Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, loneliness was already rife in Australia. In 2019, one
I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of engaging with clients, disability support workers and carers. Each situation is different so it’s been a real learning experience for me to adapt to what’s needed.
Getting started, my first appointment was transporting a lovely couple to a medical appointment. I saw that they were happy to be able to give me a job as a Hero and how appreciative they were for my help. Taking time with them at home after the appointment to have a cup of tea and talk about topics of mutual interest has been a key part of my role, I believe. It has been a special time for me to make new friends, and it’s been enjoyable for them too.
With my driving appointments I always send a short text message to let the clients know that I’m on my way. This helps to set them at ease as they know they can count on me being there. I can only imagine how much they have on their minds so that’s one less thing to worry about.
The client with Alzheimer’s & his family asked Bev and I to come to dinner in order to establish a rapport and to help him get the sense that we are accepted into his circle of friends. This gave us a greater understanding of what he needed. His wife shared with us what he generally likes to do on outings and what the challenges might be. Bev takes him on an excursion on one day and I take him another day. Even though it would be easy to switch off and spend time on my phone etc while travelling with him, I try to keep the conversation going if he’s interested and it’s important to be one step ahead all the time to make sure it’s a safe, comfortable and inspiring experience for him. As he is quite changeable, working with him and knowing how to adapt has made it an increasingly pleasant experience for us all.
Similarly, finding the key in making my time with a young man with cerebral palsy has made our times together very special. Initially I’d watch some TV with him but after we got to know each other we’ve been able to enjoy some more challenging activities such as chess, draughts and monopoly. He gets a real kick out of beating me at a game and it’s great to see him laughing so hard as he wipes me off the board. Ha! Chess is, of course, quite complex and the games last a longer time so we mix it up with draughts or other things that are quicker so that it’s not too slow. He loves wrestling so he taught me how to play against him on his wrestling playstation game. I thought I was doing so well till he showed me he could beat me in 5 seconds. That was so much fun!
I’ve been doing some gardening and painting for a family who has an autistic son. The mum is so busy with him and is passionate about providing a stimulating and pleasant outside area for him. She gets a lot of joy out of working in the garden with me, showing me what she wants and reclaiming neglected areas that she hasn’t been able to get to. Because she’s making incredible sacrifices in her 24/7 demanding responsibilities as a mum and carer, it’s lovely to see that through Home Care Heroes as an NDIS provider, I can do something to make their life a bit easier and a bit happier. I need to work pretty hard to get everything done that’s on the list, but she really appreciates it.
We love being Heroes for these brave people with disabilities and difficulties and their families and carers who live with such huge challenges. It has opened our eyes to the needs, battles and heroism that they display day after day. When we talk to friends, family and people we meet we are happy to tell them about Hero work and how much it is making life better for so many people.
If you want to help make the world a better place by contributing to your community – Home Care Heroes is for you. Home Care Heroes is on a mission to end social isolation and loneliness, by providing support to those who need assistance due to disability, illness or ageing. All heroes have flexible hours to suit their schedule, with a good hourly pay rate. Sign up now to become a Hero where you will be matched with members in your local area who share your interests and are looking for companionship and support.