Becoming a support worker
Difference between a carer and support worker
Support workers and carers play an important role in helping people with aged care support needs or disability support needs. Together, they help to reduce emotional and physical strain on the person and improve their overall health and wellbeing.
The roles of a support worker and carer, however, differ in some key ways.
Carers, their role and responsibilities
Carers Australia defines a ‘carer’ as a person who provides unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged. An unpaid carer might be a partner, family member, friend or neighbour and the arrangement may be temporary or permanent.
A carer’s role differs greatly depending on the person’s needs. They are usually responsible for the management of medications, and also provide emotional and social support. Caring may also involve help with organising and attending appointments, banking and dealing with emergencies.
Carers don’t necessarily live with the person they are caring for and they aren’t always the main source of care and support.
Support workers are professionals who are engaged by people who need support to do tasks they may need assistance with. Support workers are paid, formal supports.
While the specifics of the role depend on the client, independent support workers on Mable may focus on tasks that alleviate physical discomfort and promote social connectedness, independence, emotional wellbeing and general health.
Support workers may provide:
- Social support
- Help around the home
- Work and study assistance
- Personal care
- Independent living support
- Travel support
Being a support worker can be a highly rewarding yet demanding career. A passion and dedication to maximising the quality of life of those receiving your support is essential. Personal qualities like respect, honesty, flexibility and communication skills give support workers a well-rounded base to connect with clients.
Learn more about what support workers do and how you can become a support worker.
How much experience do you need to become a support worker?
Support workers play a key role in ensuring people receive…