The duties of a home health aide (HHA) can vary depending on your client’s needs.
You may find yourself providing direct nursing care, and you can also find yourself running errands, taking care of household chores, as well as providing much-needed companionship to elderly or disabled patients who may feel isolated because of their condition.
Because the population is aging so rapidly and care for the elderly is in demand, home health aide duties have greatly expanded and the job growth projection for HHAs is very high. We highlight some of the most important.
Carrying Out the Doctor’s Orders
A vital thing to understand about HHA duties is that your job is to follow the doctor’s directions. This usually includes administering prescription drugs and oral medications according to written instructions from a physician.
Many seniors take multiple pills during the day, and it’s easy for them to get mixed up or take incorrect doses.
An HHA will make sure they adhere to the right schedule.
Other home health aide tasks can include changing dressing and helping them with simple physical exercises that will help them adjust to artificial limbs or recover from an injury.
Performing Household Duties
Sometimes the doctor’s orders involve a certain kind of diet for the patient, and an HHA will plan and prepare meals that adhere to this diet.
HHA duties can also include other types of light housekeeping, including changing linens, running errands, cleaning, and doing laundry.
Most of the time your clients will be incapable of doing these things by themselves.
The help of an HHA having medical knowledge and all-around skills to help those who need assistance with daily living is essential.
In some cases, home health aide tasks are extremely intimate. You may be helping people reach the toilet and shower, as well as helping them dress and groom themselves. But on top of that sort of care, you will be asked to provide a certain level of human interaction for patients.
You can read to them, play games, or simply engage them in conversation to keep them mentally alert and positive.
When you’re working with an injured or disabled person who has small children, you may also be involved in taking care of them and helping them understand their parent’s condition.
Documenting Their Condition
Home health aides may also accompany their patients to doctor’s appointments and communicate with medical professionals about their condition.