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Personal Assistant Services (PAS)

Two women smilingWhat is a Personal Assistant?

A Personal Assistant (sometimes called a home health aide or personal care attendant) is a person who provides assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, transferring (for example, from wheelchair to bed) , light housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping, bowel and bladder care. These are the activities required for day to day functioning and safety that the person receiving the service is unable to perform independently due to illness, injury, or disability.

Who uses Personal Assistants?

Personal Assistant Services (PAS) are used by a large variety of people, including many who are paralyzed from spinal cord injury or illness. A growing number of people using personal assistance services are elderly or have a disability. People also may require personal assistance on a temporary basis while recovering from an illness or injury.

Personal assistants make it possible for people who need some help with the activities of daily living to remain out of a hospital or nursing home, live in their own homes, and stay independent and active. Not having this basic help often prevents people from living independently, working and paying taxes, or being an active part of the community.

PAS Registry

ECNV maintains a PAS registry which is a list of individuals who are available to provide personal assistance. The registry offers consumers and social workers in different counties a resource for finding providers. Many of them have home health care training and are willing to work at a mutually agreeable rate that can be lower than prevailing rates charged by home care agencies. The registry, which is updated on a regular basis, may be obtained by request from the PAS Coordinator. Assistants listed in the registry have completed an application that provides information about their experience and qualifications including personal references. The applicants are then required to attend a training workshop, orienting them to the philosophy of consumer-directed services before being added to the registry.

Please contact Ruchika Lalwani at ruchikal@ecnv.org or (703) 525-3268 for further information about the PAS registry.


ECNV does not conduct background or reference checks but encourages consumers to do so before hiring a provider. ECNV does not offer personal assistant management training to consumers.