Home Health

Why Choose Home Health Care?

October 20th, 2016

Increasingly, families are making the decision to have health care provided in their own homes. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day in 2011, the need for quality, affordable health care becomes an increased concern across the U.S. The aging baby-boomers – it’s anticipated that by 2030 the number of people over 65 will exceed 70 million – are now in a position where they need extra help with chronic conditions and daily activities, but don’t want to lose the independence and comfort of their homes. In addition, the high costs of hospital and facility stays can cause a frightening financial burden. While not everyone who needs health care assistance is a senior citizen – like new mothers and singles living without family nearby – the focus is often on the baby-boom generation.

There is scientific evidence that supports the belief that people heal faster and feel better when allowed to be at home. Certainly the amount of germs and sources of infection are less when in a home environment over an institution. The psychological benefits are undeniable; when asked, most people who are hospitalized with an illness “just want to go home.” This also allows family to stay with the person in need, providing them with the knowledge that they are still in the loop of their loved-one’s health issues.

Routine can be essential for physical and emotional well-being. A home health care provider will help maintain the discipline of scheduled medications and therapies within a framework of personal routine. Allowing a patient the comfort of keeping their normal, daily routine in their own home adds to the quality of life and sense of safety. In addition, the health care provider can watch for changes in habits, attitudes, and demeanor that can be indicators of larger problems. The emotional well-being extends to those who live with the patient, as it can be difficult to care for a family member with so many other demands – like work or children – that divide their time. Lack of health care knowledge can put a strain on relationships between family members. With the help of a trained home caregiver, family can enjoy being with each other while still getting the best attention to health issues.

Sometimes, it is the simple things that can mean a huge difference in the health of someone in need of care. Having a health care provider come in a few times a week to fix a meal, assist with personal hygiene, and make sure that items are picked up for easy movement about the house can prevent illness or injury from poor nutrition, infection, or accidents. This type of service is also very beneficial to new mothers or those recovering from surgeries, etc. that are without the luxury of nearby family or friends to help during the first few weeks home.

An additional advantage to the comfort and health benefits is that it makes more economic sense to have a provider in your home. Lengthy stays in a hospital or institution can add up to thousands of dollars very quickly, compounding the stress in your life. By comparison, home health care is significantly cheaper, giving you more options with your health care dollar.

A home health agency is strictly regulated, meeting federal requirements and regulations to assure you that your home care provider is highly trained. While they are not a substitute for a doctor’s care, they can be an essential supplement to daily routine; keeping you healthier, and happier for years to come.

What to Expect in Home Health Aide Classes

October 20th, 2016

When you certify as a Home Health Aide (HHA) it qualifies you to work in any number of home care settings, and prepares you for a gratifying career as a professional caregiver. Home health care is a rapidly expanding field and even now the demand for home health and personal care trained professionals is at an all-time high. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has also made quite an amazing job outlook projection suggesting that about 1.3 million new Home Health Aide jobs are needed by 2020.

Formal Training Program

A career in home health care is gratifying in a sense that it allows for flexible hours and gives you the preference to make a difference in the lives of others. All you can do to become a certified Home Health Aide professional is to complete a formal training program. The formal training you receive prepares you to work as a personal care provider in a wide variety of home care settings. The training is doable with minimum prerequisites. You only have to pass a criminal background check and provide a recent negative test result for tuberculosis. And unlike most Certified Nurse Aide training programs, applicants to Home health Aide classes and training programs are usually not required to have a high school diploma or GED. The training curricula itself, however, must meet Federal Guidelines and those of the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).

There is a Federal-mandated minimum requirement of 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must take place in a clinical environment. Training can be completed in just a matter of weeks and you will then be eligible to sit for your State certification exam which includes hands on training with real patients. And all accredited Home Health Aide classes and training programs must cover the fundamentals of both home care and basic health-related sciences, and a dedicated clinical component as specifically spelled out in Title 42 of the U.S. Code for Public Health. Individual State requirements may apply which may increase the number of class hours and the amount of material you have to cover.

Tasks

Once certified, you are allowed to perform basic health-related tasks (e.g. checking of a patient’s pulse rate), but the majority of a HHA’s work shift is usually spent assisting clients with housekeeping and personal care at their place of residence. During a typical work day, a HHA can expect to perform the following tasks:

  • Maintains safe, secure, and healthy client environment by following standards and procedures, following prescribed dietary requirements and nutrition standards.
  • Assists client with bathing, dressing, and grooming.
  • Helps schedule appointments and transportation for client.
  • Provide client with companionship and monitor well-being.
  • Assists with transfers and ambulation including use of cane, walker, and wheelchair.
  • Assists with medication as specified on plan of care.
  • Provides routine skin care.
  • Assists self-directing client with use of oxygen equipment.
  • Supports client by providing housekeeping and laundry services; shopping for food and other household requirements; preparing and serving meals.
  • Helps family members care for client by teaching appropriate ways to lift, turn, and re-position client; advising on nutrition, cleanliness and housekeeping.
  • Records client information by making entries in the client journal; notifying nursing supervisor of changing or unusual conditions.
  • Complete all other duties as assigned within the scope of practice.

Overall, what a Home Health Aide profession entails is all about creating a safe, effective environment for a client in terms of health promotion and maintenance, nursing skills, health care administration, client services, good verbal communication, listening, dependability, emotional control and medical teamwork.

Of course, the job involves performing tasks under the direction and supervision of a registered nurse. And the work requires adherence to practice procedures and standards involving a high degree of accuracy in observing, recording and reporting data.

National Average Annual Salary

The national average salary for HHAs looks good. A determination made by PayScale in February 2013 suggests a national average median HHA salary at $29,000. And even better, HHAs who work in large cities earn substantially more than their rural counterparts up to about $34,000 annually.

With such a comprehensive look at home health aide classes including what the classes are; what you will learn and what you should expect to experience in a training program; and what tasks that entail the gratifying job of a HHA professional, you have everything to gain to enroll today in a home health aide classes and training program. You will be properly trained to work in a position that allows for flexible hours and gives you the gratifying opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.