“We need people that are in the moment, that can do everything with empathy, respect and caring like Ben”.
Under the Road to Employment (R2E) program, 4 aged care providers have employed 7 trainees, 6 of whom live with an intellectual disability. The trainees are completing a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) CHC33015.
To find out how the program is going we interviewed Mary, who is supervising their trainee, Ben at Amber Aged Care.
Tell us about your trainee, Ben?
We have employed Ben as a trainee under the Road to Employment traineeship program. He is living with an intellectual disability.
All our staff members like Ben, he is very positive and nice to work with. He has become so independent since working here, he now drives to work, he is well dressed and always on time.
How did your organisation set up to support Ben?
For 4 months, we have had Ben as an extra on the floor while he is learning. Now we have assigned him to one of our float shifts from 7-12, he is no longer an extra. Ben is also supported by Barkuma, the disability employment provider, they visit every week and help him with the new tasks he is learning.
Have you made any particular adjustments to support Ben?
I have just arranged to increase Ben’s shift from 12 to 1pm for a while to give Ben more time to do and learn his new role, getting residents showered and dressed. He does one shower and bed making. He is good at making beds and working as a double. He does hand massages with the residents, bed making and teeth cleaning and talks to the residents.
What’s been the impact on staff?
He is not quite there yet in managing the same load as other staff for showering and dressing, but we are supporting him and believe he can do it. Yes, the staff got frustrated, at first, we had to remind them that he was an extra on the shift. Now, we are asking them to be patient, I believe a little bit of patience gives you a good outcome.
Would you take on another trainee?
I’m a strong supporter of this program. I feel good about what I am doing in mentoring Ben. It gives me a sense of satisfaction, that I am contributing to a great thing.
So often in aged care we must rush, rush but we need people that are in the moment, that can do everything with empathy, respect and caring like Ben. When we talk to the residents, they feel good, and it changes their mood.
I believe we all have shortcomings that we need to accommodate and with a disability it is no different.