Wednesday, April 6, 2016

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO ME, WHEN HIRING A PERSONAL CARE ASSISTANT...

If You Are interested in applying for the Posted HRDC Job Bank PERSONAL CARE ASSISTANT POSITIONS, information is at the bottom of this article. To learn more, feel free to read this article and meet my past/present PCAs.

Another great PCA we had, as will all these ladies,
we miss her too :o(
What Is Most Important When Hiring a Personal Care Assistant:
So many wonderful PCAs who became
friends. A blessing to our lives.
Yes, I am presently hiring new Personal Care Assistant/s. I thought it would be a great thing to share the process to some degree, in hope that might help anyone else, who is considering hiring their own care providers for themselves or for others. And at the same time, make this a tribute and thank you in honour of the many wonderful PCAs I have been blessed by hiring over the last 20 years! Hard to believe it has been almost 2 decade of being able to manage my own care.
First A Huge Dedication To My Past and Present PCAs.... 
For the past twenty years or so, finding girls with the right heart and attitude have been a blessing beyond words. Those of you who wanted employment that has great value and purpose, a position that involved/s, assisting someone whose daily physical life couldn't happen, without your arms and legs. Being able to accept, learn and take specific
Smiles and warms hearts, blesses my life :o)
directions on how that someone, say me, would like certain things done. In essence, filling in where my arms and legs, don't want to cooperate with me anymore :o) Thus enabling me to live in my/our own home, no more institution or being at the mercy of people I had never chosen.  Can't get much more meaningful than that. It is why I want so much for all of you to know how much you meant and those of you who are still with me at present and those who will be,
mean to me. We pray always to find the "right" girl when I am hiring. Time and time again, it is clear
that God blesses us at the right time with the right person. When it happens, I can't begin to express what it means to me. My heart is lighter and I get to meet another new person who has a willing and caring heart. A gift indeed.
Smiles and warms hearts :o)
Thank you, you guys, you have no idea how much I appreciate having such great people giving me a hand with little things to ginormous things. God takes care of me through your hands. May God bless each one of you and your families, moment by moment, day by day.  For those of you no longer here, we miss you smiling faces and are thankful for the great memories....
Without my wonderful PCAs I can't get in or out of bed!  Leon, is tired after helping me out, ha ha!:o)
A Daily Necessity:
As Leon (not our cat, use to visit)  can show you, without my PCAs I can not get into or out of bed. Because of my disability, I depend on the arms and legs of others, to assist me every single day of my life.
I will share some basic fundamentals when it comes to recruiting employees. This again, is what works for me.

Wanted to share some great photo/memories we have from over the years. To respect their privacy, I hearted out there faces unless, I thought it was okay. We miss ALL of these ladies and the many who we don't have shown here. :o)
Often we have some fun (that's me with the crazy hair!)
Smiles and warms hearts, make my
life so much easier :o) Leon's too (sadly he
passed away.)




We love this record long Employee, 8 years!  Smiles and warms hearts, make my life so much easier :o)

Confidentiality is important - the masked PCA! LOL
A Meaningful Experience
Before I share the biggest quality I seek, aside from the basics about having their own vehicle, be a non-smoker, live in our city and such. I wasn't to share this....
What is very important to me is that my PCAs have an enjoyable work experience. Never would I want them to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or unsure about their work. Open door communication matters. If they know where my head is at, or what I am dealing with physically, then they can know better how to meet my needs. Hopefully, in some way aside from this being a job, I can meet their needs to make this a satisfying job.
So thankful for my "arms and legs."
The best end result to employing my PCAs, is if we become friends. Years ago, a well meaning family member told me regarding hiring, "They can't be your friends." They sadly didn't seem to understand.
In no way do I seek to hire "friends," but, due to the personal nature of what a PCA is all about and how valuable they are to my life, friendships can develop. No, i don't seek it, but it a welcome bonus of the entire experience for me and my husband, if it happens.




(Click here to see the previous article featuring one of my first and favourite PCAs!)   (And click here for the article the other day about my history regarding my PCAs.)



A pic of the dedicated PCA we had years ago too. We miss this lady a lot as we do all these great ladies who've blessed our home over these 20 years.

My #1 Tip On Hiring Personal Care Assistants/Care Givers
Finding that person with the heart to assist me as asked, in a kind, compassionate manner, able to listen (as talked about the other day), is an invaluable PCA to me.

Smiles and warms hearts, blesses my life
#1: Attitude, Ability To Listen, And Follow Directions Well.
Again, I can only speak from my personal experience regarding my 20 years of hiring my own PCAs. The number one quality I look for in a great PCA, is not a certificate or diploma. Experience can be an asset, but what matters most is finding someone who listens, who wants to learn, able to take directions well. 
All of my PCAs over the past two decades, who worked out great, were/are those with the right attitude.
Being my "arms and legs" involves daily living living tasks as
well  as p/c and other duties as needed.
Sure experience can be asset, but I have hired those with experience in the healthcare field, and I must say, if the applicant is not good at listening and following directions, their experience doesn't help.
All of my PCAs who do a wonderful job with a great attitude, have been those with a heart for it but mostly, with ZERO experience.


...it is all about the person's heart and attitude, not about a piece of paper.

Why is listening important? 
The ability to listen and follow direction well, is key to others carrying out tasks the way you want them done. Hence, they are being like my arms and legs. Enabling my independence, caring out daily life tasks the way I would,  if I could physically do it myself.
30 years ago when my then, best friend  was helping me one day.
How can I Know They Listen Well?
1. A Manner Of Application:
A tip I learned from a contractor years ago was that, he said he posted detailed directions on how to apply in the job advertisement.
He said that if they could not follow those few directions at the get go,  then odds are they would never be able to follow the much more detailed, important directions while performing the actual job. I have tried to follow that guideline ever since. For sure, there have been times when I felt lead to make an exception. I take it on a case by case basis. We all make mistakes. But, it is a good tip regarding the ability to discern if someone can follow directions well.
Also check to see if the application was completed as requested. That helps to see if someone is good at following directions well.
2. Phone call Matters:
A phone call is often the first contact made by an interested applicant. Just be mindful if they are listening to what you are saying, and if they talk without waiting for you to finish, or assume things without hearing you first. Those may be some clues.
3. Interview Matters: If you've reached the interview stage or if you do what I do, if I really was impressed with a phone call, I skip the application sometimes, and arrange an interview maybe, have them complete an application then. if that is what you want to do  then. You can tell when someone is a good listener. We all can really. Some of us are bad listeners and some of us are great at it. I am not the best listener, more of a talker really. But that kind of listening is important in a friendship.
The kind of listening we are looking for, is the kind that means your future PCA will be able to hear you and follow through with the directions they were given.
Keep in mind, some people get nervous in interviews, so be sensitive to that. When I talk about people not listening and therefore not able to follow directions, I means seriously not listening. Trust me, when you witness it, you will know. This isn't nervousness typical in any interview setting, when we meet someone for the first time and all that.
Watch for these clues, during the interview for example, if the applicant has a daydreamy look, they seem distracted looking all around, not really paying attention to the actual interview (trust me it has happened), that can be disconcerting. Once someone kept glancing below the table to look at their cell phone that kep ringing. This is a good sign for anyone hiring anywhere, if an applicant is interested in the position they have applied for, they will care enough to make sure their mobile phone is muted or turned off. Of course, sometimes people mean well and just plum forgot to do that. So be merciful if it rings or buzzes once and they rectify the problem and they are sorry. No problem.
Like I said, you will know what I am talking about when it happens. It is an obvious characteristic.
Without my PCAs, I wouldn't be able to  go to or get out of bed
3. Training Matters: If you had concerns from day one, by this time, once in the training process,  you will know for sure about their ability to listen well. Of course, I don't expect anyone to remember every detail. But based on past experience, we know when someone isn't paying attention to the directions they are receiving. I always make sure enough training time is given to be sure. But, there are those times when it is beyond obvious. You will know when the trainee isn't even watching what you are doing. You know, clues like that.
 In fact to give them the fairest opportunity.
Never Assume...
Never assume that the person will know what you want, or what you mean. You can never give too many directions. It is also why I also write a lot down prior to employment, to help the candidate make an informed decision and  once hired, to know what my expectations are and how to do some basic tasks and such. I want it to go well for both of us.
But, if they after repeated training sessions and lessons, and if it isn't coming together. It may not work out. How can you have someone you hired as a PCA help you out if they can't listen well, do the tasks. Some of us may have great personalities, skills in other areas that would make them great employees, but then some of us do not have strong listening skills. It isn't easy having to let the person know, but be sure to share their strengths so they can be encouraged. And then perhaps, maybe someone one other than me, may be totally fine with someone who doesn't follow directions well. Hiring someone to assist yourself or for someone else is a very personal decision. It all depends on what your needs are, what matters to you in a PCA. I just hope by sharing what I experience and value regarding this subject might helps someone else "out there" in a similar position. If you have any questions or insight of your own, please feel fee to comment below. :o)
The best end result to employing my PCAs, is if we become friends, a bonus. This great lady has been giving me a hand for more than 8 years so far. We love her. 



INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PCA?
If you are here because you saw the job bank ad, the information on applying is at the bottom of the page.please keep reading below...
Interested in a meaningful career as a PCA, please know that, what you need most of all is the heart to give folks like me, a hand. Aside from the basic qualifications below, if you read the above portion, you will have a strong sense of what is important in a PCA for me.
For other employers, they may have a different focus, so treat private home hires on an individual basis.
Someone who has a heart to help out someone, being my "arms and legs," able to let me basically be the "brain" to direct things the way I would like them to go. Always in a safe manner of course!  A great candidate for a PCA is someone who has no problem being given directions on how to do things.
But I have No Experience in Healthcare...
Yes it may help to have  experience, but in 20 years or so, I would say the majority of my past/present PCAs had no experience in healthcare/homecare/cleaning for others, etc.
On the job training, having the ability to follow detailed directions well, flexibility, common sense, compassion, a positive outlook on life, having the heart to care, a willingness to give me a hand - that is what I seek and that has worked out perfectly for two decades!
You have options, you can opt to work for someone like me, on Direct Funding - Self Manager, where you can receive training and get paid a very decent wage $19.00/hour in Ontario. Without having to pay for any schooling. It is a life long career, because folks like me require assistance through out life. It works out well with those who are in school (depending on their schedule availability), same with those who have other employment elsewhere.
As well, there are others who seek to hire folks to give their aging family members a hand. They too are seeking someone they can trust, who has the right heart toward caring
It is normal, for my PCAs to either work casual hours, to supplement income, raising kids, or those who have other positions or even private home hires like me, and have some availability that can be worked around to meet my needs and your's.
Other than a criminal record check, and other courses like First Aid, (options you can take on your own time and money but not required).
How About FOR ME?:
I am hiring right now!!
WHAT A GREAT PCA! WE miss her!

Applicants Must Be:
Willing to listen and learn, able to follow detailed directions.
-Be A female.
-A Non-Smoker.
-Have their own vehicle.
-Be trustworthy.
-Be kind.
-Be Caring and understanding.
-Physically able to assist me where my physical ability has diminished.
-Must be willing to provide a criminal record check if asked.

WAGE:  
$19.00 an hour 
Total hours to be determined - depending on availability- 20-30 every two weeks.
Mostly Morning shifts, some evenings and weekends.
Must live in Thunder Bay, Ontario

INTERESTED please Email:
walkingwayoverrated@gmail.com

In the SUBJECT write: APPLYING FOR PCA POSITION
Send a resume, references and a letter telling me about yourself.
Then I send a short application. Once all information is collected, I will arrange interviews for potential candidates.
Being my "arms and legs" involves daily living living tasks as well
as p/c and other duties as needed.

Being my "arms and legs" involves daily living living tasks as well
as p/c and other duties as needed.


Being my "arms and legs" involves daily living living tasks as well
as p/c and other duties as needed.




Being my "arms and legs!" So meaningful to me. I am getting to do 
what I can not do physically on my own, I am doing it through their hands.


Being my "arms and legs!" So meaningful to me. I am getting to do 
what I can not do physically on my own, I am doing it through their hands.



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