Where are supported living jobs based?
Supported living social care is just as it sounds! This type of role means helping people living with disabilities to remain in their own homes, and have access to the same freedoms as everybody else.
Supported living is usually provided in a specially adapted ‘home’, for example:
- Shared living environments
- A private flat or apartment
People who need support might live on their own or in a small group, and so providing support can be a lifeline to help the person with the needs to live comfortably and as independently as possible.
What tasks are involved for support workers?
As you might expect, the types of support and help will be different for every person or group. The aim is to provide tailored assistance wherever it is needed. This can include things like:
- Personal care – help with washing, cooking and taking medications.
- Living healthily – shopping, socialising and getting fresh air.
- Communications – working with family members and community organisations, for example, enrolling in clubs and attending social events.
- Leisure activities – everybody needs a holiday every now and then! As a supported living worker, you might help somebody go on holiday, or help them get to a celebration.
- Practical home support – things like keeping to a budget, paying bills and help with paperwork.
This is a multi-faceted role, so as a support worker it is crucial to be happy to help where needed, and to be able to turn your hand to anything – be that travelling to the coast for some sea air, or signing a tenancy agreement!
Who do supported living workers work for?
Supported living can be provided in several ways, so you could work for one service user or a mixture!
This is the beauty of the social care sector; with a mixture of public and private services, full-time and part-time roles, fixed hours and flexible shifts there are opportunities to adapt your career to best suit your aspirations.
You could work for:
- Public health care services – some councils cover some of the costs of supported living.
- Private social care providers – often supported living is provided by care organisations who directly employ their social cater staff.
- Charities – likewise charities are a mainstay provider of supported living, often championing independence and rights for people with a variety of needs.
While continuity is ideal, working for OUTT means you provide essential help, often for the same team like a member of bank staff. For example, if a team of supported living workers need an extra pair of hands, or if a regular member of staff is unwell or on holiday, being registered with OUTT means you are able to accepts shifts when it is needed by the employer and suits your diary and lifestyle .
In what scenarios might support living circumstances change?
Some people who need help to live independently might have always done so, and others are managing changes or decisions in their lifestyle and progressing towards less support.
As a support worker, you might look after somebody who is very used to having help, or be the very first friendly face to offer support – it’s always necessary to be adaptable!
Scenarios, where supported living circumstances might have changed, include:
- People who have been living or recovering from an illness or surgery in a residential care facility, and would like to regain their independence.
- Service users who have lived with their family, and would like to go it alone and find their own place to live.
- People who have finished a form of education, and would like to settle into a permanent home of their own with support.
- New service users who have received support with the costs of social care, and are now in a position to have somebody come to help them regularly.
Why is working in supported living a good choice?
Nobody wants to lose their independence if they don’t have to, and providing supported living services means extending help to people to make their lives happier, healthier and more independently.
As a support worker, your role is about people:
- Getting to know them, and where they need help.
- Understanding what tasks they would prefer to do themselves, and making it possible for them to do so.
- Learning about their likes and dislikes, and providing support with things like joining clubs and groups.
- Expanding their horizons, with your help, to make things like trips to the park or holidays possible.
- Working with a support plan or routine that is provided for your client.
Being a supported living worker might involve working with older people who need some regular help to be able to remain in their own homes. It could mean working with young people with sensory impairments. Or it might involve helping somebody living with a disability to get about and do everything they would like to do!
What the shift patterns in supported living?
The hours depend on the organisation and service you accept shifts with, but you always get the decision on whether to acceot with OUTT. However the structure tends to remain the same across the social care sector.
- Early shift
- Late shift
- Night shift
Support workers often work shifts on a seven day rota and temporary locums will fit within this rota where there are gaps or vacancies.
Working in supported living can include working overnight. Some people enjoy working nights for higher rates of pay and less people. This has changed over the years and recently ‘sleep-in’ shifts have become frowned upon unless they are paid at minimum wage or above. OUTT only accepts shifts paid at £10 per hour or above, even for sleep-in shifts.
One of the bonuses of working with OUTT in supported living and support worker jobs is that you can chose the jobs and shifts that work around your life. Plus you choose the shift location, so it can be nearer home.
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