A Home Health Aide must have a specific skill set to help their clients. However, that is not enough as for when it comes to a professional service, every candidate must undergo the appropriate certification and training. Caring for people with disabilities and the elderly requires communication skills and knowledge similar to that of a practical psychologist.
Who Is The Typical Home Health Aide?
Let’s imagine a person who lives in isolation and rarely leaves their apartment. Over the years, such people become withdrawn and have frequent mood swings. They especially need a calm and understanding person close who will provide them with professional care without giving in their personal opinion to their character.
Home Health Aides must be persistent enough to persuade patients to take some medication or perform the necessary medical procedure. If HHAs are self-confident enough and have strict plans for a day, their wards feel safe and less anxious. Consistency is what allows anyone to avoid unnecessary tension.
Here are the 3 main requirements that every home attendant should meet:
- Stable and Professional traits. Elder citizens with serious diseases may often act like moody children; often they just don’t understand who their caregivers are and that they are here to help them. However, a Home Health Aide has to remain positive and professional despite all circumstances and perform all the basic responsibilities at the same time.
- Physical endurance. Performing numerous hygiene and medical procedures, feeding, walking, and communicating are basic HHAs duties. They are usually involved in keeping the apartment clean and preparing special dietary meals. With that being said, one needs to have the physical endurance to keep up with such tasks.
- Ability to use care products. The professional home attendant will help to choose the proper diaper size, prevent allergic reactions, or propose some alternative decisions in a case of extraordinary situations. Readiness to learn new information is another important skill.
Moreover, the typical home attendant should be punctual and tidy. Good looks and charm also matter: sometimes, a smile and warm words can cheer the patient up, calm them down, inspire, or give hope. On the other side, a sincere desire to work and personal qualities are more important than diplomas, certificates and proper experience.
Does The HHA’s Age Matter?
Most clients think that the best home attendant age is 40-60 years old because it is thought that candidates at this age have enough experience for caring for elder citizens. However, age does NOT matter. The most important factor is the experience of potential caregivers. The following practice could be useful in real cases:
- Physiological state control. The HHA should know how to measure body temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other indicators. All the prescribed medications must be given on time. It’s also important that the caregiver ensures that the patient adheres to the daily regimen.
- Monitoring the patient’s skin condition. If caring for bedridden patients, the caregiver should focus on preventing pressure ulcers. The professional home attendant must be able to determine the type of skin lesion (diaper rash, bruise, bedsore, wound), and understand when it is necessary to call for a doctor.
- Performing medical procedures prescribed by a doctor. Injections, dressings, carrying out gymnastic exercises and massage, changing the stool or urine bag are meant here. The HHA’s duties also include changing of diapers. Taking measures to maintain cleanliness in the patient’s room: airing the room, wet cleaning, providing access to sunlight should also be added.
If HHA candidates have the mentioned experience and skills, they can be chosen despite their age. Most nurses usually have similar work experience, although hiring a nurse does not mean hiring a professional home attendant. Checking the employee’s basic skills will help to find a high-quality assistant who loves their job, no matter how difficult it may be.