Schools Training

A Brief Look at the Daily Life of a Disabled Person

11 MAR 2013
Career Path : Community Work

Integrating the disabled into daily life is an important part of modern healthcare strategies. There are a number of reasons for this. In the first place, it improves the physical and mental health of the disabled person. Also, it preserves their independence and protects them from the risk of abuse. Finally, the investment is more cost effective and better for the entire community.


A disability can be a physical handicap, such as one that inhibits mobility, or a matter of frail health. It might also be a matter of mental health, where the person is chronically depressed or otherwise unable to function. It might also be an incurable mental handicap like an intellectual delay. Some of the disabled were born that way, but some achieved the status in life due to an accident or illness. When a person is diagnosed with a problem, they are usually matched with a case worker, either a social worker or a community service worker.


Their job is to work with the individual or their parents to achieve the best possible outcomes for that person. They will usually have specialized training. Sometimes, especially when the handicap inhibits the successful completion of general life tasks, they will be matched with someone with personal support worker training (PSW for short). Their job is to help with day to day functions for that person, from house chores to physical self-maintenance.


For most of the disabled though, the more of a sense of independence that can be preserved the better. Not feeling valued or useful has very negative effects on many people, as does the loss of intellectual stimulation. Boredom may be literally deadly. A community service worker ideally helps people with things like rehabilitative programs that let the patient have restored efficacy. This is one of the reasons why art therapy is so popular, as it allows the person to produce some sort of creative output.


Because of their need for help, the disabled person may also be more vulnerable to abuse than the average. PSW courses teach how to look for signs of abuse from other care takers. They also allow their clients to develop back some self-reliance so they can protect themselves. With a PSW, a disabled person may be able to hold down a job that was out of their reach. Not relying on a limited or restricted income is ideal for many reasons.


For the entire community, that’s more tax revenue and the community does not miss out on the skills of the person who might otherwise be unable to express them. And even if the financial value of their labour is not as high as the cost of employing someone with PSW courses, it still helps teach the community about diversity to interact with the differently abled in something other than a caretaking role.



Visit Academy of Learning College Toronto for more information on personal support worker training.