Big-hearted support worker empowers people with disabilities

Supporting people is all in a day’s work for Renae Niha.

In her role as Senior Support Worker for Mercy Community’s Individualised Supports Service she devotes her life to empowering people with disabilities.

But she refuses to think of it as a job.

“I get really emotional when I talk about the role here because I really feel so connected to the people I support,” she says.

“I just want them to be accepted for who they are.”

It’s this commitment to the cause that saw Renae honoured with a Mercy Day Award – in recognition for her dedication over the past five years.

The 44-year-old mum said helping others is all she has ever wanted to do.

“When I look back on my life, I think my motivation to help people stems from my childhood,” she says.

“I was raised in a big family on a farm. We didn’t have much, but we used our imaginations and the resources we had around us and I think that’s why I’m able to see things on a different level and connect with people living with disabilities.

“I understand how important it is for everyone to be able to be part of the community and to feel included.

“I was really taken aback to win an award for what I do because I feel as though this is what everyone does.

“It just feels natural for me to help others. It gives me a sense of gratification and purpose.”

Renae has been working with four women who live in a supported living environment.

“The approach that I take with these women is to focus on values such as respect, inclusiveness, and empowerment,” she said.

“I love supporting them to make their own choices and decisions and help them towards achieving their goals.”

“I love the feeling it gives me. They are like a second family to me, and I love seeing them in the morning and planning all the fun things we are going to do together. I genuinely miss them when I have to go home.”

Through assistance from support workers, people living with disabilities are encouraged to build connections with their community and engage in meaningful activities to reach their full potential.

Kathreen Fonua, Team Leader of Individualised Supports said Renae was an inspiring mentor for those who work alongside her.

“I’ve heard Renae say to a person she supports, ‘You are worthy of great things, every day, in every way, you are getting better’.

“Her nurturing and calm persona manifest in the people she supports and she gets the best out of everyone she encounters.”

Clare Smith, one of the women Renae supports, also gave her a big thumbs up.

“I think she’s a nice lady, she’s very nice and very good. I’d say she’s pretty great!”

The benefits of Mercy Community’s Individualised Supports Service

Mercy Community is dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities to take charge of their own support journey.

With a strong commitment to person-centred care, we offer a wide range of disability support services and NDIS support coordination to help you live a fulfilling and independent life.

Our Individualised Supports Service offers a personalised and tailored approach to meet the unique needs of individuals – recognising their distinct strengths, preferences, and challenges.

It’s an approach with plenty of benefits, including:

Personalised care

Services and interventions are customised based on a person’s specific needs and preferences, enabling the setting of personalised goals that align with an individual’s aspirations, enhancing the likelihood of success and satisfaction.

Greater autonomy and control

Individuals are empowered to actively participate in decision-making processes regarding their care, promoting autonomy and self-determination. People have a say in choosing the type, timing, and manner of the support they receive, leading to greater satisfaction.

Efficient resource allocation

Resources are allocated more efficiently, focusing on the specific needs of each individual, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.

Improved outcomes

An increased likelihood of achieving set goals as they are directly aligned with an individual’s unique strengths and needs. Progress can also be more accurately measured and monitored, leading to evidence-based adjustments that optimise outcomes.

Responsive to change

Regular feedback and assessments can inform adjustments to the support plan, ensuring ongoing responsiveness to an individual’s changing needs.

For more information visit:
Disability Supports – Mercy Community Services or to register your interest visit Individualised Supports Registration | Mercy Community.

If you would like to know more about the support services Mercy Community offers and how we can help you achieve the most from your NDIS plan, why not visit our website here or contact us today:

Contact our Disability Supports team today!

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Prefer to call? Contact us on 1300 161 618.

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