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What area of individual support should you specialise in?

Certificate III in Individual Support has 3 specialisations.  Ageing, Home and Community and Disability.  This information is designed to help you decide which area you would best suit you if you are planning a career in this very rewarding area. Other duties and responsibilities may be required in addition to the summary. In all specialisations support should be person centred and facilitate empowerment of the person.

Ageing

The ageing specialisation is designed for people who would like to work in an aged care facility, as part of a team supporting older people at a stage in their lives when they are no longer able to manage their lives independently.

Areas within a facility can be:

  • Low care
  • High care
  • Dementia (often called memory support)

One of the benefits of working in an aged care facility is that you are working with others as part of a supportive team.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Support clients in their independence and well-being
  • Provide residents with assistance as they accomplish daily tasks, including showering/bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting
  • Transfer clients, e.g. from their bed to a wheelchair
  • Assist clients to ambulate and mobilize
  • Recognise and report observed signs that the client’s physical or psychological health is at risk
  • Maintain documentation and reporting

Home and Community

The Home and Community specialisation is designed for people who would like to provide support for older people and their carers, to remain living independently in their own homes and community, in a dignified and safe manner in accordance with their individual plans. In this area you traveling to client’s homes to provide the necessary support.  You may visit several clients in one day. You will mostly be working on your own when you are out and about, supported by a coordinator who you can contact during your day.

You will have to be adaptable because the schedule you have at the beginning of the day may change when for example a client on your list has been taken to hospital or has decided they don’t need the service on that day.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Support clients in their independence and well-being
  • Domestic assistance including vacuuming, cleaning, laundry and food preparation
  • Provide clients with assistance as they accomplish daily tasks, including showering/bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting
  • Respite care, when the main care giver requires time out. This may include providing in-home care, activities or outings.
  • Social support to meet the need for social contact and/or accompaniment so the client can participate in community life
  • Provide transport to enable service users to access community and social activities and/or medical and specialist appointments.
  • Maintain documentation and reporting

Disability

The disability specialisation is designed for people who would like to provide support services aimed at maximising the living, employment, social and recreational skills of people wit

h disability.  Community inclusion, independence, decision making, and personal choice should be promoted through these supports with a focus on individual needs.

Expect a challenging yet rewarding experience working as a disability support worker. You will need to be flexible and able to remain calm when things change or go wrong.

Disability support may happen in various settings including:

  • Support for the person to remain living independently in their own homes
  • Support for the person to remain living independently in a group home
  • At a respite or activity centre which may also include outings in the community

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Actively support clients to achieve their personal aspirations
  • Provide practical and physical support as needed
  • Provide clients with assistance with personal care including showering, dressing, grooming, toileting and mealtime assistance
  • Provide transport to enable service users to access community and social activities and/or medical and specialist appointments.

Additional information

Rewards

  • Satisfaction that comes with being able to positively impact the quality of life of the people you are supporting
  • Working with diverse people
  • Working in an industry where empathy is the cornerstone
  • Work/life balance by working shifts that suit you
  • Job variety – no two days are the same
  • Career development – many pathways are available to develop your career

Challenges

  • Handling difficult behaviours and health issues
  • Physical demands
  • Travelling in all types of conditions
  • Overcoming communication difficulties
  • Handling grief and loss
  • Handling the emotion of friends and family

What qualities are required to become a support worker?

  • empathy
  • stamina
  • resilience
  • flexibility
  • patience
  • good work ethic
  • team player
  • willingness to undergo ongoing training

Disclaimer:

The information provided on this leaflet is designed to assist you to decide which specialisation in Individual support would be best suited to you, or even if the working in the industry at all would suit you.

We make no claim that this list is definitive or completely accurate for all individuals and organisations and take no responsibility for decisions made based on this information.