On behalf of ULOBA, the international consulting firm Econ Pöyry has prepared a report on citizen-/user controlled personal assistance in a socio-economical perspective. The study shows that personal assistance is economically viable and that personal assistance is the only instrument that provides opportunity for employment and social participation. In decisions on how many persons will be granted personal assistance and how many hours of assistance to be given, the socio-economic considerations play an important role. The fact that persons with personal assistance themselves are very satisfied with the arrangement has long been known, and confirmed in the report. The report presents additional information to indicate that personal assistance can have a significant effect on labor force participation among disabled people and especially their immediate family. It has measurable and significant positive socio-economic effects.
Improved quality of life
The basis for the analysis is a survey on adults with personal assistance and parents of children with personal assistance.
All of them agree that personal assistance is important to their life situation and also their immediate family. 95 percent said that personal assistance is of great importance for how well they have it in every-day.
The study shows that personal assistance for the most part works as intended: Unlike all other forms of service, personal assistance gives the opportunity for social participation, employment, family life, and an independent existence.
In many crucial areas, there are no alternative ways to cover the need for assistance. The person’s daily life would be greatly reduced, and the tasks would remain undone. Alternatively, they would have been carried out by family members, or services may have been bought.
Reduced activity without personal assistance
The study shows that without personal assistance, there would have been greatly reduced activity in many areas:
–The social life for example, would have been reduced by about 35%.
–Employment and education would have been reduced by approximately 70%.
–Activities related to parenting would shrink by about 60%.
–Miscellaneous errands would about 30% remained undone.
–Leisure activities would have been reduced by approximately 35%.
–Political or other organizational work would have been reduced by approximately 40%.
Personal assistance provides increased participation and saves money
Approximately one quarter of the interviewed persons report that they have an ordinary job. About half of these have full-time job. Two thirds of those in work, believes that without personal assistance, they would not have been at work. The rest believe that they would have worked less. Also, family members would have been less economically active if the family member with disabilities did not have personal assistance.
The survey shows that far fewer among the adult’s lives with their parents. The proportion living in their own home is raised from about 60 percent before they began using personal assistance to 80 percent now.
Those who have responded to the survey, says clearly that personal assistance causes less demand for different types of health “care”. Saving the cost of such services is an economic gain. The use of personal assistance also leads to less pressure on the traditional home services as personal assistants are not recruited from the health care professions.