Personal Assistants (PAs)
If you’ve had SMA since childhood, as well as daily help with personal care and day to day activities from your parents / family, you’re likely to have also had PAs and be used to having them in your lives. If your SMA has impacted later, this might be a new possibility for you. Having PAs aims to support you with getting on with life but for some people the thought of having ‘strangers’ in their home can feel uncomfortable and they’d prefer their partner or other family member to help them out. For others it’s just the opposite; they really don’t want help from family and friends and want to keep this sort of support on a professional level. It’s an individual choice – one to be talked over with the people who are helping you out every day – checking that they really are both willing and able to keep doing what they’re doing.
If you’re considering using PA support, you’ll first need to apply to your Local Authority (LA) for a Social Needs Care Assessment (read more in the Living With SMA section Health & Social Care).
After the assessment process, you should be given a copy of your assessment and, if you’re eligible for care and support, you’ll be offered a Personal Budget. Your LA should work with you to put together a Care and Support Plan detailing the care you need and who will support you.
Your LA can arrange and manage your care for you, if you want them to.
If you want to have more control and potentially employ your own PAs, talk to your LA assessor working with you about what options are available to you as these can vary depending on factors, such as your circumstances, what support you already have and what’s available in your area.