What Are the Duties of a Home Health Aide?
Posted: 8/6/2019 8:00 AM by
Most seniors prefer to age in place, in the home they know and love. For many older adults, home health aides make this possible. As more older adults choose to stay in their homes and enjoy the freedom, comfort and independence that comes with it, home health aides are empowering them to live life on their own terms.
Home health aides are caring, compassionate individuals who are looking for ways to make an impact on the lives of others. This growing field offers tremendous opportunity for individuals who have a desire to work in health care, but don’t have a medical degree.
What tasks are performed by home health aides?
Home health aides assist with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing and meal preparation. But perhaps the most meaningful benefits they provide are companionship for the patient and much-needed “time off” for exhausted family caregivers.
The duties of a home health aide don’t require medical training. They do, however, require state-approved health training, such as in how to take vital signs, provide basic care, infection control and emergency procedures; that’s how a home health aide (HHA) differs from a personal care aide (PCA).
A home health aide’s duties may include:
- Helping with personal activities, such as bathing, dressing and grooming
- Light housekeeping, such as doing laundry, washing dishes and changing the bed linens
- Shopping for groceries
- Planning, preparing or serving meals
- Providing transportation to doctor’s appointments
- Helping with using the toilet
- Monitoring and documenting a client’s condition, including checking vital signs or recording how much they ate
- Giving medication reminders
Because older adults who don’t drive or have limited mobility can become isolated and depressed, visits from an aide can also provide an emotional boost. Depression is sadly very common in seniors. Having the companionship of a home health aide can alleviate those symptoms, and help prevent the physical manifestations associated with depression.
In many instances, home health aides can seem like a member of the family. Providing critical care, along with smiles and laughs, is an incredibly powerful role in the life of another human being. You get to know your patients, but also their families. Our home health aides are blown away by the emotional connections they make as part of their jobs.
What’s a typical day like for home health aides?
Each state has its own home health aide training requirements. HHAs typically are supervised by a nurse, and are trained to alert a supervisor if they notice changes in a client’s condition or living environment. They often help patient families as well, providing advice on nutrition and other personal needs or teaching them how to lift or turn their loved ones, for example.
No day (or client) is the same, and home health aides enjoy some variety. It helps if you don’t mind driving — many aides spend a good deal of the time in the car, traveling from home to home.
Those car trips connect highly personal, engaging experiences that make a profound impact in the lives of your clients.
Interested in home health aide careers with Interim HealthCare?
There are opportunities for home health aides at Interim HealthCare locations across the United States. To view and apply to opportunities in your area, visit our Careers page.