Lived Experiences - Cindy and Marilyn

We caught up with KCIL member Cindy and her PA Marilyn to discover more about being a personal assistant.


Marilyn’s been your PA for quite a long time now. How long has it been?

Marilyn has been my PA for about 15 years.

How has Marilyn made a difference in your life?

Cindy on the KCIL Boat trip

She has changed my life totally! I feel much better the minute I hear her key turn in the door.

She stays with me most of the day. It starts off with her having carried out lots of tasks before I make my way downstairs. She’s emptied the bins. Pulled back the curtains, put milk in the fridge. Washing up from the night before and picked up whatever I have dropped on the floor. She’s vacuumed. She’s put out my medication for the day. Then I shout out and she comes upstairs and slowly gets me out of bed and helps me get ready. We then go downstairs, I normally go in the lift. Then I have a cup of tea and then have my breakfast. After Marilyn has washed up and tidied the kitchen we normally make our way to the lounge and she answers my letters and emails.

Marilyn always takes me to all of hospital and doctors appointments. Either she will drive, or we go by taxi if it’s a London hospital.

Sadly she has to take me to funerals of my friends and family.

I know all her family, and she knows all of mine. I go to her house for barbecues.

We go to the theatre together, cinema, out for meals, to the pub and we’ve stayed at her caravan a few times.

Her family also help me out, general repairs in the house and the garden also taking me to the vet (well, the cat!) if Marilyn can’t.

If I have to stay in hospital, she looks after the house and comes to feed my cat.

In all honesty Marilyn works far more many hours than she is getting paid for, but she never complains.

Marilyn in lots of ways is the best medication I could have.

I am getting older and frailer and I feel terribly guilty.

Even when she’s gone home I’m always phoning her.


You’ve been working for Cindy for a long time, what’s your favourite thing about working with her?

My favourite thing about working with Cindy is we’ve just become good mates. That’s just as well because she certainly doesn’t get enough money to pay me for all the hours I do, but I don’t mind that.

We do lots of things together, most of which she has already told you. Often we just go out and sit up Epsom Downs have a burger and a cuppa and watch the world go by, or we do the same in the park or down by the river.

If you were having a chat with someone who was thinking about being a PA, what would you say to them?

I would say to someone thinking about being a PA is that it’s very rewarding. I’ve been doing it for 33 years.
You do build up a relationship with the person you are working for and you do have fun together too.
But, at the same time you must remember that they are the boss. You might not always agree with what they say but I would only offer advice if it’s asked for.
Depending on the person you are caring for, you must be aware of their medical condition and if necessary spot any warning signs that may arise.
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