What is it like to be a personal assistant (PA)? Why do people choose to take a direct payment to meet their support needs?
We know that being a PA is a worthwhile and attractive employment choice for some people. But what inspired people to take the leap from their previous job to take on the role of a PA and what impact has this had on their life and that of the person they support?
A new book produced by Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCiL), the SSSC and the PA Network answers these and many more questions. It was launched on 31 October at GCiL. The book shares real life experience of what it is like to be a PA.
The following story gives provides a taster.
Omar was a young student in his first year at university. He had always been supported by his family but things changed once he met his disability adviser and he was able to access a budget to employ his PA, Dale.
‘During my first year at university, my mum had to come with me to scribe. Although I have a warm relationship with my family and greatly appreciate their support, I wanted to be more independent and embrace all aspects of university life. Things changed when I met the university disability adviser who helped me to employ someone. I was a bit nervous about employing someone and it took a while for me to arrange the interview with Dale, but we hit it off right away – over football!’ Omar, personal assistant employer.
‘Dale had just completed his degree in sports coaching and was looking for part time work for a few months when he saw Omar’s advert for a PA – 10 years later he is still there!
‘When I first started, Omar told me that when he was at school he received regular physiotherapy which had greatly helped his mobility. When the service ended, Omar’s condition deteriorated, forcing him to use his wheelchair all the time. Due to the knowledge gained on my degree course I was confident about developing exercise programmes for Omar, in conjunction with advice from a physiotherapist and these are now part of our daily routine. As a result, Omar can now walk short distances around his home with support.’ Dale, PA.
About the book
This is the third in a series of books sharing stories of people using direct payments. The previous books Direct Payments, Pure Dead Brilliant! and Self-directed Support Way to go! give people the opportunity to read about others who have gone through the process of accessing direct payments and now have support packages which provide them with greater control and flexibility over how their care and support needs are met.
The new book has two parts. Part one explains the role and responsibilities of a PA in the form of frequently asked questions. Part two is a collection of personal stories of how PAs and PA employers work together. The book will be available free to PAs, PA employers and appropriate staff in health, social care, further education and recruitment.
Get your free copy
To find out more or to order a copy of the book please contact Lilian Smith, SDS Development Coordinator, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living on 0141 550 4455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more
To find out more about self-directed support or PAs visit our webpage where you can also see what work we are doing at the SSSC to support the implementation of self-directed support. If you are interested in finding out more about our SDS and Integration Team’s work please email sdsandintegration@SSSC.uk.com