A Good PCA Is Hard to Find

So treat him right...and watch your wallet

| July-August 1999

We crips are always on the lookout for a good personal care attendant (PCA), aren't we? One who isn't slovenly or snarly, who doesn't complain, who will come to work when he's supposed to. One who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and doesn't stick needles in his arm.

One like Raul, whom I found six months ago.

I think you'd like Raul. Neat and pleasant, he's as good a PCA as you could ask for. When we get to the store, he has my wheelchair ready in seconds. He's very strong.

If I'm too tired to go, he takes the car and my grocery list, and when he comes back he puts everything away, washes the dishes, and sweeps out the kitchen. Then he vacuums the house, puts my clothes in the dryer, irons them, folds them, and places them in the dresser. When one of my orthopedic corsets needed fixing the other day, he sewed it up for me.

He'll make me my favorite sandwich for lunch, and if I want to go out to a Japanese restaurant for supper, he'll get me inside the restaurant and park me at the table. Then he'll talk to me cheerfully during dinner—even though he doesn't much care for gyosa or sashimi.

When it's time to go to bed, he helps me get my clothes off, handling me very carefully, almost tenderly. His one diversion, when there's nothing else to do, is watching TV. He always asks politely if it's OK. And he always keeps the sound down.