Personal Assistants (PA’s) are usually employed directly by an individual who is using their personal budget (for social care support needs) or their personal health budget (NHS healthcare support needs) as a direct payment to help them live as independently as possible. Having a direct payment means the person has more choice and control over how their care needs are met, and they can choose who they would like to employ as their PA.
In the PA role you could support lots of different people who have a range of care and support needs. This could be within the individuals own home, out in the community, in an education setting or at their place of work. It involves helping them to live as independently as possible in order to have a fulfilling life.
The people supported may have a range of care needs, for example a physical disability, learning disability or mental health condition. Many individual employers will choose a PA based on their interests and personality, as they will work closely with them, and having the ability to build and maintain good relationships is key to this role.
PA’s must be able to work on their own and use their initiative when supporting an individual. The role can vary in terms of shifts, some employers will only employ one PA to support them for a few hours each week and others may have a full team of PA’s that work a range of hours/shift patterns in order to support them. The role of the PA also covers both adults and children/young people.
Key aspects of the role could include:
- Organising and supporting individuals to access and take part in social and physical activities
- Assisting with personal care needs such as washing and dressing
- Helping with tasks around the home
- Helping with shopping and managing finances
- Supporting individuals to book and attend appointments
- Helping individuals at work, college or university.