Providing social support? Here are some ideas to delight your clients this winter

Aged Care, Care Workers, Community, Disability July 25, 2019

Building a solid reputation as an in-demand independent support worker via Mable is often about surprising and delighting your clients. If you’re offering social and domestic support to elderly clients, one of the ways you can do this is to help them to get the most out of your time together. If you’re not sure how to go about it, we’ve pulled together some ideas for conversation-starters to help your client feel inspired this winter.  

Working directly with clients to provide social and domestic support can mean so many different things. And depending on your client, they may be completely on top of what’s on the agenda for the day. Other clients – particularly those new to receiving support – might be open to you providing ideas for how you might spend your time together. As a support worker, a little bit of variety is not only beneficial for your client, but could be fun for you too! Here are some ideas for where you can look for inspiration when it’s cold out…

Help them rediscover a forgotten passion – or find a new one!

For independent support worker Mary, one of the favourite parts of the job is getting to know her clients to tease out those hobbies and interests that continue to inspire them. From dancing to photography, she’s worked with clients to reignite the spark from passions they may not have pursued for years.

But inspiration doesn’t only need to come from within – many independent workers on the Mable platform support clients to try something completely new. Perhaps they’d like to improve their technology skills? Maybe they’re interested in getting crafty? A quick google search will often provide you with a range of options tailored for older Australians who are looking to try out a new hobby.

Explore your town

If you work with ageing clients, the cold might mean a disincentive to get out and about. But there’s plenty on offer for you to do together if you know where to look. Most major cities, states and territories have a ‘what’s on’ website featuring events and activities going on around town, and these sites are always a great place to start if you’re looking for things to do.

From free guided tours in your city’s art gallery to author’s talks at your local library or a visit to the local farmer’s market, start thinking like a tourist and help your client find some hidden gems in your local area.

Find their people

Sometimes, supporting your client to stay connected within their community is about helping them to discover where they can meet others. Social events designed for people to do just that are taking place all the time – the trick is knowing where to look for them.

Community centres everywhere are great places to find things to do – like this weekly free Scrabble session hosted in Sydney. Meetup and even Facebook are both great resources for finding groups of people gathering to do the things they love. Whether it’s a ‘knit and natter’ session, a book club gathering or ‘men’s shed’, have a chat to your client and their family to find out whether they think they would benefit from an opportunity to attend a community event where they could meet like-minded people. 

Get moving

Here at Mable, we write a lot about how our clients can stay active to improve their wellbeing. Incorporating movement into your day, no matter how small, is so important for health. As a support worker, encouraging your clients to take up some form of social exercise is doubly beneficial. City council websites will often have information on specialist classes for older residents like Tai Chi, chair yoga or line dancing. Also check out the YMCA venues in your local area to find out what classes are on offer. Or, if jazzercise feels a little too adventurous, speak to your client about whether they would enjoy some regular visits to some nearby green spaces.

You can find out more here about how you can find flexible, rewarding work providing support to people in your community.