Introduction

Welcome

Personal assistants are employed by many people, including older people, disabled people and parents of disabled children, to provide care and support as part of a commitment to what has come to be known as ‘personalised care’. This guidebook is intended to raise awareness of the role of personal assistants in Wales. It is not a training course, but it should help you to build a solid basis of knowledge to help promote good practice and provide a launch pad for further learning and development over time. We hope you will find it useful as a starting point for making sense of what being a PA is all about.

Who is this guidebook for?
It has been specially designed to help people who are employed as personal assistants in direct care in Wales. It will be especially helpful for personal assistants who are new to the role, but will also be of value as a refresher for people who have been in the role a while and want to learn more about how they can improve their knowledge and skills and get a fuller picture of how best they can help the person they support.
So, if this is for you, we hope you will find it helpful in giving you a clear picture of your role and duties and how you can carry out your work to the best of your abilities and give the person you support the best level of care possible.

What does it cover?
The guidebook is made up of a set of multimedia online learning resources to help to raise awareness of what is involved in the personal assistant (PA) role. There are five sections or ‘chapters', each laid out according to the same basic pattern:
In a nutshell … This is an overview of the chapter in just a few sentences to set the scene, so that you know what to expect.
The basics ... This is the main information and guidance element of the chapter, telling you what you need to know about this particular aspect of the guidebook.
Conclusion ... A summary of the key learning points covered in the chapter. This will help to make sure you have understood the important ‘messages’ being put forward in this particular section. 
Pause for thought... Some questions for you to ponder, reflect and act upon.
Taking your learning forward ... Here you will find suggestions about opportunities for further learning and suitable resources (books, websites and so on), so that you can carry on learning after you have come to the end of this guidebook.
Quiz ... Finally, we have a short quiz for you to use to check your own knowledge and understanding before moving on to the next Chapter.

What you will need to do is steadily work your way through each of the chapters at a pace that suits you. There is no point rushing, as that will mean you don’t learn so well. But, if you take too long to get through each chapter you will lose any sense of momentum and, by the time you come to look at the next part of the guidebook, you may have forgotten what the previous part was talking about! So, it’s important to get the balance right. See what works for you and adjust it as necessary, and you won’t go far wrong.

Here's short quiz will help you to practice the end of chapter quizzes and find out if this guidebook is right for you. 

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