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Home Health Aide

What are the Duties of a Home Health Aide?

When someone is cognitively impaired, disabled, or chronically ill and are unable to take care of day-to-day activities, they sometimes require the assistance of a home health aide.  A home health aide can be a blessing to those who wish to remain independent and live in their own home, but are unable to adequately take care of themselves.  Additionally, the duties of a home health aide may have previously been the burden of the family members, who often have jobs and families of their own to care for.

The duties of a home health aide will typically involve assisting their clients with daily personal care tasks, which can include bathing and dressing.  They may also complete light housekeeping chores.  For example, they may do the clients dishes, laundry, and vacuuming if the client is unable to do so.  Additionally, they may do any necessary shopping, such as for groceries, and cook meals for the client.  Often, a home health aide will help the client keep and organized schedule by planning appointments and arranging transportation.  Part of the schedule may include when to fill medications.  If the client is bedridden, the home health aide may be required to give sponge baths, change soiled bedding, or empty the bedpan.  Perhaps most importantly, a home health aide provides companionship to the client, which may include things likes going for walks, playing board games, or simply keeping conversation.

Often, Home health aides are employed by certified home health agencies or hospice agencies and must comply with government regulations under the direct supervision of a nurse or other healthcare professional.  In this case, the duties of a home health aide may also include keeping accurate, detailed records of all services performed, as well as the condition and progress of the client.  The home health aides supervisor or the clients case manage may require notification of any change in the clients condition, health, or well-being.  Additionally the home health aide may assist or work with physical therapists or other healthcare professionals treating the client.

Other duties that a home health aide may have include checking the client’s vital signs, including pulse, respiration, and temperature.  They may also help the client perform simple exercises as required by the client’s doctor.  Sometimes a home health aide may change dressings or bandages, give the client massages, or help the client with artificial limbs or support braces.

Home Health aides provide a much needed service to the clients they serve.  The duties of a home health aide may be difference between a client living at home or moving to a care facility.