Managing Personal Care Assistants

Personal care assistants (PCAs) support people with disabilities to live more independent lives. An assistant works directly for and is employed by you, the person with the disability.

The role of a personal care assistant is to help you be able to do what you need to do. Your assistant may provide you with assistance when dressing, going from one place to another, preparing meals, bathing, or other activities.

Personal care assistants can also help you in the workplace to do different types of tasks. They can help with personal care, like in the restroom or at lunch breaks, or can help with job-related tasks, like help with reading, interpreting, lifting or reaching work materials, and travel assistance between work sites. DB101’s Job Supports and Accommodations article has more information about assistant services at your job.

Paying for Personal Assistance

If you qualify for the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS) through either the traditional Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) or the AHCCCS Freedom to Work program, personal care assistance services are paid for as part of your health care benefits if you need them. Contact the Family Assistance Administration at the Department of Economic Security to learn more and apply.

Finding Personal Care Assistants

Some people with disabilities rely on their family or friends for personal care assistance. Others decide to hire individuals who are not their family or friends. You can find good PCAs a number of different ways, including independent living centers, PCA agencies, or online.

Ensuring a Good Relationship

Since you will likely be the person who hires, trains, and manages your PCA, it is important to make sure you learn how to do that. You’ll also be spending a lot of time with your assistant and need to make sure the two of you have good communication and a good relationship.

Personal care assistance can be crucial to your ability to live independently. For more information on how to have good communication, tips on how to hire a personal assistant, and much more, take a look at the following resources: