What do home health aides do?
Working in home health care can be an altogether different experience as you go into a private space of a person in order to assist them with daily activities. There is no doubt that the work is immensely rewarding and important, as you empower individuals to stay in the comfort of their homes. Home health care is usually tailored to meet the needs of an individual, which is why it is also considered to be a more cost-efficient option.
Working conditions: There is no concept of a “typical work week” in home health care because the duties involved in the profession can be varied. Although there is usually no particular duration set for shifts in this profession, it can differ according to the needs of the client. Sometimes, the shift can be a short 2-hour one, while at other times, it can be a standard 8-hour one. Many home health aides are required to work at night, on weekends, holidays, and there are some live-in situations as well. The tenure of a home health aide depends on how long the services are required by an individual. The service can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, or even longer.
Home health aide duties: The responsibilities and duties of home health aides differ from client to client. They mostly help individuals with activities of daily living, which are also known as ADLs. These activities can be broadly divided into three categories:
1. Assistance with personal care
The majority of the individuals require the help of home health aides for doing everyday tasks. These tasks include personal care activities like bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and medication management, among other things.
- Bathing, dressing, grooming tasks: Home health aides receive training to provide a variety of personal care services to people. This can include helping them in bathing and using the toilet. They can also be required to help with grooming and dressing. If the individual cannot walk on their own, home health aides would be required to help them with the walker or transfer them to the wheelchair. There can be situations when the client could have difficulty getting out of bed. In this case, the home health aide would be required to give them sponge baths, skincare and move and position them on the bed.
Home health aides are also trained to provide grooming assistance to the clients. This is a very important part of the job as they would be required to do these tasks with nimble and steady movements. Home health aides are expected to help infirm individuals with shaving, brushing hair, cutting, and filing nails. In addition to this, they can also be asked to help the clients with makeup and getting dressed.
- Meal preparation: In certain situations, the client would not be able to plan and cook their own meals. It could be because of many reasons like paralysis, arthritis, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or other ailments. Cooking their own meals in such a situation can prove to be hazardous. This is where home health aides come in to help as they plan and prepare meals for the individuals. The clients would not only get a healthy and nutritious diet but would also be kept out of harm’s way.
- Picking up medications and reminders: As the home health aide looks after the client every day, they might also be required to look after the medications. This can involve picking up the prescribed medications and making sure that the client takes them on time.
Home health aides can also be required to do some housekeeping chores in the client’s house if they are struggling to do them by themselves. By helping in keeping the client’s home clean and livable, the home health aides take a great responsibility off their shoulders.
Every human requires companionship, and it has been found that social relationships are extremely important for people’s mental and physical health. Aging and infirmed clients often feel isolated from their friends and family. This is why the reliability and compassion of the home health aides can be very beneficial for them.
As a home health aide, you need to have a delicate balance of professionalism and compassion when catering to the needs of the people. Given the complexity of the profession and the many responsibilities involved, it would be useful to consider getting home health care insurance. This kind of liability insurance usually covers all the services in home health aides’ scope of practice and those which have been outlined in the policy agreement.
Rewards and salary outlook of working as a home health aide (HHA)
Working as a home health aide can be an extremely rewarding profession. Over time, you will be able to develop a meaningful and strong relationship with the client and get to know about their life story. Making a career in home health care can give you a chance to make the world a better place and contribute meaningfully to someone’s life. Besides this, the profession offers individuals a flexible schedule too. Working as a home health aide, you can expect to earn a salary of around $22,680 to $29,460 per annum. It is one of the fastest-growing professions in the US. It has also been found that the demand for home health aides is expected to increase by 41 percent by 2026.
If you are a home health aide or are planning a career in home health care, you should consider purchasing home health aide insurance. This home health care liability insurance can be tailored to suit individual needs and can prove to be helpful in protecting your license, reputation, and assets. Find out more about home health aide insurance.