Having a Personal Assistant, that you recruit to do what your elderly relative wants, when they want it done, can make a big difference to their life. Benefits include continuity, flexibility and value for money. However, your relative will need to act as their employer which brings responsibilities. You can help them of course, and at the end you will find a link to a site that offers plenty of help and advice on employment issues. Good luck!
1. Begin by sitting down with your elderly relative and produce a Person Specification.
This will be used to measure candidates against for your short list. Think together about the things that are really important to the older person with regards to their personal care and or daily living. Here are some headings you can use:
• Preferred age e.g. Mature
• Education/qualifications e.g. Must be literate
• Experience e.g. Previous care work
• Knowledge e.g. Diabetes, knowledge of their local area
• Personal attributes e.g. Honest, punctual, flexible availability and attitude, car owner-driver and owner.
2. Devise a job description for your personal assistant.
This description should clearly state their needs and include all the daily tasks they need help with on both a regular and occasional basis.
3. Place a classified ad for their local newspaper.
4. Consider the applicants based on their work experience,
But don’t immediately reject college students, retirees or recent grads. College students or recent grads may be suitable if their education relates to social or domiciliary care. Retirees may bring invaluable life experience and maturity to the role.
5. Trim the list of candidates for interview using the person specification to match the applicants.
6. Schedule an interview.
The interview is your opportunity to evaluate the candidate’s personality, to see how he or she thinks and reacts. You can discover if the resume accurately represents the person. Consider having someone else who knows your relative sit in to provide objective feedback. Be prepared to discuss salary, hours and your relative’s requirements in more detail.
7. Offer a trial period for a month.
Hiring a personal assistant is much like starting a new relationship. Until they start working together, you won’t know if their personalities will mesh.
8. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Offer good information to help people employ their own personal assistants. You can find them here