Living with a PA/carer in your home
Part of the process of coming to terms with a high-level SCI, is accepting that your relative will require assistance in order to have their personal care needs met.
The assistance may include getting them in and out of bed, washing, bladder and bowel care, dressing, cooking, cleaning, shopping and anything else that they need. Your relative may need a personal assistant (PA) to do these tasks.
Living Independently is a booklet published by SIA covering all aspects of employing a personal care assistant in your home, including sources of funding.
“I am keen to talk to someone about caring for my SCI husband. I have approached general carer support groups, but the specific needs of SCI are so unique, most people have had slightly longer to adjust to life as a carer – my life changed in a split second“.
The thought of having a PA living in the home can be extremely hard for the family, especially as the person who is living with them is often employed through an agency and is not a friend in the literal sense. It is likely that the PA will be in your home either on a daily basis or will stay overnight and work alternately with another PA to provide round-the-clock cover.
As the partner or spouse, it is understandable that you may resent the thought of a PA’s presence impacting on your daily life, especially if you feel that your personal space, privacy and intimacy as a couple will be compromised with having an extra person around a lot of the time.