Caring for the Carers

Personal Care Assistants
Support Workers……

These are people whose jobs mean that they work at the “hands on” level with people with disabilities, with the aged, with people with special needs.

All these workers have come to these jobs with an understanding that it is about helping others.

They may not always be well suited to the demands of this kind of employment. Sometimes people do this kind of work as its all they could find or because they think they’ll like it but they don’t.

But most are people who want to care for others.

The work is very demanding. Its very busy, its sometimes very frustrating. Sometimes its very rewarding indeed.

As part of a work team they have to work with others who may have different ideas and strategies. This can cause conflict.

Its very important to recognise how demanding this work is and how important it is to “care for the carers”.

How do we do this?

  1. Accept that there will be negative as well as positive feelings generated by this form of employment.
  2. Consider what extra can be done to assist in location.
  3. Regular training/discussions about:
    • Stress Management
    • Shift Work: Its Effect on Families
    • Team Building
    • Risk Assessment
    • Anger Management
    • Conflict Resolution
    • As well as all the usual courses, eg back care, first aid et al.

It is essential to encourage people to express their feelings in a constructive way- via regular supervision, reports/written feedback.

There needs to be tolerance of the carer’s needs as this then facilitates their caring for the people they are supporting. If the supervisor is angry, intolerant then the worker may be the same to the agency’s client.

What happens if we don’t do this, ie care for the carer?

  • Higher turnover of staff
  • Negative feelings in workers
  • Loss of knowledge
  • Increase in accidents
  • Increase in incidents towards persons being supported by workers
Speak to one of our friendly staff on (08) 8410 2342 | 18 Ruthven Avenue