Skills for Care

A personal assistant works directly with one or more individuals, to support them with various aspects of their daily life so that they can live it in a way they choose.  

Personal assistants are usually employed directly by a person who needs care and support, and who manages and pays for this through a personal budget or with their own money. This person is their employer (and are often referred to as an ‘individual employer’).  

They can also be employed by a family member or representative, when the person they’re supporting doesn’t have the physical or mental capacity to be the employer.  

A personal assistant always works directly with the individual they’re supporting. 

Being a  personal assistant  means being involved in many aspects of your employer’s life, and may  include supporting in the home, at leisure or at work. The opportunity to focus directly on the needs of an individual, and the diversity of the role, is what often attracts people to this type of work.   

I like to see the smile on Anne’s face and the difference I can make to her life, making it possible to live her life the way she wants and take part in the things she wants.

Personal assistant


Role responsibilities

The role of a personal assistant is extremely varied, this is because the individual employer can choose exactly how they want you to support them.  

You may be supporting an individual employer: 

  • at their place of work or education  

  • maintain relationships with family and friends, including supporting them with childcare  

  • to meet new people and develop new friendships  

  • travel around by providing transport, driving their car or using public transport  

  •  to maintain hobbies and interests  

  • providing personal care (support to dress, wash and bathe) 

  •  to communicate their wants and needs  

  • carrying out household tasks like cooking, cleaning, meal preparation, shopping, organising paperwork, and, in some cases, pet care  

  • going with them to their hospital and other appointments  

  • to become healthier after a physical illness, for example, through a better diet or more exercise  

  •  to develop a new skill or get a job.   

Some personal assistants may carry out, with adequate training, certain health care related tasks.  

Find out about delegation of healthcare tasks and support from Skills for Care with delegated healthcare interventions.  

Not all personal assistants will be employed to carry out all of these tasks – it may be that your employer wants support with just one of these tasks. Quite often the role can be about companionship and having a shared interest in things like music, politics or sport. 


Claire has such a variety of activities, so one day we could be chilling at home watching movies and having girl time, or other times we could be at the zoo or going to the theatre.

Personal Assistant


What is the role of a personal assistant

This video from Ruils will help you think about what you might need from a personal assistant and what they need from you.