Carolyn and her husband with her team of 5 people

A self directed approach enables me to recruit and choose my own team of staff who assist me to live in my own home.

After 20 years of independent living and using a wide range of services, staff and models of support, I believe the success of my care is based on the quality of the relationships I have with my staff and the work I do to make this work for me.

With the right team you can work with people who understand a ‘give and take’ approach, are flexible and have the will to help you solve problems.


Get the best from your team

It’s essential to be clear about your needs. Honesty is the best policy.  And be clear about what you expect from them. Ambiguity is not helpful and usually leads to miscommunication.In addition to being verbally clear, use a responsibility checklist, or more formal contract.

Model the behaviour you expect from them. If you tell them you will cover their shift then cover it.

Feeling lonely and want to make new friends? Come join the MDM Club for free. Our Club members include people with autism, depression, anxiety, mental illness, blindness, deafness and many other disabilities.

It takes skills in negotiation and sometimes creative thinking if shifts need to be swapped or changed in emergencies. For instance, staff contact me directly if they are sick or have another problem getting to their shift. I can then assess the situation, and I generally know the commitments and schedules of each staff person. I may offer a bonus if it is very late notice. If I get…

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