Why ‘Active Support’ is so important – a care and support worker shares her day in the life – Livability

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Why ‘Active Support’ is so important – a care and support worker shares her day in the life

Why is social care a great career choice? We asked Livability Support Worker Louise about what she enjoys about her role, the merits of ‘active support’ and what a day in the life looks like for her.

What’s your job at Livability?

I’m a support worker at a residential care home for disabled adults. I’ve been here over 13 years. I love my job. I never wake up and feel ‘oh no, I’ve got to go to work’.

What’s your day like?

I start with a 7.30am handover from the night staff. We work in teams and get everyone ready for the day. We support with meals, drinks, socialising at home, going out.

How do you approach care and support?

We use the ‘active support’ model of care in Livability, which means we encourage people to gradually do as much for themselves as possible. This could be washing or making their own tea – we give verbal prompts.

Why is Active Support so important?

Because it has such a positive effect on the people we support. When we first introduced active support, the reaction from some residents was ‘no!’. But then when they saw other people really enjoying trying to do more, they wanted to try. They felt good because the more they tried, the more they could do. It’s more work for us but it’s job satisfaction because we see someone making progress.

Did you have experience of social care when you took this job?

No. I didn’t really have any qualifications when I left school. Since I came here, I have worked up to my QCF level 3 in social care, and have taken other qualifications. When we introduced active support, I was the one sent on training courses and then I trained other people here. Now I stand in for the senior support worker role. I constantly want to learn in this job because I love it.

Are you proud of service you provide to disabled people?

Yes! People are encouraged to try new things but never forced – it’s their life and their home. It’s not an institution. There’s one guy I’ll tell you about – when he arrived, he had been in bed for one year, was in pain and was very underweight. We sorted out his medication and his food and supported him to be reconciled with his family. He’s a fantastic character and we’re so proud of what he has achieved.

What’s the work environment like?

We all work together as a team. There’s never any tittle-tattle and not a lot of arguments! The management is second to none. It’s a really wonderful place to work – what makes it special is the people we support.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

Well, I’ve got six kids so that’s my other job!

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