Home healthcare aides are typically caring people who want to help others stay in their homes and remain as independent as possible. If you are considering hiring a home health aide for a loved one, you may be wondering about the full extent of an aide's job duties. Depending on where you live in the country and what additional education an aide has, here is what most aides can and should be able to do.
Personal cares refers to:
- Denture care and/or oral hygiene
- Deodarant application
- Pericare (washing of genitals, anal opening and the crack of the buttocks, as needed)
- Washing and drying the skin in between folds and flaps of flesh
- Ostomy care
- Catheter and drainage bag care
Essentially, if the cares provided get up close and personal to another person's body, it is considered a personal care.
Meal Preparation and Nutrition
Sometimes some elderly clients who can no longer cook for themselves or feed themselves need meal preparation and nutrition support. Home health aides provide this service on an as-needed basis. If your loved one requires a special diet due to diabetes, lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or other health reason, the aide you hire should not only be made aware of this but also have some experience with specialty meal prep and dietary restrictions.
Dressing and Undressing
Many senior citizens and the elderly have problems with dressing and undressing because they have arthritis or stiff, achy muscles. In the course of caring for your loved one's personal needs, an aide is also responsible for dressing and undressing your loved one and making sure that your family member or friend is dressed appropriately and for the weather outside. The aide should also pay attention to anything that has soiled, soaked or dirtied the clients' clothes, and help the clients change into clean garments as soon as possible. This ensures dignity of life and helps clients keep a positive self-image.
Granted, most senior citizens and people who need home health care are not likely to make large messes all over their homes. However, aides are still responsible for taking out the trash, removing soiled disposable undergarments from the home, washing laundry and bedding, and generally keeping the home as a safe environment for the client who lives there. Light housekeeping is almost always a requirement that comes with the job, but if you want more extensive housekeeping for your loved one, then consider hiring an aide from a company that provides the extra housekeeping services or hire a maid along with the home healthcare aides.