What Direct Care Staff Do
As Direct Care Support Staff at Motivational Services our main goal in the Mental Health Support Specialist role is to assist and support the residents of our agency’s assorted group homes in the central Maine area. The residents of our group homes all have personalized treatment plans that they create with their clinicians and providers that we help and encourage them to follow by offering support, assistance, education, reassurance, and guidance with things such as daily living skills, health and safety care, medication management, community and social skills, symptom management, and understanding their legal orders if they have them as well. Our goal is met by providing the tools and environment to set them up for success; essentially as long as we are trying to encourage rehabilitation care with and for our residents, progress is always being made with each resident.
Every resident is different, have different levels of care they need and have different illnesses and backgrounds which makes each approach to rehab unique and is best done by working on a team with other direct care staff who are always communicating with each other. You will document regularly on designated software, send e-mails, and have scheduled team-meetings to ensure everyone is always on the same page when it comes to discussing resident information that is pertinent to their care. Besides taking notes, keeping up with e-mail chains, and attending the occasional Zoom meeting, direct care staff are always spending time with or being available to residents in the group homes or out in the community.
An average day with residents would typically involve giving or assisting in giving medications to them, assisting in getting them to a medical appointment, helping them remember to do their chores, helping them with chores, showing them how to cook something, and maybe spend some time in a group watching a film with them, too. We will often plan activities where we can support them in the community at events such as but not limited to sports games, a matinee film, an outdoor concert, or bowling where multiple members of the group home go together with staff to these events. We also like to show the importance of finding and using good and healthy coping skills to our residents when symptoms are hard to manage for them. Staff are always available to residents in the assisted living programs around the clock to help support those in their goal of rehabilitation and independence.
Written by Rachel Spell, MOCO MHSS, 10/9/2022