Personal assistance is one of the key tools of the independent living movement. Yet, personal assistance is still not widespread in many countries and there is a general lack of knowledge on the job, which is often mixed up with care professions. As a consequence, many people struggle with the nature of the relationship between the employer and the employee.
Personal assistance schemes rarely include training of the users, incorporating modules on relationships management (e.g., boundaries, conflicts, communication, confidentiality, emotions, etc.) and on recruitment and management of personal assistants. However, personal assistance relationships are extremely complex and both users and personal assistants should be provided with the knowledge needed to manage these relationships in an effective way.
What is PAUC?
While constantly working to ensure that personal assistance schemes include training covering the relational aspects, ENIL is launching PAUC (Personal Assistant Users Club) – a pilot project consisting of an online peer-support group for personal assistance users. PAUC’s aim is to provide a safe place, where participants can share their experiences of being PA users, including the involved emotional challenges, power dynamics, coping strategies, and good practices learned over the years.
PAUC will be led by Alessandra Grotta, a personal assistance user from Italy, living and working in Sweden. Alessandra experienced the lack of peer support for personal assistance users at the European level, and has therefore teamed up with ENIL to launch this pilot project.
If you are a personal assistance user and are interested in joining PAUC, please fill in our questionnaire. There are just a few questions to investigate your preferences and tailor the group to best accommodate your needs. Please complete the questionnaire by 4 March 2022. We will then write to all those interested to agree on the first meeting of the group.