The purpose of working as a Personal Assistant in Care is to help an individual live their life as fully and independently as possible while ensuring that they are safe and supported. You need to respect the individual’s choices and be willing to support them with how they choose to live their life.
Is it the job for me?
Why be a Personal Assistant?
There are lots of benefits of working as a Personal Assistant in Care:
The role can be very varied:
- Can support employer in different aspects of their life
- Can work with multiple employers, supporting different individuals who want or need different things
- Can work with people who have the same interests as you
It can have lots of flexibility:
- Can find work that suits your hours
- Can work for more than one employer if you want to
There can be attractive pay and employment conditions:
- Often paid better than working via an agency
- More likely to have permanent working hours
- Often no need for formal qualifications or specific level of education
It has a high level of job satisfaction:
- Opportunity to work with one person
- Build a longer-term professional relationship with employer
- Work with an employer you have a good connection with
- Make a difference to someone’s life
Would I be a good Personal Assistant?
To be a good Personal Assistant, you should have the following qualities:
Sometimes, you may be asked to work in a team of PAs. This may be where an individual needs 24/7 support or where an individual has chosen to employ more than one person to support them. It is important that you can work with other Personal Assistants in part of a team so that you can support the individual as well as possible and provide consistent support.
While working as a Personal Assistant in Care, it is important to remember that you are the employee and the person you support, or their representative, is your employer. The work that you do is decided by the employer – they decide how they would like you to support them. As their employee you must be able to respect this and follow instructions.
You must be able to listen to instructions and understand what your employer is asking of you. Listening is also an important part of supporting them, knowing what they need and what you can do, while being empathetic and understanding.
While it is important to maintain a professional working relationship with your employer, you will spend a lot of time with this person and should ensure that they feel comfortable, therefore you should balance your professionalism with friendliness and good interpersonal skills.
As a PA, you must be able to treat people with a high level of respect and dignity.
Due to the type of relationship between an employer and a PA, there needs to be a high level of trust between the two. You must ensure that you do what you say you will do, that you turn up to work at the agreed time and that you exhibit sensible behaviour.
Flexibility is a key requirement for Personal Assistants in Care. There may be times when your employer needs your support on different days, or at short notice.
As time goes by, it may be that your role alters slightly – your employer’s support needs may change and with this they may ask you to support them with different tasks.
However, if you are ever asked to do something you are uncomfortable with or that you feel falls outside of your role/what you have previously agreed with your employer, it is important that you have a conversation with your employer to resolve any issues and maintain a good working relationship.
It is important to remember that every person is different, therefore each person you support will have different requirements. These requirements may involve you learning new skills, medication administration or moving and handling. It is important that you are open to learning new skills so that you can support the individual to the best of your ability.
To support a disabled person, you should have an understanding, or be willing to understand, the challenges faced by disabled people. You should be committed to equality and diversity and believe that everyone should be treated equally and with respect.
A Personal Assistant in Care should enable an individual to live their life as they wish and as independently as possible. As a Personal Assistant in Care, you should encourage the person you support and give them the confidence they need so that they can do the things they want to do. This could be physical support such as assisting the individual while out and about or emotional support, providing guidance and reassurance where needed.