If your elderly loved one can no longer live on their own, you have some decisions to make. You need to decide what type of help you want to hire for your loved one. Your loved one may need extensive care and attention, in which case a nursing home might be the best option. Or, if your loved one is still self-sufficient, you could hire a home health aide to help your loved one. Before you make your final decision, consider this information about home health aides.

What is a Home Health Aide?

Home health aides are professionals that help people who may be unable to perform some tasks. Normally, a home health aide takes care of only one individual at a time in that individual’s own home. Home health aides serve the purpose of keeping your loved one in their preferred setting. This is because these aides allow your loved one to stay at home. The aide might do different things for their clients such as bathing and dressing them. Other tasks include cleaning homes, cooking, and doing laundry. The aide might also go food shopping, and perform many other household chores.

In some states, home health aides are also allowed to provide basic medical care. They can help with wound care, check vitals, and administer medicine with proper training. They can also help with a patient’s illnesses. For example, if their client is a diabetic, the home health aide can help. The aide will provide the right foods to keep their client’s blood sugar in check. Home health aides may get hired for as long as your loved one needs or wants one.

It is important to keep in mind that one home health aide will not offer twenty-four-hour care. This provides safety for both the aide and the client. If a person needs round the clock care, many aides should be hired. They can switch shifts throughout the day and night. Otherwise, an aide will come and visit your home whenever they are needed. This is normally on a certain schedule as they might have other patients to tend to.

What are the Requirements to Becoming a Home Health Aide?

States home health aide requirements vary. Some don’t even need a high school diploma. Other states require a high school diploma, preparation classes, and training. Aides sometimes do not need any formal training. In some cases they learn everything they need to know on the job. Some government certified agencies ask employees to take a test after their training classes. But, every individual in need of a home health aide has different needs. Each case that a home health aide receives will have some differences. No licensing or certification is technically required to become a home health aide. Still, most employers will only hire if a person has those credentials. The certification process just requires at least 75 hours of training and skills testing.

What Can a Home Health Aide Do?

It is important to remember that home health aides are not nurses. They are only certified in assisting with daily living. Licensed practical nurses can perform daily chores in the household. They can also perform a few specific medical needs that their client may have. A registered nurse has certification to perform any skilled nursing services needed. They can also perform some household chores. You will get an aide based on the needs of your elder loved one. A doctor can tell what kind of care is needed to keep your loved one as healthy as possible. Be sure to find the right person for the job. Find someone who you feel comfortable leaving your loved one with. The aide should know how to take care of an elderly individual.

How are Home Health Aides Supervised?

If a home health aide gets placed in your loved one’s home by an agency, the agency will supervise the aide. If you hire an independent home health aide, it is your job to hold the aide accountable. Whether you go through an agency or not, you should always be aware of how the aide acts with your loved one.