Making Their Days Happen

Paid Personal Assistance Services Supporting People with Disability Living in Their Homes and Communities

Lisa I. Iezzoni
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2076-3
Publication: Dec 21

HC: $110.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-2075-6
Publication: Dec 21

Ebook: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2077-0
Publication: Dec 21

284 pages
6 x 9
13 tables, 1 figs., 9 halftones

Explores the complexities of the interpersonal dynamics and policy implications affecting personal assistance service consumers and providers


Most Americans—even those with significant disability—want to live in their homes and communities. Unpaid family members or friends often work as “informal” caregivers, helping those who need assistance—and many feel they have no option but to serve. In contrast, paid personal assistance services workers (PAS) provide a lifeline to those consumers with complex needs and limited social networks. However, there is a crisis looming in the increasing needs for paid PAS and the limited available PAS workforce.

Making Their Days Happen explores disability, health, and civil rights, along with relevant federal and state labor policies related to personal assistance services. Lisa Iezzoni addresses the legal context of paid PAS as well as financing mechanisms for obtaining home-based personal assistance. She also draws upon interviews she conducted with paid PAS consumers and PAS workers to explore PAS experiences and their perspectives about their work.

Offering recommendations for improving future experiences of PAS consumers and providers, Iezzoni emphasizes that people with disabilities want to be a part of society, and PAS workers who do this low-wage work find satisfaction in helping them achieve their goals.

About the Author(s)

Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and based at the Health Policy Research Center–Mongan Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is the author or editor of several books, including When Walking Fails: Mobility Problems of Adults with Chronic Conditions.