What is a Personal Assistant?

In the context of social care, a Personal Assistant (PA) is someone who is employed by a disabled person, or someone acting on their behalf, to provide day-to-day support to enable them to live as independently as possible in the community.

This is made possible by direct payment schemes which are funded by local authorities and are available to disabled people with an assessed need for community care services. People can choose to receive direct payments, a budget that allows them to arrange their own care and support services, for an assessed amount of hours.

Local authorities often contract other organisations to deliver support services to direct payment recipients and Diverse Cymru provides free support and advice for people in Newport, Swansea and Gwynedd.

What is a Personal Assistant’s Role?

A PA is employed to assist with tasks to support independent living. The duties will vary for each employer, depending on what they may have difficulties with.

Here are some examples of the tasks a Personal Assistant may be asked to complete. This list is by no means exhaustive:

  • Assistance with getting in and out of bed
  • Help with dressing and undressing
  • Showering and washing
  • Assistance with toileting
  • Meal preparation
  • Taking disabled children to social activities