What to Expect as a Home Health Aide

An increasing number of people suffering from chronic disabilities requiring additional help are choosing to age at home. Home health aides offer individuals the ability to achieve their goal of living out their days in an environment that’s comfortable and familiar. Although we all love our independence, with age sometimes comes additional challenges.

Things like running errands, cleaning the house, preparing meals and taking medication at the right time can get overwhelming. As time goes on, many elderly begin relying on family members to run their errands, fill their prescriptions and make sure there are meals on the table.

As a home health aide, you have the privilege of providing meaningful care to people and the ability to identify and recognize symptoms that may lead to the need for advanced medical care. If you’ve been considering taking a position as a home health aide, here are just a few things you can expect from your job and the families you work with.


Educational and Work Requirements

Home health aides play a critical role in modern American healthcare as the aging population grows, the expectation is the job market for home health aides will grow by 41 percent; much faster than the average for all occupations. Although working as a home health aide requires minimal formal education, there are certification programs, including up to 75 hours of training, as well as supervised demonstration of a variety of skills.

Your certification demonstrates to families and employers you have the necessary skill set to perform the job. The career may include travel, providing physical assistance and sometimes transportation. You will be working with the elderly and physically disabled and so most agencies and families require home health aides be able to pass a criminal background and professional reference check.


What You’ll Be Doing

Typical duties of a home health aide include assisting your patient with daily personal tasks, like getting dressed, or health-related tasks, such as getting medications and monitoring vital signs. In some instances, home health aides help with light housekeeping duties, including dishwashing and laundry.

You might arrange transportation to the doctor, organize a client schedule or go grocery shopping and prepare meals. However, one of the most important functions you’ll provide for clients and their families is companionship and helping your client remain active within their social network. This helps the family and the patient, as your presence truly matters.

You’ll work in situations that can be challenging for some families, and your compassion will help break down barriers and give you a unique perspective into caregiving for this family. The small things you do help change people’s lives, as it’s your job to be the steadfast and trustworthy professional for your client and their family. This is vital to your patient’s healing process, even when your patient may never expect to regain their prior level of function.


Benefits to Your Personal and Professional Life

Although spending time being a hero to your client and their family is just part of your daily duties, it is also a benefit to your personal and professional life. You have the opportunity to step into someone else’s life and make a difference in how they cope with their daily activities. You gain considerable skill in negotiation, mediation and communication as you are often the go-between between your patient, their family and their physicians.



Make a Difference in Your Career

At Anodyne, it’s our mission to help you find the right job for your skill set. If you are interested in working as a home health aide, please contact us today! We are excited to take this new career step with you.