Everything You Should Know About A Home Care Assistant

Home Care AssistantA home care assistant serves an important role in providing services to the elderly, chronically sick and disabled populations within a community. They provide care for those who live independently but cannot provide adequate care for their own hygiene, nutrition and personal space needs. This type of caregiver may also provide assistance with activities. They can also provide companionship and other non-medical services as needed by the one receiving care.

You may take certain activities that you perform everyday for granted. However, activities such as getting dressed, bathing, or cooking may prove too challenging for your aging loved one to complete alone. Personalized home care plans are sure to meet the needs of your loved one. These care plans are designed to provide your loved one with the assistance he or she needs. But they also respect their wellbeing and dignity.

What Is A Home Care Assistant?

A home care assistant is a general term that is often used to refer to two different types of caregivers. There are home health aides and personal care assistants. However, each position has specific responsibilities and functions on the job.

Home health aides or assistants (HHAs) provide assistance with Activities of Daily Living. They include bathing, dressing and other types of hygiene needs. These caregivers also provide assistance with other tasks such as laundry, housekeeping and cooking. By providing these services, these aides allow patients to remain in their homes safely and improve their quality of life as a result.

Some of their job functions may require that HHAs document both the care that is provided and the patient’s physical, mental and emotional conditions. Along with this report, the HHA will document any  problems or issues and submit them to their supervisor.

A home health assistant may also be asked to provide transportation or provide companionship for activities.

Regulations vary from state to state. However, they may also be asked to take and record the patient’s vital signs, perform simple wound dressings and give out medications.

A personal care assistant may assist patients with personal care and also help with other chores. A personal care aide (PCA) has other titles including:

• Personal attendant
• Caregiver
• Companion

They provide many of the same tasks that home health assistants do. However, they are not allowed to provide any medically related tasks such as taking vital signs.

What Is a Typical Home Care Assistant’s Work Environment?

The word “home” would imply that all home care assistants work in a patient’s home. However, this is not always the case. Many of them work in their clients’ homes. Ultimately, the functions of their jobs may allow them to work in a variety of settings. These settings include:

• Retirement homes
• Nursing homes
• Adult day care centers
• Residential group facilities

The assistant may work with one client at a time, or may work with more than one. The amount of time that the caregiver works with a particular client can also vary. The hours can include nights, days, holidays and weekends. The schedule will be dependent on the client’s needs.

Skills of Home Care Assistants

The home caregiver’s focus is direct patient care. This means that the caregiver must possess certain skills. They include time management, patience, interpersonal skills and dependability. It is important that they are also detail oriented and can follow specific protocols and care plans.

They will also work very closely with patients who may be experiencing severe pain and/or going through emotional distress. These caregivers must be able to show empathy and sensitivity to the emotions their patients are experiencing.

Home health assistants must also be emotionally stable, warm, engaging and compassionate. They must also have physical endurance to lift, turn, and reposition patients. These tasks must be performed safely in order to protect both the patient and the caregiver.

Is A HCA Right For You Or Your Loved One?

The decision to hire any health professional to come into the home is one that should not be taken lightly. It should be a decision that includes the client. It is important to take their feelings and concerns into consideration. Be sure he or she understands that they will be an active participant in the decision process. Emphasize that the caregiver will be as closely matched to their needs as well as their personality as possible.

A home care assistant allows clients to retain their independence while receiving essential care in their homes. These professionals provide a vital service that helps keeps their client’s dignity intact.

Learn more about home care services. Contact Evergreen today.