What Is a Home Health Care Aide?

Home health care aides are nursing assistants who play an important role in patient care by visiting and caring for patients in their own homes. They assist those with chronic illnesses and disabilities that prevent them from performing their daily activities. Home health care aides must be registered and certified, and they are required to have training to work with this patient population. 

The great part about becoming a home health care aide is that this role allows you to help people stay in their homes while recovering from medical conditions or living with ongoing, chronic health concerns. You may work with younger individuals or seniors who wish to age in place

Definition and Goals of a Home Health Care Aide

A home health care aide — also called a home health aide (HHA) — is an individual who assists patients with their daily tasks at their homes as part of a larger health service. They may have one of several goals each day, such as providing companionship or basic assistance with meals or bathing. 

Common home health care aide duties include:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Preparing meals
  • Light cleaning
  • Performing light physical therapy
  • Performing light occupational therapies
  • Doing laundry 
  • Assisting in other daily living activities

HHAs fall into one of three categories, though these may overlap based on a patient's care plan:

  1. Companion care, which places a heavy focus on socializing with the individual receiving care and providing assistance with appointments or transportation
  2. Personal care, which includes helping with the usual activities of daily living
  3. Homemaker care, which may include cleaning, laundry, and other basic chores

It's important to note that HHAs provide nonmedical support to patients and their family members, who may need respite during workdays. In some respects, they are similar to social workers, aiming to help patients get the best quality of life at home. 

Those requiring medical care may need a home health nurse or skilled nursing care instead. 

Certification and Educational Requirements for HHAs

The exact qualifications for home health care aides will depend on the state. However, the general guidelines for a home health aide career while working for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must take place on the job. Some employers may require personal care aides to have a home health care aide certification. 

The Impact of Home Health Care Aides on Patient Well-Being

Home health care aides can significantly impact the emotional and physical well-being of the patients they serve. Patients get the opportunity to stay in familiar surroundings as they recover and receive support and gentle guidance in the comfort of their homes. 

The convenience and comfort of this arrangement sets it apart and gives it an advantage over recovery in other settings where patients may feel anxious or stressed. Additionally, patients free beds in hospitals and other in-demand healthcare services by staying at home, making room for the people who need the most acute medical attention and care. 

How Agencies Can Better Support Home Health Care Aides

Home health care aides have the opportunity to bond with patients and make a real difference in their lives at home while providing personal care services. Home Health Agencies can better support their aides with resources like WorldView. At WorldView, we simplify home health care with our all-in-one efficiency hub, helping reduce employee burnout by streamlining your daily processes.


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