Personal assistants

What is a Personal Assistant?

A Personal (care) Assistant, or PA, is someone who supports a person living with a disability to facilitate them to achieve the very important personal goal of independence and the opportunity to lead their lives on their terms. For you and your PA it can be a deeply rewarding experience.

Employing a PA can be a liberating experience as you will be in the driver’s seat managing your life in a way that once might have seemed unrealistic.

But this does come with responsibilities and while you may not get everything right the first time, this step by step guide is your reference, along with our advice and support, so you don’t feel like you are on your own. There are also other organisations that can offer you guidance and information.

What do Personal Assistants do?

A PA supports their employer to carry out daily tasks such as personal care, shopping, preparing meals, domestic tasks and generally supporting them to lead an independent life. The PA’s role and the support that they provide will vary depending upon their employer's needs. Here are some examples:

Personal Care

  • Assistance in getting in and out of bed
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Washing, bathing and showering
  • Assistance with using the toilet


  • Food preparation
  • Shopping
  • Household / Domestic Work
  • Dealing with paperwork and correspondence
  • Gardening
  • Looking after animals

Social / Leisure / Education

  • Assistance in taking part in leisure activities
  • Assistance at business meetings or college
  • Meeting friends

Working with children / families

  • Playing games with children
  • Helping with homework
  • Helping parents with preparation for outings
  • Going on outings
  • Helping with meals