Knowing what to look for in a personal care assistant (PA) will surely help you to find the perfect person for the role. There are various characteristics that make someone a great PA. Make sure you know what they are so that you can find the right person for you, or the loved one you are responsible for.

First and foremost, all personal care assistants should be compassionate and honest as well as responsible, and the best PAs will display these qualities throughout the hiring process and beyond. Take into consideration the way they look and speak to you, or the person you're caring for, especially at interviews - minus the nerves they are more-than-likely to have. Their genuine concern for you, your health, and your social care as well as the responsibilities they would undertake in the role, needs to be their top priority; whilst also displaying maturity and the ability to act responsibly in all situations, so be sure they are friendly, understanding, and kind.

Another important factor of a personal care assistant is that they are an active listener, engaging in conversation and attempting to brighten your day - if they can. Leading on from that, they'll need to have the ability to empower those around them, to the extent where they are encouraging the person they are supporting to live as independent a life as they possibly can.

A PA’s job is rarely easy and may involve a lot of personal care tasks, and so the person performing those duties needs to be dependable but also conscientious when it comes to looking after the person who needs care. An ideal person will always be punctual and carrying out their assigned tasks to the best of their ability, whilst exuding positivity and optimism.

Because a PA’s role will possibly be unpredictable throughout the day - maybe the person the PA is caring for is feeling poorly and so there are extra duties, or perhaps the person needs to unexpectedly go to their office, or they’ve just had a bad night’s sleep and are looking for emotional support. Being prepared for the changes a day’s events may throw at him/her, is something a PA with experience, or at least some knowledge of similar situations, will handle well. Being organised will also help the PA, especially when they may have to be patient and considerate towards the people they are looking after.

Finally, be sure to look out for a personal care assistant who you get along with. This is important as you, or the person in your care, may well be spending quite a bit of time with them, daily. If you don't get on, it won't work, so always be on the lookout for similar interests that may well guide conversation.

Overall, you should look for a personal care assistant who shows concern for the person they'll be caring for, and the best way they may show this to you is by showing empathy, hearing what is being said/requested by acting on the words, and responding appropriately and conversationally - not just listening to the words.

To summarise, the following attributes are important in a good PA:

  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Compassion
  • A sense of responsibility
  • Empowerment of those around them
  • Encouragement of others
  • Positivity and optimism
  • Dependability
  • Conscientiousness
  • Experience (informally will suffice)
  • Organisational skills
  • Having similar interests
  • Ability to listen actively
  • Genuine concern for the person being cared for

Using multi-level auto-matching to thousands of PAs, by location, skills, and experience, the UKCIL platform is introducing hundreds of people to directly and independently find, meet, and hire the PAs that are right for their needs.

We hope you’ve found our article useful; if you’d like to know more about what we do, please check out our website at ukcil.com. If you want to contact us you can do so by calling us at 0333 050 8010 or emailing us at support@ukcil.com.

We like to provide insightful, interesting, and up-to-date advice on how to go about hiring your own personal care assistant(s) and managing - and retaining! - that person/team once they’re on board with you. This blog is part of our blog series on "Finding a Good Personal Care Worker", this follows on from our blogs about where you can find a good personal care assistant and what you need to think about when looking for a personal care assistant.