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  • Barbara

Time for a change, (of PA).


This past few weeks we have been entering a period of change, which as you know, can be positive and not so positive. A change of PA in our house, is certainly a testing time, filled with mixed emotions, but in this case mainly sadness.

My daughter’s PA has just finished her employment with us. My daughter has really bonded with this PA, who has introduced her to make up, nail varnish, hair straighteners, Costa hot chocolate with whipped cream amongst many other things. Together they have participated in the Race for Life raising over £400, been to Rotterdam on the overnight ‘disco’ boat, had a caravan weekend away in The Lake District and explored our local area. This has been the first PA I have employed who has encouraged my daughter to grow, enable her to make decisions, and have the confidence to take on some challenges with her. The PA is going to Spain for the summer to work, and my daughter will be off to residential college in September, so they are both heading for a new chapter in their lives.

As you can imagine, she is going to be tough to replace. The new PA will only be in post until the beginning of September, so it is mainly the school summer holiday they will work. I must admit I was a little reluctant to employ someone, thinking of the ‘hassle’ of training a new PA, and all the employee paperwork to complete with the LA seemed like a lot of effort. Then I looked at my daughter and realised that at times like this, it’s not about me, it’s about her. She has always benefited from having a PA, has enjoyed the experiences and independence away from the family, and of course being supported by others is a valuable skill for her to develop.

Having taken a deep breath, I asked around, and fortunately someone was suggested as a possible PA, through our PA that is leaving. We met, had a chat, she met my daughter, and then I asked her to go away and think about if she really wanted the role. I sat down with my daughter, asked her what she thought, she replied she’d like to go out for a little stroll next time. I arranged this and accompanied them out, and my daughter seemed happy.

We have worked through the reams of paperwork and have agreed to commence employment. I must admit I am slightly hesitant about the appointment, but can’t put my finger on what or why. It isn’t about my daughter being unsafe or at risk in any way. I just feel that it will be more low key than we are used to. I think I will be more involved in planning their time together. From listening to the two of them chat and then having a conversation with the PA afterwards I feel she will need some guidance on boundaries, and not buy my daughter a ‘treat’ etc. I will have to ensure that the PA has time to handover after working with my daughter, and I’ll have the opportunity to raise any issues that arise. On the plus side, my daughter says she likes the new PA and has already asked when their first time out will be.

Once the summer is over, we will no longer be employing a PA until next summer when my daughter is home or the long holiday. By then I’ll be rusty and out of touch with the whole PA employment thing, I hope it’s like riding a bike, and something you never forget.


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