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9 Important Qualities of a Professional Home Health Aide

If you or your loved one aren’t ready for a full-service nursing home, then hiring a professional home health aide may be an ideal bridge for basic daily care. Particularly when you live in busy urban areas of New York, such as the Bronx or Manhattan, having professional health to complete daily living tasks can be incredibly important. So, what should you look for in your home health aide?

9 Important Qualities of a Professional Home Health Aide in New York, the Bronx, and Manhattan

A professional home health aide is hired to provide in-home support for daily tasks, such as hygiene, shopping, and medication reminders. In-home support can be a vital tool to help aging, disabled, or chronically ill people maintain their independence while also providing for needs during the day or overnight.

But just like you would look for certain qualities in someone who looks after a child, you will also want to look for specific qualities in a caregiver. These qualities will indicate the standard of care for yourself or your loved one. Some of the most important qualities to seek in professional in-home support include:

1. Punctuality

Punctuality is an important quality in any employee, but especially for a professional caregiver. For example, you will need to rely on in-home support to arrive at the residence on time to provide care during the day or overnight. You will also need to be certain the health aide will help you or your loved one be on time for appointments with physicians, physical therapy, or other appointments.

Punctuality is also important when it comes to medication reminders. Many medications need to be taken in certain hourly intervals or at the same time every day to work most effectively. The quality of punctuality may also extend to completing certain tasks on a schedule, such as laundry days, shopping days, and meal preparation.

2. Organization

The role of in-home support is not necessarily to complete all tasks for the client. At times, a caregiver will need to create certain systems that the client can use to complete tasks independently. A good example is meal preparation. In-home support can buy, clean, and prepare fresh produce to be used to make meals, or they can make meals ahead of time to be reheated later. Keeping track of ingredients and expiration dates requires organization.

Being organized can extend to other areas of care, as well, including completing hygiene and household tasks. Staying organized is the best way to maintain a standard quality of care, day in and day out.

3. Attentiveness

It’s important for your professional in-home support to be attentive to both the needs of the client and any changes in the client. For example, a highly-trained aide will be able to observe any baseline changes in behavior or health that may indicate negative changes in the well-being of the client. Some changes may necessitate health interventions, so caregivers who are attentive can be early warning systems.

A caregiver will also need to observe the client to identify which areas the client may still need help with. Being attentive to the client means paying attention to all needs that need to be met and informing case managers or relatives of additional needs.

4. Communication

Good communication skills are absolutely essential for in-home support. A caregiver needs to constantly communicate with the client to complete tasks and provide support. Excellent communicators can convey easily understood ideas to the client, case manager, and other health care officials when necessary. Communication can apply to the completion of tasks, companionship, or other situations where clear communication is important.

5. Cultural Awareness

Cultural awareness and sensitivity is an important quality for in-home support to have. When a health aide comes into a home, they are expected to respect the unique culture of their client, whether this is by respecting religious practices or following cultural recipes during meal preparation. Cultural sensitivity can mean the caregiver does not speak about their own culture or does not try to impose their culture on the client.

Cultural training helps caregivers provide unbiased support to clients of different cultures, which ultimately puts the client at ease. It’s worth noting that cultural training and sensitivity also helps the client trust the caregiver and creates a more hospital environment for at-home care.

6. Knowledge

In-home support must be knowledgeable about the medical, behavioral, and emotional aspects of providing in-home care. This knowledge is bolstered by specialized training. Understanding the basic symptoms of certain critical health concerns, such as stroke, seizure, or heart attack, can make a difference in the overall health of the client.

Additionally, being knowledgeable about the diagnosis of the client will give the client better support. In-home support for clients with a developmental disability, chronic illness, or behavioral disorder all require different types of specialized knowledge since these diagnoses will inform the caregiver of the best practices to use with the client.

7. Caregiving Skill

Caregivers should be highly skilled in the tasks they will need to complete for you or your loved one. For example, a highly skilled caregiver will be well-versed in the safest way to provide mobility assistance when transferring a client from a bed to a wheelchair. Not only will a highly skilled health aide be able to provide the best support for the client, but they will also understand how to minimize injury to themselves. Being highly skilled also means that the caregiver can correctly perform tasks to the client’s standards.

8. Specialized Training

Depending on the needs of the client, some special training may be necessary to provide the best care. Clients who have significant needs will require specific care to attain independent living. A caregiver should be willing to receive specialized training and guidance to provide the best care for the client. This is especially important for clients who have special medical needs, including clients with developmental delays. Special training will give the caregiver the tools necessary to provide the best standard of care.

9. Compassion

Finally, of all the qualities a caregiver must have, compassion is the most important. Providing in-home support for chronically ill or disabled people means the caregiver will witness the client in their most vulnerable states. Having compassion for the struggles, pain, and wishes of the client ensures that the client is treated with kindness and receives the best support.

This is particularly important because some days, clients may not be as agreeable as others. When the client is struggling, it’s the job of the caregiver to provide compassionate care to help the client complete daily living tasks independently, yet with support. Without compassion, a client may not fully trust in the support a caregiver gives them, which can delay activities.

Home health aides act as the bridge between independent and dependent living. Typically, in-home support is assigned to clients who are aging, disabled, chronically ill, or recovering from illness or injuries. When it’s time to hire in-home support for you or your loved one, it’s important to search for caregivers who possess certain qualities to attain the best care. Contact Parent Care in New York, the Bronx, and Manhattan to find home health aides with the best qualities today.

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