Paid carers and Personal Assistants

Arranging a carer to help you in your own home gives you the flexibility to arrange care when you need it and how you want it.

Carers and personal assistants can help with personal care, preparing meals, cleaning, laundry, shopping, helping you go out and take part in social activities.

Some carers can provide support overnight.

Choosing the right support

If you are not sure what help you need, there are voluntary agencies that offer advice for example Age UK, Independent Age, Alzheimer’s Society or Centre 404.

You may be entitled to an assessment from Social Services. They will ask you questions about your situation and discuss with you the best way to meet your needs.

Arranging a carer or personal assistant privately

Many people employ someone to help them as a private arrangement. They may know someone who they want to employ or someone who helps them already (e.g. someone who is providing help with cleaning may also be able to help with shopping or laundry for example).

Using an Agency

You can contact a private care agency to arrange the support you need. This can be more expensive but the agency will provide trained carers who have been checked, are qualified and safe to work with people in their own homes.

If your carer is on holiday or is ill, the agency will arrange for someone else to come in their place.

All care agencies are regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) so you can check the quality of their work by going to the CQC website.

Employing a carer or personal assistant (PA) yourself

Some people prefer to advertise for a carer or personal assistant themselves. You can then interview the person yourself, get references and choose someone you think will suit you best. You should check that the carer has the qualifications and training they need to provide the support you want.

If you decide to employ a carer or PA yourself, here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Try not to interview people in your own home or on your own
  • Don’t give out your home telephone number and address in your job advert
  • Always get references and speak to the referees to check they are genuine
  • Consider getting a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before someone starts to work for you.

You can get further information, advice and support from the Direct Payment Team.

If you are getting a direct payment from Social Services (money to arrange your own care, see below) you can get advice from your social worker and the Direct Payments team.


Related articles