Deciding what type of care is most appropriate for yourself or your loved one can be a difficult task, especially since the roles of various types of providers can be similar. Home health aides are similar to homemaker companions in what type of services they provide, but they do differ. In this article, we will discuss what home health aides do, the differences compared to a companion, and how to decide if choosing one is right for your situation.
What do Home Health Aides Do?
Home health caretakers have a similar responsibility to that of companions in that they are there to provide company, supervision and emotional support.
They can also assist you or your loved ones in tasks such as light housekeeping, driving, accompaniment to doctors’ appointments, shopping, entertainment, and etc.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between home health aides and companion caregivers is that they receive more extensive training and education. The requirements may vary per state, but a level of certification is normally required. Some of their specific duties include:
Aiding with the 6 ADL’s, or activities of daily living, which include bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, toileting, and transferring.
Checking vital signs such as blood pressure, respiration, and pulse.
Monitoring their client’s health and factors such as level of exercise, how much and what they are eating/drinking, as well as bathroom habits.
Having an awareness of the action plan for emergencies such as accidents, heart attack, stroke, and fire hazards.
Mobility and light exercise assistance.
Family member education on best practices for dealing with the care needs at hand.
Who Would Benefit from Home Health Aide Care?
Home Health Aide services can be very beneficial for those that have at least a decent level of health and are not in need of intense medical care. For example, if you or your loved one just needs some supervision and companionship, but also needs some more physical assistance, this type of caregiver would be ideal. Requiring the “hands-on” touch is really the differentiating factor of when you should be in the care of a health aide rather than a companion.
For example, for an individual who is in a weak state, such as in recovering from a surgery where they need assistance in things such as the 6 ADLS, they would most likely get the most benefit from having a home health aide by their side.
Having a home health aide around might also be ideal if your loved one is prone or at risk for more serious conditions since they can monitor, measure, and record vitals. However, if this is a prominent and known condition to where your loved one is in need of more serious medical supervision, they could still use a health aide for the majority of the day, but would more than likely need a “check-in” supervisory type visit from an in-home skilled nurse. This can usually be done within an hour.
Additionally, a home health aide is great to have around if there needs to be supervision after a recent health scare or doctor visit in which existing conditions and further potential developments need to be closely monitored and communicated back to the physician.
While it’s important to have a general understanding of the differences between a home health aide and homemaker companion, don’t feel like all the decision making is on you. In contacting a licensed home health agency, you will consult with a registered nurse supervisor, whom will make the appropriate recommendations.
If you are interested in possibly hiring a home health aide in the Palm Beach County area, or are simply searching for more information on home health care, at Unified Pledge Home Health we always offer a FREE consultation and care plan estimate to review your situation and provide you with the information needed to make your decision!
Hiring professionals from Unified Pledge comes with the following advantages:
Level II FBI background checks of all staff
Driving history checks
Companions, Health Aides, LPNs are our direct employees and not independent contractors
Constant communication to patients, family, and care team
Registered Nurse supervision is ongoing with every care plan
Contact us today for a free consultation by Supervisory Nurse at 561-910-8770!