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Personal assistance services are provided under the Disability Act and refer to formal assistance and support provided to people with severe disabilities to assist them in tasks essential for daily living at home ((un-)dressing, cooking, eating, cleaning, personal care, and so on) as well as education, leisure, and recreation (mobility support for social participation and interactions). The goal of personal assistance services is to give service users options and control based on their needs:

• What type of help should the user receive?

• When, where, and how should personal assistance services be obtained?

• Who should be hired?

The need for assistance should not be based solely on an illness or a functional limitation caused by ageing.

There are three ways to implement the scheme:

1. The employer model (64 per cent), in which the care recipient directly employs the personal assistant. Local governments cover the costs in that case.

2. The Voucher model (3%) in which care recipients are given vouchers to use to purchase assistance services. Local governments provide vouchers, which should be sufficient to meet all needs.

3. Assistance service (24%): this service is provided by the local government or purchased from a private provider*.

The other options are a combination of the three previous options (5 per cent), a local authority delivering services in collaboration or not with others (4 per cent).

A needs assessment should be carried out in such a way that the personal assistance services enable the service users to live with dignity and should meet their needs.

Aim: Allowing people with disabilities to live and function on an equal footing with other people