Home health aides and personal care aides normally do the following:
- Assist individuals in their daily personal tasks, including taking a bath or dressing
- Housekeeping, such as routine laundry, washing dishes, and vacuuming
- Help to coordinate a patient’s itinerary and plan scheduled appointments
- Set up transportation to doctors’ offices or various other getaways
- Shop for foods and prepare meals to satisfy a patient’s nutritional specifications
- Help keep clients engaged in their community networks and communities
Home health aides might supply some basic health-related services (depending on the state they do work in), such as checking a patient’s pulse, temperature, and respiration rate. They might also assist with simple prescribed exercises and or with handing over prescription medications. Occasionally, they replace bandages or dressings, give massage therapies, take care of skin, or assist with braces and prosthesis. With special education, experienced home health aides also may help with medical equipment such as ventilators, which help patients breathe.
Personal care aides– sometimes referred to as caregivers or personal attendants– are generally restricted to providing non-medical services, consisting of companionship, cleaning, cooking food, as well as driving a vehicle.
Direct support professionals deal with people who have developmental or intellectual impairments. These individuals may help create a behavior program and also present self-care competencies, for example doing laundry or cooking meals.
Certified home health or hospice providers often receive payments from government programs and therefore must adhere to guidelines relating to aides’ employment. Aides work under the direct supervision of medical professionals, usually nurses. These aides maintain records of services performed and of clients’ conditions and progress. They report changes in patients’ conditions to administrators or case managers, and team up with physical therapists and various other health care personnel.
Home health aides held about 911,500 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of home health aides were as follows:
- Home health care services
- Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities
- Continuing care retirement living communities and assisted living centers for the seniors
- Residential mental and developmental impairment facilities
- Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)
Personal care aides held roughly 2.0 million jobs in 2016. The largest employers of personal care aides were as follows:
- Service providers for the seniors and people with disabilities
- Home healthcare services
- Residential intellectual and developmental impairment facilities
- Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly
- Private households
Most home health aides and personal care aides work in patients’ residences; others work in small group homes or larger treatment communities. Some visit four or perhaps five clients in the same day, and others only deal with one patient all day– in some situations staying with one patient on a long-term basis. They may work with various other aides in shifts to make sure that the client always has an aide. They assist people in hospices and day services programs, and may drive as they also help individuals with disabilities go to work and stay involved in their communities.
Most aides work full-time, others work part-time. They may be required to work evening and weekend hours, depending upon their patients’ requirements.