A personal care assistant or worker - sometimes known as a “PA” - is someone who carries out tasks to support elderly or disabled people to live more independent lives. Their tasks could include personal care (such as washing, feeding, and dressing), social care (such as shopping and going out), transport, medical administration, and other support to do with work or education.

To work out if you need a personal care assistant, you can ask your local authority to conduct a care needs assessment and a financial assessment to work out what you are entitled to and what care and support you will need; and this will be included in an agreed care plan.

Unsurprisingly, it is not always easy to find the perfect personal care assistant, someone who will support you to live the independent life you want and someone who you can develop a good rapport with, on the level you require. Depending on your individual needs, a personal care assistant can spend with you anywhere between a few hours a week up to several hours a day.

There are many tasks you may want your personal care assistant to undertake; you may want someone to help you when you’re out and about; maybe you need someone in the dead of night; or maybe you're looking for a personal care assistant with a specific skill set.

Finding the right person, who meets your criteria but also someone you can get along with, can be challenging.

Looking in the right places and casting your net wide is important. Qualified care workers can be looking in different places - they might be online searching on the likes of Gumtree or a local Facebook group; they could be signed up to an agency. There are a variety of ways to find a personal care assistant; do make sure you check them all out and choose the best place for you.

  • Council - your local authority will have a list
  • PA agencies - this is the traditional route that individual employers have taken in the past
  • Search / advertise your job posting directly
  • UKCIL approach - a recruitment marketing / database - a new route which was not hitherto available, not until recently - UKCIL enables you, as an individual employer, to easily and quickly find, meet, and hire the right personal care assistant for you, by intelligently matching you to people who are available and actively seeking work, with the right skills and in the right locations, to precisely match your needs.

Looking everywhere before narrowing your search is going to be the right thing to do - you can always shortlist who you’d like to interview and narrow down the search at that point - but first, look wide and look far. After all, this person is going to be a part of your very personal, and possibly everyday, life.If you’d like to know more about the increasingly popular and successful way of finding, meeting, and hiring your own personal care worker, contact the team at support@ukcil.com or call them on 0333 050 8010.