Personal Care Attendant Job Description

The Personal Care Attendant provides non-medical care for patients in their homes. This includes both completing domestic duties, helping the patient with self-care and hygiene and filling the role of companion for the patients, who are typically elderly and live alone.

Personal Care Attendants work most often in patient homes, although they may also work in small group homes or larger care centers. As the baby-boomer generation reaches elderly ages, the market for Personal Care Attendants is growing rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected to grow 26 percent over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.


Personal Care Attendant Duties and Responsibilities

In order to provide support to patients based on personal experience, a Personal Care Attendant performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Personal Care Attendants in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Prepare Meals

The Personal Care Attendant prepares all meals for their patient according to any dietary needs and restrictions. This includes shopping for groceries regularly in order to keep the house stocked with necessities. They may also need to assist with feeding, depending on the condition of their patient.

Perform Housekeeping

In order to maintain the patient household, the Personal Care Attendant completes housekeeping tasks that range from light to heavy depending on the job. They are at minimum responsible for doing laundry, dishes and cleaning any messes, but often must also sweep, mop, vacuum, sanitize the bathroom and kitchen, clean counters, change the linens and any other necessary housekeeping tasks.

Run Errands

The Personal Care Attendant runs occasional errands for their patient as well. This typically involves shopping either for groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, or other necessities required to maintain the household. It may also include more individualized tasks such as mailing things out for the patient, buying specialized goods the patient needs, or facilitating appointments and meetings for the patient.

Assist with Personal Care

Personal Care Attendants help their patients care for themselves as well. This typically involves bathing the patient, brushing their hair, helping them use the bathroom, assisting them with getting dressed and other typical hygiene and personal care services.


Personal Care Attendant Skills

Personal Care Attendants have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Compassionate individuals, they are able to connect with their patients and provide them with a companion in addition to someone who takes care of their home. In order to succeed, Personal Care Attendants must also be highly organized and capable of managing many different tasks at once.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Personal Care Attendants with these core skills. If you want to work as a Personal Care Attendant, focus on the following.

  • Obtaining a High School Diploma
  • Possessing CPR certification
  • Being able to travel locally
  • Demonstrating related housekeeping or personal care experience
  • Having First Aid certification

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Personal Care Attendant toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Related college or technical education
  • In-home care experience
  • Completion of a Personal Care Assistant course
  • Possession of a license and vehicle

Personal Care Attendant Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Personal Care Attendant. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

Home Instead – Senior Care Blog

SYNERGY – A blog about homecare techniques and ideas

Nurse Next Door – A blog from a homecare professional

Industry Groups

Home Healthcare Nurses Association – Leading organization for nurses in homecare

National Association for Homecare and Hospice – Association for all involved in homecare

Homecare Association of America – A domestic organization for homecare

Personal Care Attendant Books

Home Care How-To – A comprehensive guide to starting a homecare business

Homecare Business Marketing – A handbook for marketing your homecare business

Herbal Home Healthcare – A guide to herbal healthcare


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