5 Simple Ways To Be A Great Service Provider
We cannot all do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa
The year is coming to a close. Christmas is almost upon us; a universal event that symbolizes love, compassion, and companionship, there is no better time to pause and reflect on what it takes to be a great service provider
The Swift-Care team gathered together for a lively, round-table conversation with our team of NDIS services providers, and came up with several suggestions which we narrowed down to five.
But first, we’d like to share some important talking points during our discussion:
Does it take a particular kind of person to be a great support worker?
Do you need to do big, grandiose gestures to be considered “great”?
What memorable things have we done for the people under our care?
How can we make lasting bonds with NDIS participants and their families?
What do you think of the above? If you’d like to share your thoughts, please feel free to reach out to us or have a chat with us on our social media pages.
Give our team a buzz and we’re happy to chat with you.
Anyway, our team had so much fun sharing our thoughts and ideas (seemed like a thousand ideas all at once!) but we all agreed on these five simple things:
1. Be A Friend
Even with prior training and formal education, new service providers may still find it daunting to care for people with disabilities. It was the general consensus of our team that it is particularly challenging when one is caring for a more mature person living with a disability.
Taking a deep breath, and just being yourself is something that’s always great to start with. Just as you’re getting to know the person you agreed to care for, they are also getting to know you!
Just first be a friend, and everything will fall into place.
Here are some great tips from the Swift-Care team:
- For people that have challenges communicating, ask their family members and loved ones what their interests are. If they love singing, ask what their favorite song is, download it on your phone and have a sing-along! The more off-key, the better!
- Bring games and fun. In between routine tasks, schedule some time for fun activities to do.
- Good first impressions never get old. A simple “how are you today?” can go a long way.
2. Be Kind
People living with disabilities have a harder time doing ordinary things; this will cause them to become frustrated at themselves and at the world in general.
If the person you are caring for is having a particularly rough day, then this is the perfect time for you to demonstrate kindness and patience.
A simple gesture such as a smile and a gentle “Do you need help with that?” will help brighten up their day.
The Swift-Care team also believes that kindness is the simplest way you can show that you truly care.
What other acts of kindness can you show to people with disabilities? The Swift-Care team has a few ideas:
- Help them master one task at a time. People with living with disabilities love being praised, but more than that, they love being able to do things for themselves. If the person you are caring for is having trouble tying their shoelaces, showing them how to do this every day until they master it will surely add to their self-confidence.
- Cook or bake together. This can be a very therapeutic activity and can turn into an afternoon full of fun and laughter.
- Say positive things – all the time. People living with disabilities will grow and blossom under positive, optimistic care. No matter how small their progress is, always encourage them and let them know they are doing a great job.
3.Learn Something New
Whether you want to sign up for dance class or if you want to learn how to knit, learning a new skill helps you share and introduce new skills, as well.
The Swift-Care team agrees that the job that service providers do is very important and that service providers give a lot of themselves to the people under their care. Sometimes, because of the nature of support work, our knowledge “stagnates”.
In between routine care, we forget that learning new things brings a new sense of purpose to what we are doing.
One of our service providers shared that she was convinced by a cousin to sign up for acting classes. She soon found that she loved creating costumes and she was actually very good at it. Having these classes every weekend for about 2 months surely paid off. She now makes puppets and she puts together little shows that help children with autism with improving their social and verbal skills.
4. Be Ready For The Unexpected
This might sound like something out a mystery novel, but this is one simple reminder for service providers to never assume that each day will be the same when caring for people with disabilities.
Each case is different, each individual has special needs, and needs a specific type of support. Some days they just don’t like the things you’ve planned out for them.
Maybe you planned a trip to the beach today but the person you’re caring for just wants to watch their favorite show, instead.
Maybe you wanted to recommend a new job that you feel is better suited for their needs, but the person you’re caring for is intent on sticking with the old one she has.
Each day is different and the things you thought would be great today might not be so great after all. Understanding this, and being ready for this will help you become a great service provider.
5. Get Some Rest
An exhausted service provider is not an effective service provider, so our team has agreed.
The job that service providers do is more of a lifelong vocation. Caring for people with disabilities is an honorable profession but, just like all other occupations, you need to be able to schedule some time for yourself.
Whether it’s reading a book, catching up with a good friend or just taking a leisurely nap, you need to do whatever it needs for you to relax and recharge.
We need our NDIS Service Providers healthy physically, and mentally. We need you too much!
Your work as service providers for NDIS participants is highly valued here at Swift-Care. We hope the above tips and tricks will help those that are just starting out or those that just need new perspective at the amazing job that they are doing.
Want to join our team? Contact us today. We’d love to hear from you.