It was recognized that in practical terms Personal Assistance (PA) was at the core of Independent Living. A PA is someone who provides a person with a disability (referred to as a ‘service user’) with physical assistance to help them in all aspects of daily life. Their roles may include self-care assistance, like support with washing, dressing and mobility issues, domestic assistance with cooking, cleaning, laundry etc., community integration assistance with things like shopping, using transport and handling money, and social and leisure activities like meeting with friends and family. Along with this the PA endeavours to maintain/ improve the health status of the service user where possible, whether through exercise, education or employment opportunities. However their role is purely to assist and to provide care for, not to tell the service user what is best for them.
Essentially a PA service is a service for persons who need assistance in aspects of daily living, at home, travelling, at work, college or socially. The individual’s needs are assessed and the identified need then determines the level of service required (i.e. number of hours and how many PA’s each person needs) to enable a service user to achieve independent living.
Following assessment, the HSE approve the hours and then contract directly with TCIL to provide the agreed number of hours of service to the named individual. TCIL invoice the HSE for the cost of providing this service.
TCIL employ the PA and ensure that PA’s are adequately trained to perform their duties.