What is a Personal Assistant?

A Personal Assistant, or PA, is usually employed directly by you. This means you'll be in control of who you select to help you, and how they support you, without the need to go through a care provider.

Having a Personal Assistant to help you at home will mean you can stay living independently for longer. They may work for only a few hours a week, or several hours each day or night or provide round the clock support. They can help you with a range of tasks:

Personal Care:

  • helping you get out in and out of bed
  • getting dressed and undressed
  • washing, bathing and showering
  • assistance with using the toilet

Household tasks:

  • help with cooking and preparing meals
  • cleaning and gardening
  • shopping
  • looking after your pets
  • helping you with paperwork, such as bills and correspondence

Getting out and about:

  • helping you when you need to go to an appointment
  • taking you out for social or leisure activities
  • supporting you so you can continue to work or attend courses or classes

What are the benefits of employing a PA directly?

Employing a PA can give you more choice and control over who supports you and what tasks they do:

  • you can choose who you employ
  • you can develop an ongoing relationship with the same Personal Assistant
  • you can choose how, where and when you receive your support

It’s also important to understand what it means to become an employer. There's a lot to think about:

  • recruiting a personal assistant may involve advertising the role, interviewing and carrying out checks
  • drawing up an employment contract
  • paying the PA's salary, tax and national insurance
  • taking out insurance as an employer.


Finding a PA 

There is lots of practical help, guidance and advice available to support you with finding the right PA for you:

  • Hestia can offer general information and advice on support at home. They can also help make the arrangements to employ a Personal Assistant and help you with some of the ongoing practicalities like managing payroll for you.
  • Ruils' Find-a-PA website can help you advertise your vacancy and find Personal Assistants suited to your specific needs. 


How much will it cost?

What you pay will depend on your individual circumstances, how much support you need every week and the pay rate of your PA. It's important to remember you will also be responsible for other fees as an employer - including annual leave, sick pay and training. 

If you are eligible for financial support from the Council, you can get a Direct Payment from the Council for their contribution. You will most likely have to pay something towards your care and support, and the easiest way of managing your overall budget is to pay your own contribution into your Direct Payment account. 


Useful contacts:

Phone: 020 7378 3100
Email: info@hestia.org

Ruils find-a-pa
Phone: 020 8831 6083
Email: info@ruils.co.uk

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971
Email: adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk