After much discussion, your family has decided to hire your aging mother a “personal assistant” so she can continue living safely and comfortably in her home. Although Mom is only going to need a little help at first, you want to find a professional caregiver who can also take care of her as the aging process continues. A friend in the healthcare field recommended that you find her a Home Health Aide, so you’ve started doing some research. To help you along, here are the duties of a professional Home Health Aide, along with bonus tips on how to find the best one.
What Does a Home Health Aide Do?
A Home Health Aide (HHA) – also called a Home Care Aide or Personal Care Aide – is a professional caregiver trained to help clients maintain their hygiene and health in their chosen place of residence.
As “personal assistants” of sorts, HHAs assist clients in many ways, including daily functions such as dressing, bathing, preparing nutritious meals, or companionship. Aides sometimes also take a patient’s vital signs or give them medicine under the direction of a licensed nurse. They can even help with planning for doctor’s appointments or coordinating transportation.
Additional HHA responsibilities may include:
- Grocery shopping
- Light housekeeping
- Reporting to supervision about a client’s health status
- Helping organize a client’s schedule
- Coordinate care with therapists, doctors, and other medical professionals
Some aides work specifically with clients who have developmental or intellectual disabilities to help create a behavior plan and teach self-care skills, for instance, food shopping or preparing meals.
How Do HHAs Assist Families?
Millions of Americans selflessly donate their time and talents each year to care for aging-in-place loved ones. And although serving as an informal caregiver is highly gratifying, it can also be physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. As a result, many informal caregivers end up experiencing caregiver fatigue. Left unaddressed, this condition can lower the quality of life of both the caregiver and the care recipient.
The role of a Home Health Aide is to give tired family members a break so they can focus on their health and well-being, along with that of their loved ones. HHAs are also trained to perform minor medical tasks – for instance, monitoring a client’s vital signs – that the average family caregiver isn’t trained to do.
How Can You Find a Home Health Aide?
Since certification requirements for becoming an HHA vary by state, be sure to research your state’s guidelines. There are also private HHAs that work independently, as well as those employed by licensed home care providers.
Using an agency-supplied HHA as an example, here’s how to determine if their employer is reliable or not:
- Research their online reputation through Google reviews or the local Better Business Bureau.
- Seek referrals from trusted friends, coworkers, or neighbors who have used a home care provider.
- Read testimonials from past and present clients, families, and employees.
- Speak to an agency supervisor about their hiring practices, including criminal and driving background checks and whether they drug test their employees.
- Ask the supervisor how they evaluate their caregivers, and if a registered nurse is available to answer questions around the clock.
- Find out what their backup plan is in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster.
- Once you’ve narrowed your search down to two or three candidates, conduct your own screening interview with each one while including your loved one in the discussion.
Family-Trusted In-Home Care for Seniors in Fort Myers, FL
When you’re ready to hire a “personal assistant” for an aging loved one, put your mind at ease by contacting the caring professionals from Home Instead® Senior Care. Conveniently available in Naples, Fort Myers, and Charlotte County, FL, our senior care services help to enhance the aging experience by providing practical support at home delivered with a human touch.
Our reliable in-home solutions help aging adults stay engaged in everyday life with tailor-made support to stay safe and well at home. At Home Instead, it is always our mission to provide a care plan personalized to your family’s needs – bringing you all comfort, companionship, and peace of mind. To learn more or schedule a time to talk with one of our home care specialists, please visit us at www.homeinsteadswfl.com.