to clients. It is the Domestic Assistance tasks that most workers find challenging for various reasons (i.e. physical demand, client expectations, etc.). It is challenging, and physically demanding, at times to maintain the energy and interest required to complete these tasks.
Here is my perspective on the challenging aspects of the role, and I hope it can help other Support Workers to find purpose in it! Simply, I try to give each task more purpose. On a basic level, if you are into fitness, you say to yourself, “BallyCara is paying me to have the equivalent of a gym workout. I am so lucky!” On another level, you could see this task as helping a client maintain their home, which is their haven, their sacred space. You’re not just helping them to maintain their independence, but you’re also supporting them to feel safe and secure; you’re enabling them to relax and be themselves.
For older people, being one of the most vulnerable groups in our community, to be safe and secure is a basic need. This need becomes more important as we age, especially in the latter stages of life (potentially involving fragility, living alone, and facing death). If people feel safe and secure within their home and within themselves, they can then come to owning their life story and knowing a sense of peace and contentment within.
As Support Workers, our attitude and approach to all the services we provide, is the gift we offer older people, as they each strive in their own unique way to enjoy their life and face the challenges of aging while being valued for who they are.
What we do and say is important, but what people remember is how we left them feeling.
We give a huge thank you to Kathy for her enormous contribution to the BallyCara Community over the years. If you, or someone you know, is interested in working with BallyCara, you can view available job opportunities here.
Categorised in: BallyCara Blog
This post was written by Lachlan Green