Most agencies offering disability support or aged care do not give their clients any choice of care worker – or they offer very limited choice at best.
It makes a difference in the quality of care provided when a care worker can be matched to their client. Selecting the right care worker to attend to a person in their own home needs to be thoughtfully considered, as it’s important to make the experience positive for both parties.
But why does this matching matter? Isn’t making a meal or doing some errands or assisting with personal grooming just something that needs to get done, regardless of personality? Well, yes, but compatibility is an important part of providing quality care.
For those who receive care in their own homes, it can make a tremendous difference to them to make a meaningful connection with their care worker.
One example is that of retired Navy nurse, Mary, who lives with her adult daughter and adult grandson in Maroubra. At 100 years old, Mary still enjoys getting her hair done weekly and playing cards, but since her family members are at work all day she is on her own a lot of the time. The solution was a care worker who could take her to run errands or provide companionship by talking and playing games once or twice a week.
After Mary’s family looked around for some time, care worker Amber was eventually hired because they had a common connection. Amber’s husband was in the Navy. Not only do these two women – separated by more than six decades in age – enjoy a regular card game together, but Mary can now reminisce about being in the Navy, being married to a husband in the Navy, being a mother who moved her family a lot and much more knowing that Amber really understands. It’s a match!
Of course it’s not always possible to find people with similar experiences or interests, but it can make a difference to select a care worker who is open to receiving as well as giving in the care relationship. A perfect example of this is Gladys, who is in her 90s and has Alzheimer’s disease. Gladys still enjoys knitting. Her family found a care worker to provide both personal care and companionship, despite not having knitting skills or hobbies herself. What the care worker did have was compassion and a willingness to learn something new. Today the client and care worker have such a successful relationship and good time knitting together they donate their handmade items to charity.