Chapter 1: What’s it All About?

In a nutshell …

In this first chapter we look at four important sets of issues relating to your role as a personal assistant. There is a video presentation for each of them: 
The philosophy of personalised care and direct payments
The role of the personal assistant
The knowledge, skills and values needed
The challenges and pitfalls involved
The basics
What you need to do now is work your way through each of the four elements of this chapter. The first one begins with a short video about direct payments that is followed directly by a video that explains the basics of the philosophy behind employing personal assistants. 


Video 1.1: Direct payments


Video 1.2: The philosophy of personalised care and direct payments 

Now that you have learned about personalised care we are going to look at the role of the personal assistant. There is a very helpful video that highlights the role of the personal assistant and you should watch that now.


Video 1.3: The role of the personal assistant

Following the previous video, you should have a clearer understanding of your role as a Personal Assistant, however there will be times when you may need to adapt the way you approach things depending on the person you are working with or their disability or support needs. The next video highlights some of those challenges with people with Dementia but will hopefully raise your awareness for adapting your style to accommodate any person and their specific needs.


Video 1.4: Working with a Client with Dementia

It is important to be aware that the role of a PA has a lot in common with other social care workers, but it differs in some significant ways too. Other social care workers may be part of a team, have multiple clients and a career ladder, but the most important difference is that the PA is employed directly by the person they support, rather than an organisation. As a PA you are answerable directly to the person you support.
So, by now you should have a clearer picture of what personalised care is all about and how your role as a personal assistant fits into that. Next we are going to explore the knowledge, skills and values a personal assistant needs to do your job well. The next video provides an overview of the basics.


Video 1.5: The knowledge, skills and values needed 

This should now give you a foundation to build on over time, so that you can go from strength to strength in your role. What should also help is having an awareness of some of the pitfalls to avoid, some of the things that can go wrong and cause problems. That’s what this next video is all about. Of course, watching the video won’t guarantee that you won’t fall into these pitfalls, but it will certainly reduce the chances – forewarned is forearmed!


Video 1.6: The challenges and pitfalls involved