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Personal Assistant

Location: Washington, Sunderland, North East Rate of Pay: £8.30 per hour

Hours per Week: 18

Job Reference: SUN1440125SS1 Expires: 26th February 2018

About the Employer

I am looking for a Personal Assistant to support my 24 year old son who has a diagnosis of Huntington's disease, which is an inherited condition that damages certain nerve cells in the brain. This brain damage gets progressively worse over time and can affect movement, cognition (perception, awareness, thinking, judgement) and behaviour.

The personal assistant will provide relief for myself from my role as his carer, but will also increase his social interaction and experiences with someone other than myself, increasing his time spent out in the community.

He can articulate his needs, but his speech is slurred, imprecise and a little slow, it is understandable to those who spend a lot of time with him.

He is very unsteady on his feet and cannot consistently weight bear and uses a wheelchair when out in the community, but he can transfer himself into a car. He is fiercely independent (sometimes beyond his capability) therefore, it is imperative that the support/assistance from someone just being there is required, to assist when necessary.

He is prone to choking on both food and drinks so awareness is required at all times.

He has no routine or pattern around sleeping. He can be awake for long periods, up to 36 hours; this may therefore sometimes affect working hours which is why flexibility and understanding is essential.

Summary of Duties

I require a personal assistant who will:

•           provide companionship

•           use their own car to take my son out in the community e.g. shopping to the Metro Centre in Newcastle, the beach and other places of interest

•           reduce the amount of time spent in the home by supporting my son to find new places to visit that interest him

•           to be aware of and ensure my son’s safety at all times

The Person They Are Looking For

 I am looking for someone who can become a companion for my son and has the ability to remain extremely patient in all situations.

Someone who already has an understanding of Huntington’s disease would be a bonus, or someone who is keen to learn and understand the disease, so that they have an ability to recognise and respond accordingly to various situations.

Someone who will understand the importance of treating everyone as an individual and can communicate in a non-patronising way.

Flexibility is imperative, because of my son’s condition, days of work may change but in an ideal situation a routine would try to be maintained. 

Experience in a caring/supportive role is desirable but not essential.

It would be desirable but not essential that the applicant has experience/training with PEG (Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) feeding and First Aid training.

The successful applicant will be required to work in a pet friendly home we have both a cat and a dog.

Car owner and full valid driving license essential (business insurance required) the car must have space to fit a wheelchair in (this folds down and fits in a standard sized boot).

Due to the nature of the work for which you are applying, this post is subject to a satisfactory DBS disclosure (costs will be covered)

The Times Required

Due to the disease the successful applicant will need to be flexible and have an understanding that days of work may change but as much notice as possible would be provided.

Days and times can be negotiated to suit both, the employer and employee, open to weekdays, week nights and weekends.

This will be discussed further at interview.

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