If you or a family member/close friend has a disability, did you know you can get a Personal Assistant specifically to help out? Whether you would like someone to help out for a couple of hours a week, or for someone to be full time by you or your loved one’s side, having a specific Personal Assistant for disabled and special needs can make an enormous difference in day to day life.
Using The Social Care Budget
The Care Act 2014 made it a legal duty for English local authorities to provide or arrange services that promote independence for disabled people. The Care Act means these authorities are now legally obliged to offer a personal budget to anyone eligible for social care funding such as a Personal Assistant for disabled and special needs. Have you ever considered using part of this budget – or using it as a contribution towards a Personal Assistant?
Hiring someone directly with the care budget means you are completely in control over the person you are hiring, what their tasks will be and when, and for how long they will spend time with you. This can make quite a big difference in comparison to having to rely on a healthcare provider arranging help or staff for you.
It will give you complete flexibility on leading an independent life in your own home where possible, and it also takes away the risk of having different people sent to you when one person is not available – something that can happen quite regularly when going through a healthcare provider. By taking matters into your own hands, you eliminate that external risk completely.
Before Hiring a PA
There are many tasks a Personal Assistant for disabled and special needs can help you with, and before you hire a PA, make sure you have it clear in your head regarding what kind of tasks you would like them to execute. A PA is not a carer, however, they can take on many of a carer’s tasks. It will be helpful for both yourself and your new PA if you make an overview of tasks needed.
Besides that, during the interview and selection process, talk through your regular daily and weekly schedule. You or the PA might come across situations that they can help with too, that you might not have thought about before.
It is also important to make a plan of your background, needs, emergency contacts etc, so this is all ready for the PA in case they need it. They can build upon this further as they start working for you but at least a start of a ‘handbook’ can be extremely helpful and make everything clear – meaning they can get on with their job at hand a lot quicker!
The great thing about a Personal Assistant for disabled and special needs is that they can perform care duties as well as many other things. This way you really get all-around coverage for all issues that you might come across, or simply things you want some extra assistance with or not have time to do yourself!
Having a Personal Assistant for disabled and special needs in your life is definitely about you living an independent life, but also about having your life organised and arranged for you so you can focus on other more important things.
The Tasks A Personal Assistant For Disabled & Special Needs Can Do
- Care duties such as washing, giving/reminding you of medication, getting dressed, showered and using the toilet.
- Getting you around, getting you to appointments and meetings.
- Connecting you to social groups, assisting you whilst visiting these and support you in outings and events.
- Administrative duties, from organising bills, answering emails, phone calls and managing paperwork – including offering assistance with your work from administrative to marketing duties.
- Managing other staff in the house, organising diaries, payroll and contracts.
- Staying on top of medical appointments, accompanying you to these.
- Housekeeping tasks such as cleaning, laundry, ironing, upkeep of the house, shopping and cooking.
- Helping you with childcare, taking on nanny tasks or sharing the care for children where needed.
- Keeping you stay in touch with family and friends and keeping up to date with your social calendar.
- Supporting a carer if you indeed have a carer in place, help during their breaks and offering an extra pair of hands when needed.
Where To Find A Personal Assistant for Disabled & Special Needs
To find the perfect Personal Assistant for disabled and special needs to match your requirements, you can either self-recruit or use an agency. When self-recruiting, there are many routes you can take:
- Firstly, share your search on social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You might be surprised how many people can help you or might know someone.
- Secondly, you can try advertising on free websites like Gumtree. Lots of people are on these websites looking for jobs so the right person might be right there for you.
- Finally, when self-recruiting you have to bear in mind that it might be a very time-consuming process – something you were hoping to get away from by hiring someone! Finding the right person is not always as easy as it seems and it really pays off to take your time in interviewing people, perhaps conduct a trial day or week, follow up references and check qualifications.
An agency will cost you a fee, however, it will give you peace of mind that everything will be arranged for you. The agency will select suitable candidates, do vetting and will set up interviews and trials, taking away most of the process from you so you can stay focused on the task at hand!
At Polo & Tweed, we have many different types of assistants on our books, including Personal Assistants for disabled and special needs. If you would like to know more please contact us here and our team will be looking forward to speaking with you.