Personal Care Assistants (PCAs)

Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) can enable individuals with disabilities to live in their own homes in the mainstream of society – instead of in nursing homes or institutions. Finding, affording and using a PCA effectively, however, can be quite a challenge. These sites will tell you more.
ADAPT (American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today)
The website of a national group which advocates for the right of people with disabilities to “live in the community with real supports instead of being locked away in nursing homes and other institutions.” The site includes proposed legislation, a newsletter, bulletins, upcoming actions and events, articles, a history of the organization, and more.
Attendant Care Services (Fact Sheet #7)
Basic questions and answers about attendant care services and how they work, from the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission.
Directory of Publicly Funded PAS Programs
A state-by-state list of publicly funded PAS programs (Personal Assistance Services) based on a 1999 survey by the World Institute on Disability.
Hiring and Management of Personal Care Assistants for Individuals with SCI
This downloadable version of a 26-page booklet from the SCI Project at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center covers everything from locating and hiring, to training personal assistants. Includes forms, checklists and resources. In pdf format only.
Home and Community-Based Services 1915(c) Waivers
Medicaid home- and community-based service (HCBS) waivers allow states the flexibility to develop and implement creative alternatives to placing Medicaid-eligible individuals in medical facilities such as nursing homes. This section of the Health Care Financing Administration website provides basic information about the waivers. Visitors can also access a summary report of all regular approved home and community-based services waivers and model approved home and community-based services waivers (in pdf format).
Managing Personal Assistants, A Consumer Guide
This downloadable, 70-page publication from the Paralyzed Veterans Association discusses recruiting, hiring, training, keeping and firing personal assistants. Funding resources, tax information, and helpful forms are also included. In pdf format only.
Medicaid Community Attendant Services Act (MiCASA)
In-depth information from Liberty Resources about proposed legislation which, if signed into law, would allow for a national program of home- and community-based attendant services.
New Mobility Magazine
This popular magazine for wheelchair users often features articles about personal care attendants. Here are a few that can be found online:

Personal Assistance Services: Creative Management
PCAs I Have Known
A Labor of LOVE: Beating Stress in Long-Term Caregiving
Homeward Bound–and Wishing They Weren’t
A Good Man is Hard to Find

In addition, the website’s Ask An Expert section includes a regular q&a column called the “Attendant Forum.” [link not working 2/13/02]

Designed to help connect home care workers and the people who need them, this site offers free advertising for PCAs, and free searching (by region/state) for consumers. A cool idea that may help solve the age-old problem of finding a PCA, but beware of the risks and use appropriate precautions.

PCA@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDUArchives of the PCA Personal Care Assistance listserv. (Note: you must be a subscriber to view the archives.)Personal Assistance Services Users ManualA project of the disAbility Resource Center in Washington, this online guide covers everything from advertising and abuse prevention to agreements and work schedules.Personal Care Assistants (InfoSheet #6)Guidelines and ideas for employing and managing personal care assistants from the Medical RRTC in Secondary Complications in SCI, UAB – Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.Personal Care Assistants: How to Find, Hire and Keep ThemHelpful suggestions from Craig Hospital.Related Subjects



Resources in your state

The January 1999 issue of Disability Resources Monthly includes a special 4-page guide to Personal Assistant resources, including books, videos, pamphlets and other materials. Click here for ordering information.

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