The NDIS supports millions of Australians living with disabilities in Australia. For this noble initiative, they need the help of support workers to ensure no one is left behind. NDIS coordinators and service providers ensure that those with disabilities can access services as required. For NDIS participants, support workers are truly life changing. A well-trained support worker ensures each participant’s needs are met and that all support team members help them achieve their goals. However, with each of these workers having different job descriptions, here is what you can expect from them.
Areas of NDIS Support
Understanding the various categories of needs and individual support is critical in assisting those with an impairment or disability. Doing this helps us get a clear view of the roles of an NDIS support worker. The responsibilities may vary depending on individual needs, broken down into three main areas.
A disability support worker will regularly deliver services to clients at their residences. The nature of an individual’s disability will dictate the level of assistance needed. For example, the NDIS support worker can help you with domestic chores and other errands.
Personal Care Support
A disability support worker will provide personal care to people with a disability. Their tasks may include maintaining general hygiene, dressing and supporting clients through programmes. The level of support provided depends on the client’s needs.
An NDIS support worker will be a friend to those in their care. People who live with disabilities can feel a little distant and isolated from society because of minimal connection with others. Support workers are understanding, patient, empathetic and compassionate. By communicating appropriately with these individuals, they can understand their needs to take the burden off their shoulders.
Roles of NDIS Support Workers:
1. Assisting with Daily Activities
An NDIS support worker must have proper records of their client’s needs and where they live. This facilitates travelling to beneficiaries’ homes and helping with daily activities. If you have limited mobility, the support worker will take care of everything you need help with, be it feeding, cooking, shopping, cleaning, or transport.
2. Prompting and Supervising Timely Medication
A lot of NDIS participants need to take medications to help with their condition. NDIS support workers assess the conditions of these participants to ensure they get necessary medication. If you need urgent medication due to a sudden illness, the support worker will contact medical services for assistance. They will also check to ensure you are taking appropriate medication.
3. Developing Personalised Support Plans
NDIS support does not take a one-size-fits-all approach because each case is unique. Therefore, it is the role of the NDIS support worker to communicate with the participant on support coordination. During the support coordination meetings, the NDIS support worker will take your requests to develop a support plan. These plans must fulfill individual goals, needs and requests. In addition, the support worker must ensure that every client’s needs are met, and the funds disbursed cover the necessary services.
4. Providing Emotional Support
An NDIS support worker is not only the link between the NDIS program and the participant but also a friend. Most people living with disabilities tend to feel alienated and disconnected from the world. Even with family around them, they will still need emotional support from someone who keeps close contact with them. An NDIS support worker will help you deal with anxiety, depression and any other disorders affecting you. In challenging situations, support workers will suggest other professional services to be included among those you are already receiving.
5. Working with Partnering Health Workers
The NDIS works with allied health workers in a participant’s support plan. A support coordinator’s role is communicating with these health workers to ensure your needs are met. The health professionals will also report on the participant’s progress to help them operate independently. Additionally, healthcare providers should be ready to work with you at home when you cannot show up for routine checks.
6. Providing Transport Services
A support worker must always offer transport services to NDIS participants. Whether the client is going for an outing or travelling for medical appointments, the support worker must ensure they are safely driven around. This means finding wheelchair-friendly cars with better air conditioning and space that meets the client’s needs. The NDIS support plan should include these transport services, provided you include them as requirements.
7. Working with Family and Other Personnel
NDIS support workers will work with families of people living with disabilities to ensure they are part of the program. They may provide guidelines about the program and how they can support their loved ones. In addition, the worker might also reach out to teachers in schools where their clients study. Doing this can ensure NDIS participants achieve their educational goals in a conducive environment. Involving these parties ensures that everyone plays their role in ensuring the smooth transition of activities at different times and places.
8. Communicating Participant Needs
An NDIS support worker must ensure that participants control how they want consumer support services. By communicating with participants over their NDIS support plans, they help them understand they can choose their level of engagement. As a result, beneficiaries will become more independent and involved in the NDIS support services.
9. Assisting with Community Participation
Your support worker should help you attend social events and activities to improve community participation. They should facilitate transportation and accommodation if you are out for a long time. They must also communicate with community organisations assisting people with disabilities to meet their social needs.
Like all other occupations, disability support workers also experience a fair share of challenging and rewarding moments. They might encounter challenges throughout their operations, especially in the early stages. However, they can handle these challenges with the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their professional life. By overcoming these challenges, they help people living with disabilities to be more independent and achieve proper mental well-being. If you are an NDIS support participant, you should communicate with your support worker to understand what is in store for you.