What Makes An Ideal Home Health Aide?

Home Health Aide

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 Over the years, such people become withdrawn and have frequent mood swings.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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

5 Foods Your Diabetic Patient should AVOID

Diabetic Patient

Home health aides who care for their diabetic patients should take into account their needs while creating a meal plan suitable to their needs. A healthy diet is one that is rich in nutrients but low in fat and calories. The main compounds are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. While many of us already know that a healthy diet is suitable for the patients, here is a list of 5 foods that are actually not so healthy for a diabetic patient and what they should stay away from.

  1. Corn
corn-Diabetic Patient

Corn is strictly prohibited for patients with type 2 diabetes, even in the form of cereals, muesli and popcorn. 

Why isn’t corn a good option?

This food contains many starches and, because of this, it significantly loads the pancreas. An alternative may be a variety of cabbage salads which are allowed with the addition of boiled or canned corn grains, with herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, cauliflower. Meat, poultry, or fish, mostly boiled, baked in foil, or stewed (with a little oil) may be added to salads.

  1. Rice
rice-Diabetic Patient

Though white rice is valuable for its content of B vitamins, which are responsible for the health of the nervous system, it isn’t the best option for a diabetic patient. Rice takes an active part in the production of energy necessary for movement and general life but the glycemic index of white milled rice is 65-70. That is why it is better to switch to alternatives such as barley, oatmeal, wheat bread or cereals high in fiber. However, you do not have to get rid of rice completely, you may just try out brown rice. Brown rice is often used for weight loss, as well as for cleansing the body because such food is rich in fiber, folic acid and vitamin B1.

  1. Sausages
Sausages-Diabetic Patient

Smoked, salted and fried foods should not be consumed. This is because, with the way they are processed, even dietary meat and fish become harmful for diabetics. In general, most types of meat and fish are included in the diet of diabetics due to their low carbohydrate content. It is worth excluding only from mutton, the high-fat content of which can cause the development of various pathologies in patients with diabetes mellitus.

  1. Sweet Yogurts
sweet yogurts-Diabetic Patient

When choosing dairy products for people with type 2 diabetes, home attendants need to focus on their fat content. Sweet yogurts, fatty sour cream and cheese are not the best choices. The rest of the dairy and fermented milk products are allowed and even highly recommended. People with diabetes can eat homemade yogurt, but low-fat yogurt is prohibited. Diabetes patients cannot have sugar, fruits and various additives.

  1. White bread
white bread-Diabetic Patient

The high content of fast carbohydrates makes wheat flour a dangerous product for diabetics. This is due to the composition of this food since it is baked from premium flour. Because of the carbohydrates shock dose, such bread does not contain anything useful for health. Conversely, even a small loaf of white bread can lead to high blood glucose readings. Diabetes patients should stay away from sweet buns. As an alternative try bread made from rye flour, wholemeal flour or bran.

A heart healthy meal plan is especially important for diabetic patients and requires certain knowledge and attention. First, exclude fatty foods, sweets and alcohol. As their home health aide,  pay attention to the patient’s well-being after consuming certain foods. For more information on how to meal prep, contact All Heart Homecare Agency. Our nurses would gladly inform you of the details for properly caring for elderly patients with different diseases.