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Home Health Aides (HHA) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) - What’s the Difference?

Posted: 5/25/2021 3:52 PM by Interim HealthCare

Home Health Aides (HHA) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) - What’s the Difference?

 

Choosing The Right Home Care Aide For Your Loved One

If you’ve decided to get assistance at home for your aging loved one, you may feel overwhelmed by some of the choices that you will need to make. To find the best fit for your family member, we’d like to guide you through the duties and skills of home health aides (HHA) vs. certified nursing assistants (CNA), making your decision as informed and stress-free as possible. Let’s start with distinguishing the difference between an HHA and CNA.


Home Health Aides

An HHA typically works with patients who are chronically ill, elderly, and in need of support or recovering from an illness or surgery.  Their job is to allow the patient to remain at home for as long as possible, helping them with everyday tasks and personal care that is not medical by nature.

HHAs are often trained on the job by a Registered Nurse, sometimes taking the necessary classes at a vocational school or college. Their medical training is limited. 

HHA: Job Responsibilities 

An HHA will help support your elderly loved one with daily tasks such as bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals, eating, and hygiene needs. In addition to personal care, HHAs can assist with activities such as shopping and transportation, meal preparation, light cleaning, and laundry assistance. 

 

HHAs can be very helpful to elderly adults around the house and often provide companionship as well as care. 


Certified Nursing Assistants

A CNA works in a wide variety of environments that would usually include hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living centers. CNAs receive the same training in giving personal care as HHAs do, and additional medical training certified by a state exam. CNA’s usually care for a group of people, as opposed to one individual. 

CNA: Job Responsibilities 

Like an HHA, a CNA will be able to assist your elderly family member with bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals, eating, and hygiene needs. Due to their additional medical training, CNAs may also assist patients with clinical needs such as medication management, examining and reporting vital signs, diabetes assistance, or help using a wheelchair. 
 

To decide which kind of home care aide is best for your elderly family member, it is a good idea to determine the degree of care they will need daily. Speaking with your loved one’s doctor is always a good place to start and will allow you to make an educated decision based on their health.

Take the First Step to See if Someone is Safe at Home

 
We've developed a series of questions to help identify factors that may place someone's safety at risk. By taking the time to answer these questions, you can learn more about what places someone in an unsafe situation. And you'll receive suggestions for getting extra help or support.
https://www.interimhealthcare.com/education-center/independent-living-assessment/
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