Understanding Home Care: Home Health Aides

Connecting with the right home healthcare professional can make all the difference in the life of your loved one. Home health aides are often utilized when your loved one has a restriction from a disability, chronic illness or aging that makes it difficult for them to care for themselves fully at home. In at least one survey, seniors expressed greater concern over needing to move to a residential care facility than dying.


Utilizing the services of a home health aide may help your loved one stay home, aging compassionately and safely while improving the quality of their care. For many, the home health aide becomes a trusted companion as these professionals take on long-term assignments and do not rotate from patient to patient as they would in a facility. Home health aides may have been trained to administer medication, check vital signs and help with medical equipment after having been trained by a registered nurse. Typically, when skilled care is required, the home health aide will be certified as a nursing assistant. This means they will have taken a specific course and passed a certification examination.


The job duties of a home health aide are varied. They include monitoring their patient’s condition and reporting any changes. Many times, they provide light housekeeping and laundry services as well as shopping for food and other household requirements, such as serving meals and snacks or running errands with the patient. If your loved one is unable to perform their own activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and grooming, the home health aide will assist with that as well. When additional physical care is required, such as learning how to use a cane or a walker or learning how to use special equipment for personal hygiene, the home health aide may be an invaluable resource for teaching the patient and ensuring proper use of the equipment is made.


Home health aides are well-versed in the appropriate ways to lift, turn and reposition patients without damaging their own physical health. They can also teach family members proper techniques to reduce the risk of injury. A home health aide is responsible for maintaining a safe, secure and healthy environment by protecting the patient and themselves.


Home Healthcare Aides Provide a Valuable Resource

Perhaps the most valuable resource a home health aide performs is companionship for your loved one. Research demonstrates seniors who do not have routine social interactions suffer a higher rate of depression and cognitive decline, including dementia. Your home health aide helps reduce these risks and gives greater peace of mind that your loved one is well cared for.


Those who do well as home health aides have an interest in healthcare, an ability to work under limited supervision and a desire to help others. Your home health aide will maintain records and document the services that are provided to your loved one. Based on the information from your physician, they can help instruct patients and families on the type of exercise and diet that will best serve the needs of the patient. Routine specimen collection can be done at home and the home health aide can deliver it to the hospital or the physician’s office.


While most home health aides work in a client’s home, others may work in small group homes or larger care communities. Often, the home health aide maintains consistent care with your loved one for months or even years. Home health aides are detail oriented, have strong interpersonal skills and good physical stamina to perform their duties well.


Learn More About Home Health Aides

We understand the need to provide your loved one with quality care, which is why at Anodyne, we work with you, your family and our professional staff to ensure the best care possible. Contact us today to get started placing a home health aide at home.