Is your support backup plan in order?

Employing a Personal Assistant (PA) directly often means relying on one person to support you with your daily needs. For that reason, it’s important to have a backup plan ready in case your employee or support provider is sick or becomes unavailable.

Here are a few quick tips that can help ensure that you’re ready for the unexpected:

Plan Together: A backup plan is only helpful if everyone involved is on the same page. Granted, discussing worst-case scenarios can be difficult. You may feel more comfortable just hoping that one or more family members will step in if there is an emergency. However, this assumption can cause confusion or inadequate support for the person in need of support.

To ensure the well-being of the person in need of support, a backup plan requires a commitment from friends, family, or possibly backup care providers. The only way to receive this commitment is to begin the discussion.

Think Short and Long Term: At a bare minimum, Direct Payment recipients should have a short-term backup plan for emergencies. Since life is unpredictable, it is also important to consider longer-term care as well, remember recruiting takes time and patience.

A longer-term plan may be particularly relevant for families who provide support. If support is provided by a parent, will the parent be able to provide the necessary care as they themselves get older? Their son or daughter may want to live more independently and direct their own care, relying on paid PAs. Again, starting a discussion about the future support needs of a dependent can be difficult. But beginning this conversation brings the reward of knowing that your loved one’s future support needs will be met.

 Make an emergency contact list or WhatsApp group:  Having a simple list of all the people in your life you can reasonably expect to support you. This isn’t a list of all the people you think should come through for you, but people who will.

Write out their contact information next to their names, then make the list easy to find. A WhatsApp group is really handy like this it means the contacts don’t get lost, but also easy to contact when needed in an emergency.

Developing a backup plan can be challenging, and sometimes there is no perfect answer. But it’s always better to know your options ahead of time.