Personal Care Assistant Job Description

Personal Care Assistant Job Description

A personal care assistant works one-on-one with the elderly or people with disabilities. Part of the job description of a personal care assistant could include helping an individual with everything from bathing to preparing meals.

Position Description:

A personal care assistant provides care for those who are unable to assist themselves with ordinary tasks such as grooming, dressing or eating, and may also perform household chores.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Personal Care Assistant

Performs personal hygiene tasks such as bathing, brushing teeth and washing hair
Assists with administering medications
Turns patients who are bedridden, and helps lift them when needed
Dresses and undresses clients
Performs tasks that will ensure the comfort of their patients. Some examples are giving massages and applying lotion to the skin
Aids with grooming tasks such as brushing hair and clipping nails
Feeds patients, cutting or mashing food as needed to allow them to swallow
Performs household cleaning chores such as washing dishes, doing laundry and vacuuming
Helps patients walk, sit, stand or lie down
Transports individuals to and from medical appointments

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Is compassionate and cares about the dignity of each patient
Communicates well with doctors and family members
Possesses patience and understanding when dealing with difficult clients
Has a basic knowledge of at-home medical care
Is able to kneel, bend, stoop and lift repeatedly
Has good listening skills
Possesses a safe driving record if transporting patients is required
Understands how good health and hygiene go hand in hand

Education and Experience

Individuals who hope to become personal care assistants should first obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. After that, they can obtain a certificate in personal care assisting from a community technical college; becoming a certified nurse’s aide would also allow applicants to meet the educational requirement. Mandatory on-the-job training is required, and this could last anywhere from two to four weeks.

Work Environment

A personal care assistant may work in a nursing home, hospital, assisted living facility or in private homes. This line of work requires a great deal of lifting in addition to bending, kneeling and stooping. Work may be performed any time of the day or night, to include weekends or holidays. Some people will even be employed round-the-clock as live-in assistants to shut-ins. This job frequently results in long periods of isolation, and can become draining physically as well as mentally.


A personal care assistant can expect to make between $16,330 and $27,580 per year. This is an average of between $7.85 and $13.26 per hour. Those who work for private individuals tend to make less, since family members may be paying the caregiver’s wages out of their own pockets. The salary of a personal care assistant is also directly tied to the cost of living. Workers in states with a higher-than-average cost of living tend to earn more money than those who do not.

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