I arrive in the morning, make a coffee, check my emails and messages, then follow up on messages that I have received. I then enter any notes from the previous day that I haven’t entered, and phone or text my clients to confirm what time I am meeting with them today.
Today I am heading to Red Beach to support a Package of care client with whom I spend 5 hrs per week, which is broken into 2 visits.
• Check in with client asking how their week has been, what activities have they been doing.
• Review goals and tasks set from the last meeting.
• Do an activity that is working towards their goals. (For example, Goal: I want to learn how to food shop independently – We may go to the supermarket to learn this skill or catch a bus with the client as another step to completing their goal.)
• Do some interactive education (education, skills and strategies on how to deal with depression) and community skills modules.
• Sets tasks to do that are working towards their goals.
• Plan activity and time to meet next. (This is very important to do, as it can save you a lot of time trying to contact the person and organize a time to meet next, then negotiating what you are going to do with them!)
Next I am heading back to head office to meet with a client that is a Community Support Work Client (whom I support for about an hour a week). This client I will do much the same as the first client except keeping in mind that I have only one hour so I generally will follow a similar agenda to the previous meeting. This time though, we are going to be going through some interactive education about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with their family.
I have a lunch break, before heading to my next client that needs support with WINZ, followed by a review meeting with the treatment team.
Then I am heading back to the office to complete my admin, time sheets for the day, write notes about the meeting with clients what was achieved and the plan for the next meeting, and follow up on phone messages and emails.
What I love about this job is that no two days are the same!
A day in the life of a community support worker in the Older Adults Team
Working with Older Adults in Mental Health can be different in the sense that a physical disability can accompany a mental problem or bring about a mental illness. For example, if someone is suffering from a major depressive disorder, this may have been brought about because of a diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease which can affect their mobility, their relationships, in fact all facets of their daily life. In addition, Dementia can cause a person to feel frightened, isolated and they can lose their will to live. Suicide rates can be high among the older adult population.
At Equip we try to help Older Adults to maintain their independence, accept and deal with their disabilities and put support services in place that are needed. Sometimes we take them out for an hour or two, help them to recreate old interests or to find new ones. It is about helping them to find value in their lives, and valuing the skills and wisdom they have to share with others.