The role of domestic assistant is an ancient one, and goes all the way back to the role of the manservants who served the wealthy in the Ancient world. Generally, the role involves helping people with household chores, such as cooking, cleaning and shopping. Domestic assistants work in a support role with a variety of vulnerable clients, such as those with learning disabilities, or the elderly. Domestic assistants are required to travel a lot, from home to home, servicing a 'round' of clients. They get to know individual clients very well, and are usually employed by local authorities. Domestic Assistants are sent to work with people who require help but who don't want to go into a 'care' environment, such as a nursing home. Hours can be flexible, with some assistants working 40 hour weeks, and others doing the job on a part time basis. Aside from their domestic chores, Domestic Assistants are often responsible for running risk assessments of where their clients live, ensuring that threats such as electrical hazards and dirty cookware are dealt with, so that clients can be safe, even when the Domestic Assistant is absent.
Since Domestic Assistants often deal with vulnerable adults, the role requires a great deal of personal responsibility in taking care of people who require a great deal of support and patience. Domestic assistants need to have good people and communication skills, and be comfortable dealing with a variety of people of different backgrounds. They need to be able to work unsupervised and to their own initiative, and to also be compassionate and patient with individual patient needs. A thorough approach is important as this directly affects the quality of the client's life.