If you or your loved ones are looking for a disability support worker, whether it be for companionship, medical or non-medical purposes, it can be overwhelming to navigate the various options available – especially since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Here is our guide to selecting the right disability support worker for your needs.

1. Learn about the different types of care

First, let's look at some of the disability and NDIS terminology you may encounter:

  • Non-Medical Support – regardless of your age, type of illness or disability, non-medical support can range from help with regular household tasks such as cooking and cleaning right through to transport, shopping assistance and learning new skills.
  • Dementia Care – a general term for people whose symptoms affects their intellectual and social abilities such as memory, communication and problem solving. The most common form of Dementia is Alzheimer’s.
  • Personal Care – this is assistance with everyday tasks such as having a shower, eating, walking or getting out of bed.
  • Respite Care – short-term relief that provides a break for caregivers to reduce stress and re-energise, ranging from a few hours to a few weeks, where a skilled care professional assumes caregiver responsibilities.
  • Companionship – this spans across in-home social activities such as arts and crafts and board games as well as social interaction at events or going on outdoor adventures.

2. Consider your needs

Start with the most simple consideration: do you need medical or specialist support such as help using the toilet? Or is it more non-medical assistance such as help with cooking, errands, shopping or gardening? This will determine whether you need a disability support worker with certain skills or qualifications.

Then think about whether you need to arrange short-term or long-term care. If you're recovering from a broken arm, you'll probably need short-term care. If you or a loved one has dementia, you may require long-term care.

Do you require in-home care, or would you like help getting out and about? Or perhaps you or your loved one feeling a little lonely and are seeking companionship. In this case, you'll want a support worker who you get along well with. They may have similar hobbies and interests, and speak the same language.

Put together a list of requirements to help you shape the ideal support worker.

3. Review your support worker options

Once you have a good idea about what you need, consider who it is that will be providing the assistance. Will it be the same person each time? What are the your (or your loved one’s) values, interests and do they match up with the person providing support? Is the person helping you a local? What are their skills and are they able to assist in teaching new skills?

A little help and assistance in everyday life can mean you or your loved one are making the most of life, getting out and about amongst the community, learning new skills and making new friends. It also carries the added benefit that family members are less stressed knowing their loved one who needs help has the supervision and care they need.

Find a Disability Support Worker with Like Family

Two women walk down the street, arms linked. One wears a black hoodie, the other wears a yellow jacket

It can be tough to accept offers of help, especially if the help is for everyday tasks that in the past you have completed with ease, such as cooking and cleaning. If you live on the east coast of Australia and have an elderly loved one who is a little proud, stubborn or who rejects offers of care, Like Family can help. We offer fully flexible services which allow members to largely keep their sense of independence while giving family members the peace of mind that their elderly relative is being given the care they need.

Like Family is on a mission to reduce social isolation, harnessing the power of community to provide dedicated support for companionship and non-medical services due to ageing, illness or disability. We provide peace of mind as all our heroes are carefully screened, we are NDIS approved and have over 50 five-star Google reviews from our customers. Plus, we believe it shouldn’t break your budget to get the support you need, that’s why we offer an affordable $46/hr flat rate with no extra fees.

Sign up now to choose a fully vetted, local Social Carer at an affordable rate who meets your needs and has similar interests to you or your loved one.