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 the person with a disability.

The role of a personal care assistant is to help you be able to do what you need to do. Your assistant may help you with getting dressed, 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 with job-related tasks, like help with reading, interpreting, lifting or reaching work materials, or with travel between work sites.

Paying for Personal Assistance

If you qualify for Medi-Cal or the Working Disabled Program (WDP), and need personal care assistance services, these programs will pay for the services through California’s In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program. Click here to read more about how Medi-Cal or WDP can help you pay for personal care assistance services. Contact your county social services agency to apply. You can also talk to a Benefits Planner.

Finding Personal Care Assistants

Some people with disabilities rely on family or friends for their personal care assistance. Others decide to hire individuals who are not their family or friends. You can find good PCAs in a number of different ways, including at your local Independent Living Center, using 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:

Read more about personal assistance in the Youth Transition Toolkit.