The Roles and Responsibility of a Home Health Aide
Who is a home health aide?
A home health aide is responsible for helping patients live independent lives by providing them with assistive care around the home. You’ll be helping the patient stay in an environment they are most comfortable in, while providing them with the care that is tailored to their needs.
The work you do will vary from week to week, as patients change, and the needs of the patient change as well. Usually, there are no standard set durations for home health aide shifts. You can find yourself working only two hours a day, while other days are more intensive. Sometimes, home health aides can also receive standard eight-hour shifts. Where patients need more help, home health aides can also live with the patient, providing round-the-clock care.
You can find yourself caring for some patients for a few weeks, while others may take months to recover. This makes every day a unique experience, dependent on the needs and conditions of different patients. Most of the clients you’ll find yourself working with are seniors. As a home health aide, you’ll be able to make a positive impression in the life of the patient. You can also help give caregivers some form of respite and help patients through their recovery process.
Home health aides get to forge strong relationships with the patients they care for, as well as their caregivers and family members.
The duties of a home health aide
A home health aide is responsible for providing help with daily activities and enabling patients to lead better lives during their recovery. There are three core areas you’ll be providing services as a home health aide. These include:
1. Assistance with personal care
Most seniors generally want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. However, due to their age, they may need help with daily activities and chores. Home health aides help seniors live independent and happy lives at home.
Some families may see you as the support needed to help keep their aging family members safe and happy. You’ll find yourself:
Bathing and dressing
Some patients are unable to perform basic daily tasks, such as taking a bath or using the toilet. You’ll be taught, during your home health aide training, all the skills that will enable you to better care for your patient. You can find yourself caring for someone who has difficulty walking.
In this case, it will be your responsibility to transfer them to a wheelchair or help them to walk with a cane. You may then need to help them bathe or get dressed, should they not be able to do these tasks by themselves.
Some clients may not be able to get out of bed. For situations like these, home health aides are taught how to give sponge baths. You should also know how to provide physiotherapy, in the form of motion exercises, that helps the patient. You may also need to provide grooming services, such as helping clients shave or brush their hair. Helping with mouth and dental care, as well as cleaning and filing nails, can also be your duty.
Planning and preparing meals
Some patients may be unable to cook for themselves or prepare their own meals. They may have an illness that makes it dangerous for them to cook, such as dementia. A home health aide can plan and prepare meals for patients who are unable to do so for themselves.
Medication and prescriptions
You may need to ensure that the patient you are caring for is taking all the medications they need to. It’s important to make sure that the patient doesn’t miss a dose. If a client is unable to drive, then you may have to pick up their prescriptions as well.
A home health aide should also know how to do basic housework. This is as the patient may not be in a state where they can keep their home clean. Despite this, a clean environment is necessary for a healthy recovery. Home health aides can take over for their patients, as well as their family members. You can give respite to the patient and their family by assuring them that normal daily tasks will be taken care of.
That way, the family can focus on taking care of the patient while you help them take care of the home.
Social relationships can be important, both for physical as well as emotional health. Aging clients, especially those who feel isolated from their families, are more likely to feel the need for companionship. Social isolation can play a role in increasing both the risk of heart disease, as well as a stroke.
By providing companionship to your patient, you can help them recover more holistically. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to improve your own blood pressure and reduce your stress level as well. Providing companionship is one of the important responsibilities that a home health aide has.
By caring for a patient in their home, you can develop strong relationships with them. Aside from helping patients take their medication and helping them with daily tasks, you can also spend time interacting with the patient. Home health aides, by working in different homes, get the opportunity to enjoy a flexible schedule and get to do new things often. Through your career as a home health aide, you’ll be able to make an important impact in the life of your patient, as well as their families. Home health aides can be essential to helping patients recover at home.
As a home health aide, you should also consider home health care insurance. This is because, throughout your career, you’re exposed to certain career risks. An unhappy client could sue you, and you may have to legally defend yourself in Court. The costs associated with this could be exorbitant, leading you to experience financial losses. With the help of home health aide insurance, however, you’ll be able to gain financial coverage against the most common career risks. Home health aide insurance allows you to protect your career, as well as your finances. Learn more about home health aide insurance.