Things to consider
There will be many questions that you wish to ask, and you should get answers to these before the PA arrives in your home, for example:
- What will they do and what won’t they do as the PA?
- Do we have to cook for them?
- Can I ask them to do other chores in the house?
- Will we ever have time on our own?
- Can I still sleep in the same bed as my husband/wife?
- What happens if we want to have a lie in?
- What does the PA do if we have friends round?
- Can I ask them to look after the children as well?
It is important for the person with the SCI to think about their specific needs and to develop a care plan for themselves.
In all SCI Centres, people are encouraged to become verbally independent in order to direct PAs working in their home. Your PA/carer may come to the SCI Centre or DGH to meet you and work with you and your relative while they are still an in-patient.
This can minimise any problems that might occur after discharge.
Decisions about what the PA/carer will do and how long they will be on duty can be made with the help and expertise of the Discharge Co-ordination team prior to leaving the hospital. The routine is likely to change and develop over time as you and your partner get used to living with an SCI and having a PA/carer in your home.
The PA/carer is there for your relative only and will not be working for you, although it may be necessary for you to talk to them about certain arrangements if they are going to be living in your house. However, even though it is your home and they are there in your house as an employee, they need to be treated with respect and understanding.
Having open communication will help in providing a positive relationship between the PA/carer, you and your family.
“I really miss never having any time on our own – since my husband’s SCI four years ago, he has always had a PA.”
“I wish that we could live our life spontaneously, without having to plan everything.”
The Useful Information section on the main menu includes a list of agencies that provide PAs who are trained and experienced in working for SCI people.