Ask the Experts: Supporting families with Living Communities


Hands placed on top of hands reassuringly

Christopher Donnelly from Living Communities talks supporting families of participants in disability services.

Caring is shown to have physical, emotional, and relational impacts, as well as broader effects on finances and engagement in paid employment.

These impacts are amplified in families caring for more than one person with a disability and with other dependent members.

As such, the report makes a very valuable contribution to our understanding of the informal care provided by Australian families

Small actions, huge consequences

Formal supports provide essential services to participants on a regular basis, they also provide much needed respite to family, friends and loved ones.

There are times in which providing support to participants can be beneficial to provide minor support to families as well.

Something as simple as a kind conversation, wiping down the kitchen benches or bringing shopping in from the car.

These small acts of kindness can go a long way to defusing built up tensions or even in redirecting attention away from participants so they can have space to breathe.

It also allows the informal supports to feel seen, heard and understood.

Many working adults manage joint work and family responsibilities and turn to supports offered at work and in the home to help manage these roles successfully.

As community members we understand how tense and difficult family situations can become, so as support workers we aim to defuse this where possible to ensure a steady and comfortable progression towards the goal of independent living.

Read next: Ask the Experts: Formal supports with Living Communities

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