Attendant care workers: Part of a team

Part of a team

Attendant care workers are part of a team. The team can include:

  • Person with the injury
  • Family and friends
  • Attendant care workers
  • Service providers
  • Therapy specialists
  • Funders
  • Case managers

Graphic 10: 
Attendant care workers: part of a team



Case managers

Case managers coordinate and integrate treatment, rehabilitation and attendant care services needed to assist you to help with your goals for function and participation in daily life.

Case managers work closely with you, your family, your treating team, your care provider and a wide range of community services to help you identify your injury related needs and  develop your goals for function and participation in daily life.

Case managers assist you in understanding what services you need and what can be funded.

They also help to select the most appropriate service providers to meet your goals

You do not have to have a case manager to receive treatment, rehabilitation or care services. You may feel that you can coordinate your services yourself. Sometimes people use case management services for a period of time after their motor accident and then decide that they don't need this service any more.

My Case manager

My case manager:

  • Has worked with me to identify my goals and the services I need to support me in achieving them.
  • Has high expectations that everyone can and should enjoy the good life (and is not just planning to meet my basic needs or fit me into existing services).
  • Places me at the centre of the planning for achieving my goals.
  • Sees me as someone who is a member of a community – with family, friends, social networks, work and education opportunities and so on.
  • Helps coordinate the various services and agencies that I work with so that they work together as a team to support me in achieving my goals.
  • Explained what attendant care is.



What my service provider brings

My service provider:

  • Ensures staff have the basic skills and knowledge they need in order to work effectively with me.
  • Introduces staff to me and orients them to my unique situation and what’s required.
  • Works as part of a team with other agencies, services, etc. that may also be working with me.
  • Monitors what my worker does
  • Is approachable.
  • Is accessible – and works in a transparent, fair and responsive way in commencing, providing, changing or ending services.
  • Effectively manages disputes.
  • Effectively resolves complaints (in a timely way).
  • Is always on the lookout for ways to improve the work.
  • Gives me confidence if I made a complaint to my service provider it would be dealt with appropriately (and I would not fear adverse consequences).
  • Has a philosophy of continually monitoring and improving its services.


Doing the work together

In working together with my attendant care worker:

  • I treat my worker with respect and dignity.
  • I work on my goals to achieve my plan.
  • Our work is goal directed work.
  • We communicate well.
  • We respect each other.
  • We keep the relationship professional
  • I don’t try to get my worker to be my friend
  • My worker doesn’t try to get me to be their friend.
  • My worker doesn’t accept gifts.
  • My worker doesn’t share their personal details with me.
  • I don’t ask my worker to do things that are outside their role.

Attendant care workers

Attendant care involves providing assistance for people with disabilities to perform tasks they would normally be doing for themselves.

Attendant care services include personal assistance, domestic assistance, assistance to access the community, gardening, rehabilitation support, registered nursing and home maintenance. The type of assistance provided to the participant may include physical assistance, prompting and/or supervision.

Attendant care services focus on maximising the participant’s independence across a variety of settings: home, work/vocational activities and community/avocational activities, with the aim of facilitating a return to their former roles or developing new functional skills and roles.

Attendant care services should be centred on the participant and their family and be the most age appropriate and least restrictive response to meet their needs.

What my worker brings

My worker:

  • Understands brain injury/spinal cord injury
  • Has the practical skills to work with me on what’s needed: e.g.
    • Manual handling
    • Personal hygiene and grooming
    • Maintenance of continence
    • Principles of skin care
    • Assisting with nutrition
    • Assisting with medications
    • Worker Health and safety rights and responsibilities policies and procedures
    • Infection control
  • Has the interpersonal and communication skills to:
    • Effectively communicate with me/ my family/ other relevant people
    • Understand me and my needs from psychological, social and mental well being perspectives.
    • Identify and respond appropriately to behaviours of concern (difficult or challenging behaviour).
  • Respects my privacy (and keeps confidential information confidential)
  • Follows the service provider’s policies and procedures.
  • Arrives on time.
  • Does what they are supposed to do.
  • Does not over step professional boundaries (e.g. tries to be my friend).
  • Understands my cultural and/or religious background sufficiently to better work with me (than if the worker didn’t understand my cultural and/or religious background).
  • Has the skills to deal with conflict and assist in resolving it.
  • Is in ongoing communication with their supervisor/service coordinator.


Therapy and other specialists

Rehabilitation Specialists

Rehabilitation Specialists monitor medical issues following the injury. They usually follow the individual through hospital and then follow them up through outpatient clinic appointments. They are able to provide legal reports.


Nurses work closely with the individual in hospital. They get to know the individual very well and often express individual concerns to the rest of the Team. Nurses work to maintain the wellbeing of the individual in the hospital setting. Community nurses generally have specific tasks. For example, changing dressings and giving injections. They liaise with the local doctor.


Physiotherapists work with the individual to maximise physical functioning and maintain joint integrity and muscle length. The individual usually spends time working with the physiotherapist in the gymnasium, at home and in the community. Physiotherapists may be involved in the rehabilitation process when the individual is in hospital and in the community.

Social Workers

Social Workers also work with the individual's family and help them to adjust to the individual's injury. They can be involved in legal and financial issues as well as injury claims and insurance. Social workers work with individuals and their families on a range of issues in the hospital and after discharge. They offer support and counselling to adjust to the many changes that can often arise from having had a brain injury. Social workers liaise with community services, government departments and other organisations such as insurance companies and solicitors to ensure the individual is informed of what is going on and their rights are protected.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists work with the individual to get them back to doing everyday activities. Occupational therapists look at what the individual was doing prior to their injury and what they will need to do when they leave hospital. The occupational therapist then works with the individual on regaining competence in these activities. It may be necessary for the individual to use adaptive equipment or make modifications to the home or work place to maximise the individual's independence. The occupational therapist will prescribe this equipment or environmental change. The occupational therapist will work with the individual in the hospital, home, community, workplace, school or educational institution and leisure environments.


Neuropsychologists use a number of tests to identify where the individual is having difficulty with their brain function. Areas neuropsychologists examine include attention, memory, speed of information processing, flexibility in thinking, manipulation of information, abstract thinking and general knowledge. This information is fed back to the Team and provides information regarding the extent and severity of the injury and areas where these difficulties may affect daily functioning.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical Psychologists work with the individual on specific areas that limit their ability to get on with everyday life. This may include counselling, developing behaviour management and support programs where the clinical psychologist works with the individual on specific areas of their behaviour. Different areas may be stress management, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression and anger management.

Recreation Officers

Recreation Officers work with the individual to identify leisure and recreation options the individual can do in both their home and community. The recreation officer liaises with educational institutions and community facilities to find activities that are meaningful to the individual and meet their individual needs.

Speech pathologists

Speech pathologists initially work in hospitals to recommend advice on eating, including swallowing and appropriate food consistencies. As recovery occurs they work with the individual on areas of language, expressing themselves, understanding information they are receiving and social skills. Speech pathologists also work with the individual beyond the hospital in the community, in individual and group situations.

(c) Copyright - See: Toolkit B. Working Together Promoting Independence -