Choosing the right disability support is, arguably, one of the most important steps throughout one’s NDIS journey.
Whoever they are, these will be the people that will play an integral part in your life in supporting you to live the life you choose.
It goes without saying that finding the right disability support is not something to be taken lightly – it is a process that requires your full attention and consideration.
Understandably, this can be a daunting task. Which is why we have put together the following guideline to help make this seemingly difficult process a lot smoother and less frustrating.
What to Look For In A Disability Support Provider
When you apply for the NDIS, you would have listed down all of your goals and the range of services required to achieve them. Once the NDIA have verified them, you will have your NDIS plan approved with funding allocated for the support you need.
What’s next is to find the right disability support provider.
The options are many and aplenty but here’s what to look for to get the right support:
If you are working with an agency managing your NDIS plan, they may provide you with a list of providers who can meet your needs.
Go to their website and see what support and services they offer. See if they have the disability support services that you need to pursue your NDIS goals and shortlist a few that best meet your requirements.
We suggest giving them a call and have a feel of their customer support team. Often, this would be a good point to assess their level of dedication and professionalism – see if they have quality customer care that meet your standards and if they are ones that you can build a relationship with.
2. Reputation and Industry Experience
You would want a service provider that is reputable with extensive industry experience. Find out how long they have been in the industry and have a look at their reviews to understand their credibility – a brief Google search will show you plenty of results.
Ask friends and families for recommendations. Your GP, LAC (local area coordinator) and dedicated Facebook groups will also be a good place to start.
Above all, make sure that they are a registered NDIS provider and that they specialise in disability support (Visit https://absolutecarehealth.com.au/government-funded-care/ndis/ for more info).
Some providers may not be (they specialise in other care areas) so keep this in mind when you are making your enquiries.
3. Option to choose your disability support worker
If you’d like to have more control in that you’d like to choose your own disability support worker, find out if the service provider you are looking at offer this option or not.
Most service providers allocate support workers based on what they think best fit you (and your needs) but some provides the option for you to find and hire workers through their platform. If this is your preference, do make sure to find out if you can do this or not.
4. Talk to Your Support Worker
Regardless of how a support worker is allocated to you, try to organize a meet and greet with them once potential candidates are shortlisted for you.
Take your time to discuss whatever you like to find out more about them. This person will be playing a support position in your life – they could be with you for many hours every day doing things like cooking, cleaning, personal care, transportation or even shopping so it is important that it is someone you can “click” with.
Ask about their hobbies, preferences and interests – this will help you understand their personality to a certain degree. Find out why they chose to become a support worker and what qualifications they might have. All these will point to whether or not they are the right person for you.
If English is not your first language, you will want to check if the service provider you’re looking at (and the support workers that are going to work for you) can speak your language.
Effective communication is important to ensure that your needs are always adequately conveyed and achieved subsequently.
How to Know If You’ve Found The Right Support
A good service provider will be able to help you achieve all the goals outlined in your NDIS plan. The services provided will be personalised and provided by qualified NDIS disability support workers and personal care attendants.
If you are able to have that promised by a service provider during your consultation meeting, chances are you’re pretty much on the right track from the start. Having said that, personally testing them out is the only way you would know if you have found the right one.
Nonetheless, here are a few pointers to take note of:
- Punctuality: showing up on time shows that they are responsible and reliable. In the area of disability support, this is very important because you will be highly dependent on them. For example, they may be responsible for your transport to important appointments that you cannot miss.
- Interaction ability: how well they interact with your family members is something to observe too. Your care team will consist all of them so you will want a person that is able to work closely with your family to assist you live your fullest life. Conflicts can arise so you would want someone who is team-spirited and is willing to learn from their mistakes.
- Responsiveness and work quality: find out how they handle certain situations. Pitch specific scenarios and ask how they would respond in such circumstances. It is important that they can handle an emergency and know when to call in backup.
Last advice we have for you? Always trust your gut feelings. No matter how presentable a person appears to be, if you are not comfortable around them or you do not like how they treat your loved ones, then they are not the right choice.