Personal Assistant or Care Support Worker jobs offer flexible hours, career development, good rates of pay, and job satisfaction.

Find out more about these roles below, or:

What is a Personal Assistant or Care Support Worker?

  • Personal Assistants (commonly known as ‘PAs’) are employed directly by people who need care and support to enable them to live their life independently in the way they choose.
  • Care Support Workers do a very similar job but are employed by an agency or service such as Lend a Hand, rather than employed directly by the person they are supporting.

Each role involves carrying out a wide range of tasks based on the individual needs of the person they are supporting. The overall purpose  is to support someone to exercise choice and control and lead a full, active and independent life.

The work is very flexible and most roles are part-time across different days and times.

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What do the roles involve?

Personal Assistants work directly for the person they support, but they can work for more than one employer. Care Support Workers are employed by an agency, or care provider such as Lend a Hand. Although each role is different, job descriptions commonly include some or all of the following tasks:

  • Domestic: Meal preparation, cooking, cleaning, bed making, laundry, ironing and shopping.
  • Social and leisure activities: Assist with activities such as meeting friends, attending appointments and going on holiday.
  • Accessing work and education: Transport to and from work or education, administrative support and communication support.
  • Personal care: some roles involve assistance with personal care (you can choose what kind of tasks you want to carry out) such as bathing and toileting, eating, drinking and taking medication, moving around and changing positions to help with overall comfort and wellbeing.
  • Health care: training can be provided so that you are confident in carrying out some health care tasks such as changing dressings, catheter management, administering medication and monitoring and recording temperature, pulse and respiration.

Training and key skills

There are not usually any specific qualifications required, you will need to undertake some training to help you carry out your job safely and confidently. Independent Lives training service and Care Certificate workbooks can help you to complete your training.

Here are some of the attributes employers are looking for.

It is very important have good listening skills, are willing to learn and can respond flexibly to their employer’s needs. In particular employers look for people with the following skills and qualities:

  • Flexibility and adaptability: being prepared to support the employer in the way they want and adapting to their needs and circumstances as they change. This is often called person-centred support.
  • Respect for boundaries and mutual trust: understanding and respecting professional and personal boundaries.
  • Motivation and attention to detail: displaying a positive, friendly attitude and following training and guidance.
  • Commitment to maintaining privacy and confidentiality: the ability to keep things private and respect rules about privacy.
  • Open minded and non-judgemental outlook: respecting individual lifestyles and choices and championing equality and diversity.

Watch a BSL video on being a Personal Assistant (Credit: Nottinghamshire County Council)

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