When little things make a big difference
Being a disability support worker at KinCare is more than just a job for Angela Chapman. Angela finds it incredibly rewarding to build a close relationship with her customers, like Ludvig Kerec, whom she has worked with for five years, and seen him achieve his goals.
“I simply love visiting Lud every day,” says Angela, who leads a team of dedicated KinCare disability support workers who assist Lud and his wife Margaret on a daily basis.
In 2010, Lud was involved in a serious cycling accident that left him a quadriplegic. When Lud recovered enough to move back home to Canberra, his family had difficulties finding suitable in-home care.
“There is a lack of accessible housing and a lack of appropriate care services, even for people who are willing to pay.” says Lud’s son Andrew.
Finally, the Kerec family found KinCare. KinCare took the time to pair Lud and his family with Angela, one of our skilled support workers, who not only has the right qualifications to care for Lud, but was the right fit for the whole family.
Angela, or another support worker from the KinCare team, would spend most weekday mornings with Lud, assisting him with getting up and ready for the day. Angela was able meet Lud’s high-level needs and is respectful, reliable and trustworthy. She has also helped Lud to focus on identifying and achieving health and wellbeing goals.
“Angela is a very helpful and steadying influence in our home,” says Lud. “It’s important to me, and to my family, to have regular people coming around that we can trust.”
Over the five years she has been supporting Lud, Angela has transitioned into an administrative role, now ACT State Delivery Team Leader at KinCare. However, she has continued to proudly support and care for a few families she has built a real rapport with.
“The little things really do make a big difference in people’s lives,” says Angela, “I know that by doing my bit in the morning, the family have more time to make plans, to look after themselves, and to enjoy their lives together. Helping people in that way is very rewarding.”
Having support from KinCare has eased a lot of the pressure and stress felt by Lud and his family, allowing them to start to enjoy holidays and activities together.
“We have complete confidence in the care Dad receives from KinCare,” says Lud’s son Andrew. “Since they’ve come on board mum and I have enjoyed being just a wife and a son again. There are still highs and lows, but we’ve been able to go back to doing the things we love most as a family.”
“The little things really do make a big difference in people’s lives, I know that by doing my bit in the morning, the family have more time to make plans, to look after themselves, and to enjoy their lives together. Helping people in that way is very rewarding.”
Seeing the family recently come together to organise a 5,450km charity bike ride from Canberra to Humpty Doo that Andrew completed in early 2017, was a rewarding experience for all involved, including Angela. Lud was able to start and finish the ride alongside Andrew and his other son Malcolm using a hand-cycle, thanks to support from Angela and her team.
“I wish I could have travelled up to the Northern Territory with Lud, but my role was more about supporting Lud through his training and preparation ahead of the ride,” says Angela.
Outside their daily routine, Lud and Angela have formed a great connection built on common interests of reading and poetry. Lud tests both himself and Angela on remembering lines from the 15 Australian poems he knows by heart.
For Angela, this past-time activity with a special customer is just one of the many reasons she loves being a disability support worker with KinCare.