A Personal Assistant (sometimes called a PA or a support worker) is employed by people who need social care, either because of their age or disability, to enable them to live as independently as possible. Personal assistants carry out a wide range of tasks as required by the employer, including support with things such as washing and getting dressed, cooking, feeding, and supporting people to go out and about so they have greater independence and the ability to live their life more fully. The key skills needed for being a PA are the ability to listen, be flexible and show a willingness to learn and respond.
A PA is usually employed by people who are directing their own care through a direct payment, personal health budgets or individual budgets from the local authority, or are funding their own support. Personal Assistants can be employed directly by one employer, can work for a number of different people . The job can be very flexible, offering part-time and full time work on different days and at different times