From an attendant care worker's perspective

Good attendant care

Good attendant care is an amalgam of:

  • The experience of the person receiving attendant care and what they bring.
  • What you, the worker, brings.
  • How you do the work together with your clients.
  • The experience of clients’ family members and what they bring (in situations where attendant care is provided in family settings).
  • What your service provider brings.
  • What the case manager brings.

The following is a description of what good attendant care looks like from the point of view of the worker.


My experience as a worker

  • I am treated with dignity and respect (without discrimination).
  • I feel safe.
  • I am allowed to do my work.

Doing the work together

  • I do what I am supposed to do – what’s in the plan.
  • Our work is goal directed work. I work with my clients on their goals to achieve their plan.
  • I support and encourage my clients to be independent in areas they are able to manage.
  • I am building on my clients’ strengths.
  • I understand my clients emotional journey (e.g. injury, grief, loss and their impacts).
  • We communicate well.
  • We respect each other.
  • We keep the relationship professional
  • I don’t try to get my client to be my friend
  • My client doesn’t try to get me to be their friend.
  • I don’t accept gifts.
  • I don’t share my personal details with my clients.
  • My client doesn’t ask me to do things that are outside my role.
  • I respect my clients privacy (and keep confidential information confidential).
  • I respect my clients’ home.

My clients’ family members

Where a person is receiving attendant care at home with other family members also living in the home then:

  • I collaborate with my clients’ family members as part of the team.
  • I understand how families work as one system - any change for one family member will affect every other family member in some way.
  • I understanding my clients’ family member reactions and am able to put myself in the shoes of family members and make sense off their reactions, such as confusion and fear, distress and anger.
  • I treat all family members with respect.
  • I look to work with family members strengths.


The worker: what I bring

I understand brain injury/spinal cord injury.
I have been appropriately oriented to the characteristics and needs of this person.
I have the practical skills to work 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

I have the interpersonal and communication skills to:

  • Effectively communicate with the client / their family/ other relevant people
  • Understand the client and their needs from psychological, social and mental well being perspectives
  • Identify and respond appropriately to behaviours of concern (difficult or challenging behaviour).

I follow my service provider’s policies and procedures.
I arrive on time.
I understand my client’s cultural and/or religious background sufficiently to better work with my client (than if I didn’t understand my client’s cultural and/or religious background).
I have the skills to deal with conflict and assist in resolving it.
I am in ongoing communication with my supervisor/service coordinator.

My service provider

My service provider:

  • Ensures I have the basic skills and knowledge they need in order to work effectively with me.
  • Introduces me to clients and orients me to their unique situation and what’s required.
  • Works as part of a team with other agencies, services, etc. that may also be working with my clients.
  • Monitors what I do.
  • Is approachable and accessible.
  • Effectively manages disputes.
  • Effectively resolves complaints (in a timely way).
  • Is always on the lookout for ways to improve the work.
  • Gives me confidence that 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.