What are Personal Assistants in social care?

Personal Assistants come from all walks of life and support people who require care. They help with everyday things like going to the shops or taking the dog to the vet but can also provide personal care such as washing and getting dressed.

Personal Assistants are usually employed directly by a person who needs care and support, who manages and pays for this through a “personal budget” (which is state funded) or with their own money. This person is their employer (and are often referred to as an ‘individual employer’).

Personal Assistants can also be employed by a family member or representative, when the person supported doesn’t have the physical or mental capacity to be the employer. However, a personal assistant always works directly with the individual they’re supporting. It’s most likely that this is an employed arrangement, but self-employment is also an option.

As a Personal Assistant you’re likely to be involved in many aspects of your employer’s life and may be asked to provide support in the home, at leisure, or at work. The opportunity to focus directly on the needs of an individual, and the diversity of the role, are two features that often attract people to this type of work.

Who can become a personal assistant?

Anyone can be a personal assistant as long as they:

  • enjoy helping people to live their life in the way that they choose
  • would like to support others to make a real change to their life
  • are comfortable working on their own or with other personal assistants as part of a team
  • have the ability to develop a strong, trusting relationship with their employer
  • understand that they are an employee and not a friend
  • understand that they do not direct the work, but that their employer does.

 

You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to become a personal assistant. What’s really important is that you have the right values and behaviours to work in social care.

What does a personal assistant role include?

You could be involved in some or all of the following:

  • booking and going with individuals to appointments
  • helping individuals to get to work, college or university
  • helping with personal care such as showering and dressing
    (although not all PA roles involve personal care)
  • supporting with tasks around the house such as shopping, cleaning and cooking
  • monitoring their health for example measuring body temperatures or administering medication.
  • managing a team of PAs if you’re in a senior PA role.

 

How can I find a Personal Assistant Job?

www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Careers-in-care/Job-roles/Roles/Personal-assistant

https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/social-and-health-care/living-home/hiring-personal-assistant

 

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