For many of us, we maintain our independence through the use of a PA, a personal assistant. Here at Spokz People we often support people with their relationships with their PAs, covering questions like:
- How do I be more assertive if I feel the PA is not meeting my needs? Am I working around them?
- Romance/sex: if you or your PA fancy the other and it’s mutual or one-sided, or how to involve your PA in an intimate relationship you want to have with another person.
- How to ask a PA to help with more intimate tasks like shaving legs, grooming, etc.?
- How to put in consequences/reviews/more formality if and when things start slipping in the PA relationship, often due to being informal.
- Abusive/controlling/patronising situations with PAs
Most PAs only receive training in food hygiene, manual handling and first aid. As employers there is training around the practical aspects, and we now have the online PA course we trialled and the book The Rough Guide on Managing PAs, but there is very little support for both parties on how to address some of the questions we have listed. This is not like a usual employer-employee relationship. Which is where our support can be very useful unpicking these PA relationships and getting support to develop management skills when problems arise. Your PA can even be included in this support, either joining your 1-2-1 sessions or through group training of all of your PAs.
You can read about Katy’s experience of starting out with PAs through the link below, thanks to Changing our Lives and Katy. CHanging our lives is a charity who supports disabled people to get equal rights and challenge health inequalities and social injustice.
We hope to launch a training programme for PAs, so do check back in 2022