How Does a Home Health Aide Assist Patients?
The role of a home health aide is vital for many people with additional health needs. But many people don’t understand the importance of providing care to people and asking how does a home health aide assist patients? Keep reading to learn more about the job sometimes described as the backbone of the healthcare profession.
How Do Home Health Aides Assist Patients?
Personal care aides have a range of duties, so each day on the job may look very different. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a job description for the role in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which demonstrates the many different tasks a home aide may carry out. From hygiene to minor medical care, personal care aides provide quality care every day.
Common duties for personal care aides include helping patients with daily tasks, such as eating, using the bathroom, and keeping clean.
Many patients struggle with simple acts of daily living, like climbing into a bathtub or changing their clothes. Home health aides can help with all of these tasks.
Basic Medical Assistance
Personal care aides also help patients with simple medical tasks. This could include taking prescribed medication, wound care, or providing medication reminders. Aides can also monitor a patient’s vital signs like blood pressure to check they are in generally good health. For more complex care, a registered nurse may be required to help.
Personal care aides may also transport patients to medical appointments at doctors’ offices or for occupational therapy appointments. The aide can help patients to reach their destination safely when traveling by public transport may be impossible and making the journey in the vehicle of a family member could be unsafe.
A home health aide is also there to help patients have a good quality of life. They provide a friendly face and a little company, even if only for a few minutes every day. That’s why all our home health aides have a friendly demeanor and greet patients with a smile on their faces.
Services Provided by Home Health Aides
Everyday tasks carried out by aides include light housekeeping duties. This could include everything from preparing meals to washing dishes. Many of the tasks carried out by personal care aides help patients to remain independent.
Patients suffering from chronic illnesses are vulnerable to many complications. For example, a person who is bedbound with a severe illness or mobility issue may develop bedsores, or their muscles may begin to atrophy due to too much time spent lying in bed. But a home health aide can assist the patient to get out of bed and stay clean.
Personal care aides also use medical equipment to monitor vital signs. Checking on a client’s vital signs is a great way to watch for a determination in health. Personal care aides can then call for medical help if necessary. This kind of care assists patients in remaining independent and comfortable.
Infection Control From Personal Care Aides
Help with housekeeping from home health aides can also help with keeping down the risk of infection. By wiping down surfaces and keeping a home clean, personal care aides reduce the chance of infection and can help to avoid skin breakdown.
By providing these kinds of services and assisting with basic hygiene and housekeeping tasks, a health aide can assist a patient in staying fit and healthy. By avoiding these complications, a patient will stay healthier and steer clear of many conditions that could land them in the hospital.
What a Home Health Aide Can’t Do
A home health aide is limited in some of the tasks they can carry out. It’s important to understand these limitations in order to get the best from home health services.
The average health aide is not permitted to inject fluids or perform sterile procedures. Any care they carry out must be listed in the patient’s care plan and personal care aides should be trained in any of these special processes. For those needing these services, registered nurses are a better option.
When To Seek Home Health Care
Seeking home health care is a big decision for anyone, so it’s important that you understand when accessing this care is right for you or your loved one.
If you or a loved one are struggling to meet your own basic needs, there’s no shame in bringing in a trained professional to help you. Perhaps you’re struggling to carry out basic housekeeping tasks or with meal preparation. Home aides could help you to enjoy a better quality of life.
A home health aide can assist you with daily tasks and help to keep you healthy and living independently in your own home.
If you think home health care could help you, then the time is probably right for you to get extra care. Similarly, if you are finding it too difficult to care for a loved one, it may be time to find a quality home health aide.
Who Receives Home Care Services From Personal Care Aides?
All kinds of people receive home care services. One of the most common groups is elderly people. But lots of other groups get help at home, too. We offer home health care services to a range of clients. From pediatric to elder care, we do it all, providing home health aides with a wide range of skills.
Elderly patients are the most common type of people to receive home care. They may have a variety of needs, possibly requiring skilled nursing care in addition to helping with daily living. Home health aides can help them to prepare meals and carry out other common tasks.
People recovering from an operation or undergoing physical therapy might need help in the home on a temporary basis. A qualified aide can help to make the recovery process run more smoothly.
Sometimes children require help at home. When children are suffering from a severe illness or a mobility issue, their families may need extra help taking care of them.
End-of-life care can give a patient dignity and provides peace of mind to a family. Many people reaching the end of their lives want to die in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by family. Personal care aides can help to make this a reality.
Hospice home care will normally involve at least one registered nurse and perhaps some nursing assistants alongside home health aides.
The Role of a Home Health Aide
The home health aide has a range of responsibilities and duties. But their ultimate role is to provide a good quality of life for their patients. They do this by helping the person with daily tasks that may be too difficult due to chronic illness, age, or some other reason.
Without home health care, many people would be confined to a hospital or other facility for the rest of their life. Having a professional at home allows people with a range of additional health needs to live their best lives and remain at home.
Hiring and Paying for a Home Health Aide
Many people put off hiring an aide to help them at home because of worries over cost. But the costs may not be as high as you think, and there are lots of ways you can get help to pay for your care.
In many cases, getting help from aides at home is cheaper than living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The patient may not require round-the-clock care, so they can save money by only hiring aides for a limited number of hours each day. Besides, family members can often fill in to provide care at certain times of the day.
Health Insurance and Grants
Check with your health insurance company to see if they offer coverage for home help. Many policies will help toward the cost of hiring a home health aide, and some people can access grants to help them with the cost of care.
Home Health Aide Training and Experience for Personal Care Aides
Home health aides need to be appropriately qualified to provide the best care. It all starts with a high school diploma, ensuring a basic level of education. After that, a candidate should complete a special qualification called an HHATP, which assesses their competence.
Job seekers looking for work in this field should ensure they have all these qualifications before they begin the job hunt.
Specialist Training for Personal Care Aides
A company hiring home health aides and other care workers should provide special training. They should be given formal training on how to interact with patients, check on their general well-being, and carry out a wide range of tasks.
Many aides get additional training every month. They may attend courses provided by their employers or take online courses.
Attributes of a Great Personal Care Aide
Working in personal home care isn’t for everyone. The right aide should have a perfect blend of skills, allowing them to give an amazing level of care to their patients. We carefully check out any potential recruits to ensure they’re up to the task, then provide them with training and support to continue improving their practice.
The best personal care aide ought to have excellent physical stamina. There are lots of tough physical tasks involved in providing personal care to a patient. Without good physical stamina, a home health aide could quickly become worn out and unable to do this physically demanding job properly.
An aide should also be personable, as spending time with patients is an important part of the job. Some patients have difficulty communicating, and home health aides should be patient when listening to them. An aide can watch for signs of deterioration in a patient’s mental condition.
Personal care aides should be well organized, as they will need to keep accurate records, monitoring a client’s condition for any changes. These records can have a huge impact on patient conditions, so it’s vital they are kept up to date.
Who Is Part of the Home Health Care Team?
Personal care aides work together with an expert team, allowing them to give the best possible care to patients. The team could include managers, registered nurses, and medical specialists.
Each of these professionals plays a different role in the home care process. There should be good communication between all these professionals to ensure the patient is getting the best care. The home healthcare team should work carefully with family caregivers to provide the optimal level of support.
Other Types of Home Care Workers
Home health aides aren’t the only professionals who deliver care in the home. In certain circumstances, some of these professionals may accompany an aide to help them provide the right care.
Many specialists provide care in the patient’s home, including therapists. Elderly patients, or others with limited mobility, may struggle to attend regular appointments, so they can receive treatment such as occupational therapy at home.
Social workers often work hand in hand with home health care aides. They can ensure that a patient is living in good conditions and have no additional needs.
These trained professionals can provide additional information on a patient’s background and any additional steps that might help to provide them with the best possible care.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, provide an important service similar to that of an HHA. As well as personal care, they can assist patients by providing medical help and monitoring the patient’s condition.
LPNs have a higher level of qualification than home health aides. They can carry out more complicated healthcare procedures in the home, such as administering injections and changing cannulas.
Role of an LPN
LPNs may be needed in the home when a patient has more complex medical needs. For example, a patient receiving cancer care may require routine treatment from licensed practical nurses who work under the supervision of registered nurses.
In many cases, an LPN will visit a patient once or twice a week, with a home health aide filling in at other times.
Personal Care Aides
A personal care aide is a slightly different role from a home care aide. They can help with all kinds of daily tasks, but they have fewer qualifications and less training. Although they can help a patient with grooming and personal hygiene, they are not qualified to carry out most medical tasks.
The only qualification required for someone to work as a personal care aide is a high school diploma. But they should also receive training and support from their employer. The personal care aide can be instrumental in helping a client with daily living.
Labor Statistics for Home Health Aides
Labor statistics in the Occupational Outlook Handbook show there are more than 3.6 million home health aides working across the United States. The New York State Department has over 450,000 of these home health aides registered in the New York – Newark – Jersey City metropolitan area.
These labor statistics demonstrate the importance of the role. With an aging population across the United States and the wider western world, it seems likely that the need for home health aides and related professionals will continue to grow.
Wages for Home Health Aides
The median wage for home health aides is just under $30,000, according to the bureau of labor statistics. Although this is lower than the median wage for the city and state, the job is an entry-level position that provides experience for those looking to progress in the healthcare industry.
Of course, home health care isn’t just about the individuals who provide personal care. It’s also important to think about the companies that provide these services.
What to Look For
If you’re hiring personal care aides for the first time, you may not know what to look for in a care provider. It pays to do a little extra research before making a choice. There are a few important traits you need in a great home care company.
Experience in Direct Care Services
The best home care companies provide experienced home health aides. Many of our aides have been on the job for years, so they have the necessary experience to meet any challenge.
Even if a given aide is new to the job, they should have plenty of support from people more experienced in the industry. Members of the management and supervisory team should have enough experience to provide mentoring and support.
A Good Reputation
Any company that provides home care for you or a family member should have a good track record of working with others in your community. Home health aides are in a position of responsibility, so it’s important that you vet your chosen company beforehand to ensure they are a reputable business.
Ask the business to provide testimonials from patients or families. You can also go online and search review sites to see what people are saying about a company. While every business is bound to attract the occasional review, if you see mostly good ratings, you’ll know you’re looking in the right place.
Licensed and Bonded
Home care providers in New York State need to be properly licensed. Licensing means they are properly regulated by the relevant authorities and must meet certain quality standards. The bonding provides patients and their families with an element of protection in case of a dispute.
Get the Right Services
Home health care services can vary quite a bit, with lots of different requirements depending on the patient. Check the services provided by your chosen company match your needs.
Does the business provide overnight care? Can they offer special direct care services? Your chosen company should provide these human services to help the patient with daily living and staying healthy.
If you’re looking for excellent home care, Parent Care can help. Call us today at 718-486-7100 to find out more about our services.