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City launches handbook for its homecarers

Approximately 120 homecarers, Latrobe City staff, and OH&S committee members were present at the launch of a homecarers’ handbook at Kernot Hall last week.

By Latrobe City Council - 5th September 2001 - Back to News

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Approximately 120 homecarers, Latrobe City staff, and OH&S committee members were present at the launch of a homecarers’ handbook at Kernot Hall last week.

Latrobe City Group Manager Community Services, Jeff Marjoram, said the handbook was designed to be a useful and practical guide for homecare workers, providing them with a resource to help them be successful in their role in assisting citizens in need of homecare support.

"While most of us are used to undertaking domestic duties as part of a daily lifestyle, when these duties are undertaken as an occupation for hours on end, many days a week, there are a number of potential problems that can occur. The need for this handbook is partly to give practical guidance on subjects such as lifting and exposure to household chemicals to help homecarers identify and eliminate potential risks," Mr Marjoram said.

"Few people exposed to bathroom cleaners for example, on a domestic and occasional basis, will suffer ill effects unless they have an allergy, in which case they will discontinue use of the product. However, homecarers by the nature of their work can be exposed to significant quantities of a cleaning product over the long term which may have detrimental effects on their health.

"A poor posture adopted by someone vacuuming their house may cause them little pain, but if it is adopted over a long period of time as part of ones work, it can lead to a long term injury. These are the sorts of factors that need to be understood by people entering the homecare profession," Mr Marjoram said.

"The handbook also provides a clear understanding of the expectations that the Aged and Disability Services Unit has of its employees and the commitment that the Service has in ensuring that appropriate training, information support and recognition is provided to its staff.

Group Manager Human Resources, Ray Tunks, said that importantly the handbook served as a comprehensive induction tool.

"Care workers need to understand matters such as the need for client confidentiality, and accurate accounting if they are making purchases for a client for example, and the handbook identifies clear concise practices that eliminate potential misunderstandings," Mr Tunks said.

"The handbook is aimed at helping the direct care worker settle in and feel positive with the commitment they have made in becoming a direct care worker, and help ensure that their experiences with Latrobe City were both rewarding and satisfying," Mr Tunks added.


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