Direct support workers are an important inclusion in most people’s lives, especially the disabled. They ensure there are better care, healthy delivery, and quality of life for so many people. Their services re also needed in nursing homes, day treatment programs, and such institutions.
In life, you may find yourself at a point where you need assistance. You may not manage to do much for yourself or attend to your life as you were used to. Direct care workers are there to fill that gap and ensure you do not suffer in your present condition. To perform such work, you need to be the right candidate. There are certain expectations placed upon you, and ones you need to place upon yourself.
You need to understand that you are a service provider. You are essentially dealing with a customer. You, therefore, need to avoid taking a higher stand when dealing with them and treat them with dignity and respect. You are paid for the services you offer, and so it is only right that you offer the highest quality services you can manage.
You need to understand your roles and responsibilities. You are not there only to watch over those you serve. You are dealing with individuals with intellectual or developmental challenges. Other than that, they too have feelings like any other person. As much as they may not do what others do in the same capacity and with the same abilities, it does not lessen their need for respect and a consideration of their feelings.
You have to earn their respect and trust, as they do not give it automatically. Assuming that your presence as a helper will mean you have their respect intact is wrong. You find that they have some traumatic pasts most of the time. They are, therefore, not quick to form new relationships. How you treat them will determine whether a good one will exist between you and them.
You also need to keep a positive attitude. Your attitude affects so many aspects of your job. You need, for example, to create a pleasant first impression. It comes down to your attitude. When it is negative, it becomes apparent in that first encounter. Everything after that goes downhill. If you have a positive and caring attitude, they will respond positively and appreciate your efforts.
You need to know when it is time to give space. As much as you will be needed, constantly in certain circumstances, you have to remember that they, too, need to do things by themselves. They will need space and privacy at retaining times. You need to encourage them to try and do certain things for themselves. Such a feeling of independence goes a long way in shaping their attitudes, their self-worth, and their learning experiences.
It is important to keep in mind that we are all more alike than we are different. Those with intellectual and developmental challenges are, therefore, deserving of a life of dignity and respect. They only need help in certain areas of their lives in different degrees. Your service should be aimed at making their lives a bit more comfortable and capable than without it.