The prime function of an Origin PA (sometimes referred to as a Personal Assistant or Personal Care Assistant) is to facilitate a spinally injured person to lead life in the way they want to… to enjoy independence, spontaneity and freedom of choice.
As no two clients are the same so no two PAs are the same either and by definition therefore no two care assignments are the same. Most of our clients live on their own but many live with their partners and family. As about 90% of people with spinal injuries are men, most of our clients are male, although we do have female clients too. All our clients are adults.
The very variety within the PA’s role is what many people enjoy; the challenge of adapting to new environments, understanding of varying needs and the consideration of the individual’s working and social life requirements. Often with no previous experience of care work and sometimes from overseas all our PAs have one thing in common – a positive attitude!
Origin PAs live with the client for 1-2 weeks at a time helping them with everyday activities such as getting in and out of bed, washing and toileting, shopping and cooking, driving and not forgetting nights out on the town! Trust, friendship, respect, understanding and compatibility are critical to the relationship between live in carer and client and can be mutually rewarding with many PAs remaining in close contact once they return home or progress their career.
Although all care work assignments are different there are some generally common activities which may offer more insight to the role of an Origin PA.
Assistance with washing, bathing, changing, dressing
Helping in and out of bed, wheelchair
Full toileting, bowel and bladder routine
Assistance with personal grooming, hair care, nails, feet, eyes etc.
Laundry, washing and ironing
Cooking and serving meals
Light housework such as dusting, vacuuming
Simple maintenance of wheelchair and other equipment
This is when the client’s individual lifestyle most influences the role you play.
Some clients work full time, others are studying; some have active involvement
with disabled sports or a busy social life with family and friends. Of course, some
opt for a quieter, home based way of life with interests in computers, painting,
music or even the Stock Market.
Help with everyday activities such as:
Assistance with correspondence
Paying the inevitable bills
Moving things in the home
Assistance in and out of the car/van
Daily and holiday escort assistance
Care of pets