A Personal Assistant helps those who have difficulty carrying out everyday activities and tasks. This may be due to health problems, a learning or physical disability, or simply impaired hearing or sight. A personal assistant can also make life easier as people get older and find daily activities more challenging such as getting out and about, getting washed and dressed, seeing friends, going out to a social club or even just down to a local park or friends.
Such people may need to use the Council’s support services. In the context of the two schemes, a Personal Assistant is someone who is paid to help those people looking for support with any aspect of their daily life. A Personal Assistant is engaged by and paid by the person who is using their support or care. Just as in any other job, any Personal Assistant engaged by the person who is paying for their support has rights. The basic rights are the terms and conditions of work such as start and finish times; hours of work etc as agreed with the person paying for their support at the start of the employment.
However different methods of engagement of a PA by a client will have different ‘rights’:-
- An ’employed’ person will have statutory rights such as sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay but it means their client will need to become an employer and manage all of the entitlements as well as managing payroll, and HMRC registration and National Insurance;
- A ‘self employed person’ will have greater control of the times and what work they undertake. However, it is for the PA to persuade HMRC that they are truly self-employed such as working for multiple clients, otherwise their client may risk inadvertently becoming an employer.
- A PA who is a bona fide employee of their own company enjoys the rights associated with being their own boss and deciding what hours to offer work and which jobs to do but also protects their clients from having the need to become an ’employer’ which can be a huge burden for someone ill or older in years and can become an expensive option for the client if they need to pay for all the equipment, employer insurance and payroll assistance if required.
Personal Assistants can provide assistance in a number of areas, which can include:
Unregulated personal care is often restricted to basics of dressing and grooming unless the PA is directly employed by Client. Under the CQC regulations aspects of personal care may be extended beyond normal unregulated care provided the PA is directly employed by the Client who directs their own care.
Help with meals/food preparation
Preparation/cooking of a cold (eg cereal or a sandwich) or hot meal.
Helping someone to eat a meal either by encouraging them or feeding them food and drink.
Daily/weekly cleaning, laundry, ironing, tidying etc.
Reminding someone to take their medication.
Help with Communication
Supporting someone who finds it difficult to communicate because of visual or hearing impairment or following a stroke or who has a physical or learning disability.
Supporting someone with communication may be listening to someone else speaking and repeating it back to them in a way that they understand or it could be speaking for them if they are unable to do so. It may also be assistance with reading something like a sign in a doctor’s surgery, instructions for food preparation or personal mail etc.
Prompting someone who may need support in remembering day to day things. For example a person may be capable of getting dressed but may not be able to remember what order they do things in. They may need prompting to eat meals or to look after themselves. They may need reminding to complete tasks they have started.
Helping someone to remain living at home independently eg supporting someone to organise repairs on their home or secure their property.
Social activities and shopping etc.
Providing support with getting out and about, normally outside the home. It may be for a wide variety of things such as doing the food shopping, meeting friends or family, going to the library or church, going to the cinema, pub or theatre or going on holiday.
Helping someone to access the bank; pay bills or invoices, deal with their post.
Work, education and learning
Support with training, paid work, volunteering, courses, confidence-building and/or life skills. It may be that the person you are supporting needs help to access the place where training is being held. They may also need help with note taking or reading documents during the training or at work.
Includes all aspects of looking after children that any parent wants to do. It could be something simple like picking children up from school or helping them with their reading or it may include feeding them and putting them to bed.
Supporting someone in travelling to, and attending, appointments with doctors, dentists, hairdressers, hospitals etc.
People needing help with transport may have their own vehicle in which case it would need to be insured for the Personal Assistant to drive, or they may use taxis or public transport and need support in getting in & out of the vehicles.
Dog walking, feeding animals, cleaning out cages, grooming and taking pets to vet appointments.
A personal assistant plays an important role in the community. PA’s offer all sorts of services to their clients including cleaning, food preparation, shopping, personal care, gardening, pet care and many other jobs that people require.
As a PA you can:
- Choose what services you wish to offer.
- You may become Employed by a client or you can be Self-Employed or run your own independent service company which employs you.
- If you are self-employed you must register with HMRC and may be required by a client to evidence that fact.
Access the Online Directory of Personal Assistants
Find out the different ways you can hire support
Get in touch by email or call us on 01344 206 113