The number of people who are older than 85 and require special care will increase to 21% of the population by 2050, according to this survey. A large part of this group of elders will prefer to receive care at home, where they can retain their independence and relationships. A home healthcare aide(HHA) is a trained caregiver who attends to geriatric patients at home.
What is the definition of a home healthcare aide?
A home healthcare aide is a trained and certified professional who assists patients at home with healthcare, personal care, and some household duties. Home healthcare aide shave the medical training necessary to manage medication and medical emergencies. They are also trained to understand the special needs of geriatric patients and tend to them. Finally, a home healthcare aide is trained to monitor and report the health condition of their wards.
What are the duties and job responsibilities of a home healthcare aide?
- A home healthcare aide is responsible for monitoring a patient’s condition. This is done by paying attention to the aide’s physical and mental condition, nutrition intake, output, and exercise. The aide is also expected to monitor vital signs such as breathing and heart rate.
- A home healthcare aide assists patients with daily household duties and personal care by bathing, managing nutrition and medication, and doing household chores. If required, a home healthcare aide can be engaged to manage cooking,cleaning, and transportation.
- A home healthcare aide is responsible for understanding nutrition requirements and crafting meal plans for daily consumption.
- A home healthcare aide helps with daily activities such as moving around the house with a cane or walker, or transport between places.
- A home healthcare aide helps a patient’s family learn how to handle the patient when lifting, turning or re-positioning them after major surgery.They also help with bathing, dressing, and grooming.
- A home healthcare aide assists by creating a home environment that’s safe and well-suited for the patient. This includes setting-up security precautions such as handlebars where necessary and maintaining dietary requirements.
- A home healthcare aide constantly updates knowledge so they are updated and can adhere to the latest home healthcare standards.
- A home healthcare aide maintains the reputation of their agency by following professional policies, necessary standards according to local, state and federal laws.
- A home healthcare aide raises the bar by exploring new challenges and accomplishing more complex forms of care and treatment.
What qualifications are home healthcare aides expected to have?
Most home healthcare agencies only hire aides who have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and some experience working in a medical setting. This is particularly important for the home healthcare aides dispatched to homes of geriatric patients in post-surgery care, or chronic disorders.
What are the skills and abilities that home healthcare aides should ideally possess?
Home healthcare aides work very closely with patients and their families. So, these aides are also required to have excellent communication skills and the ability to coordinate and manage routines on a daily basis. Many home healthcare agencies pay special attention to their applicants’ people skills because home healthcare aides are expected to emotionally support their wards and give them companionship.
Sometimes, home healthcare aides may be faced with medical emergencies, in which case they’re expected to know vital rescue and support mechanisms such as CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation). A good home healthcare aide also understands their patient’s afflictions well enough to recognize signs of distress.
One of the main goals of a home healthcare aide is to keep their patient out of the hospital and at home. This requires the aide to a have a keen sense of observation and the ability to detect early signs and symptoms. The home healthcare aide is likely to be very successful at his or her job if they can first recognize these signs and then act swiftly to prevent extensive damage.
Sometimes, experienced home healthcare aides are capable of monitoring the effects of medication and communicating suitable changes to a patient’s physician. Since home healthcare aides are responsible for transport and could be in charge of taking patients for their regular checkups, they are also responsible for tracking lab values over time to report any potential threats.
Medication management is another critical responsibility assigned to home healthcare aides. In today’s age,elderly patients are taking more medications on a daily basis than before. This is due to a rise in the available over-the-counter medication to solve many discomforts that today’s elders have to suffer. It’s hard to keep so many medications organized, so a patient doesn’t miss any dose. It’s part of a home healthcare aide’s job to take note of all medications and organize them such that a patient is regular with them.
Home healthcare aides are also required to observe how a patient responds to their care so that they can refine methods used over time. They can also assess if the patient needs more intensive care in a nursing home. A home healthcare aide is expected to honestly report their patient’s state of physical and mental health to family members, the physician, and whoever else is concerned.
Finally, a home healthcare aide is also expected to analyze a patient’s home environment and identify potential hazards that can be eliminated in advance. This could even include the tasks of planning a safe fire escape that doesn’t have any clutter in the path.
A home healthcare aide’s responsibilities are extensive, which is why mistakes and negligence could occur at any time. That’s why it makes sense for both home healthcare agencies and aides to subscribe to liability/malpractice insurance to prevent those mistakes from costing them their business.
The number of elders opting for home healthcare is increasing every year. Home healthcare aides are managing medication, planning nutrition and helping elders live effortlessly without having to leave their homes for special care. By understanding the duties and responsibilities of home healthcare aides, you can hire the right one for your agency or support for your loved ones.