The job advert for my Social Care Personal Assistant (PA) has been confirmed to run in a local paper next week, as well as to be put up at the local Jobcentre and the nearest university. The closing date for applications will be three weeks after that, and provisionally I will hold interviews two weeks after that.
So hopefully, in the next month or so, I will have some help to Do Things other than work, to the tune of three hours a week. "Things" essentially means anything out of the house that I can't do by myself, so some of it will be leisure activities (like going swimming or shopping) and some of it will have to be essential nonwork activities (like going to the CAB or hospital appointments).
It's going to be a great relief to be able to get help with these things rather than having to either depend on the goodwill of friends, or weigh up an activity against whether Steve could be allowed to take time off work and whether we could afford for him to do so (as a contractor, Steve is only paid for hours worked, with no rights for sick days, holidays, care duties, etc).
The learning curve for How To Be An Employer is astounding, and this despite the fact that I am having my hand held all the way through by the Rowan Organisation. I suspect I'm not making it any easier for myself by trying to be the kind of employer I would want to be employed by, while bearing in mind it is a job that I do not have the physical capacity to do.
The other bit which does my head in is that the going rate for a PA is £7.70 an hour plus mileage and expenses. This is substantially more than I earn, so basically we're saying that my assistant's time is worth more than mine is. That stings a little.
Still, it's not my money, unless I want assistance for more than three hours a week. If I'm lucky I'll manage to find someone really good, who is willing to go beyond just pushing the wheelchair where I ask her to, and actually help me develop my life a bit and come up with some fun things to do. In return they get what's really one of the less arduous ways to earn £20, not to mention the opportunity to participate in various leisure activities without having to pay any entry fees. It's a great job for the right person.
My next task is to try and think of about a dozen questions for interview. Some are no-brainers, like "tell me more about what you're currently doing," or "why do you want this job?" and then there's good old-fashioned trick questions like "so what are you doing with the rest of your day?" but beyond that I've no idea. Is it too optimistic to shove in one about the social and medical models of disability? As ever, all help gratefully received.