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Personal Assistant the way to comprehensive home care

Our care model, the Matia Model, focuses on the individual and on living with autonomy and dignity, taking into account his or her preferences and abilities, providing personalised care and ensuring his or her ability to choose.

Trying to respond to one of the latent needs in our society, which is that people want to stay at home as long as possible, we decided to bring our Home Care Model to the home by starting a project over a year ago to support people who decide to continue living at home, our Personal Assistant Service.

Our Home Care has two fundamental pillars:

  • A comprehensive assessment of needs. Conducted by a social worker.
  • The figure of the Personal Assistant. This is a totally flexible figure who provides personalised attention, supporting the person in the tasks they really want or need.

For a person it is fundamental to develop in an independent way actions of the daily life like going to a medical appointment, going to a funeral or eating out... and what happens when we cannot develop them and we do not have supports to be able to do it? That is where our Personal Assistant comes in and offers the possibility to do so independently with the support of a trusted person.

When the Personal Assistant comes to the home on a regular basis, he/she becomes an important member of the family structure, where the professional and the person share the day-to-day, creating a complicity that both value.

When defining the service, the interdisciplinary team meets with the person and his/her family to agree on the plan of care and attention, as well as to define the profile of the Personal Assistant, taking into account aspects such as language, age, gender and personal preferences.

Our Personal Assistant is someone close to the person, as well as a person with a degree and trained in the Matia Fundazioa care model, who provides professional and specific attention in the care that the person needs on a biopsychosocial level and with experience in our centres.

In order to better understand the Personal Assistant service, we have taken a look at the life of a married couple who, as they say, "Thanks to Iosune's accompaniment and help, we have been able to continue living at home".

The first contact was made by the daughter-in-law, who was overwhelmed by the situation of her in-laws at home. "They live alone and need support to be able to continue, but we can't do it anymore, we can't get there".

An interview was held with the family, and they went to the home to meet the couple and define the service with them, specifying what they expected from the service and what needs they understood to be covered.

Pedro and Carmen tell us that they get up around 11am, they explain that Pedro prepares breakfast and medication for Carmen but that they are not sure if they are doing well, then they spend the day at home because Carmen never wants to go out and Pedro finds it very difficult to go shopping for food.

The couple and their son, together with the Matia Fundazioa team, define how they want to be supported at home and what the right person to do the service would be like. They explain that they think it would be better if the Personal Assistant were a woman, Basque-speaking and someone who knew how to cook.

When selecting the most suitable person for Pedro and Carmen's service, a review was carried out of the professionals who met the characteristics they had requested and also took into account the capacity for organisation in a home, understanding that this was very important for both the family and the team.

Initially a timetable was set and it was agreed that depending on the needs they had or how they were at each moment it would be changed. As time has passed, Pedro and Carmen have requested to extend the service to the weekends and at specific times when the couple has considered it appropriate, the Personal Assistant has come outside the usual hours for procedures and formalities such as going to the doctor or they have decided to go out to eat outside the three of them.

At present, when the Personal Assistant arrives home, she checks the couple's medication, supports them in their personal cleanliness by insisting and allowing each of them to continue to maintain their abilities. She starts with the housework and Carmen enjoys cooking as she has always done thanks to the supervision of a trusted person while Pedro reads the newspaper he brings her every day. Between the three of them, they decide what they are going to eat and organize themselves to do the shopping and have everything necessary for lunch and dinner.

In short, what better way to attend to people than by helping them to fulfil their life project?

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