Working in home care is unlike other health care settings: you have the privilege of working with people in the comfort of their own homes. You are invited into the private space of somebody who needs your help. And although some of your clients may be difficult and the work challenging at times, you should know that you are constantly making a positive difference in another person’s life—and that’s the best reward of all.
The three main duties of a home health aide are, assistance with personal care or activities of daily living, light housekeeping and companionship.
1. Assistance with Personal Care
87% of seniors want to stay in their own home as long as possible, but many need assistance with their everyday tasks to do so. As a home health aide, you get to help keep seniors living where they are happiest and most comfortable.
In some cases, you are the support a family needs to keep their aging parent(s) safe and independent at home. For somebody who is struggling with daily personal care tasks such as bathing and dressing, your presence as a home health aide makes all the difference.
Your work is not limited to seniors; you can also help care for infants, children, and adults with wounds, injuries, or chronic conditions. Many home health aides love that they can specialize in pediatrics or adult care if they choose. You’ll have the opportunity to be matched with clients who need your skills..
Keeping a house clean and livable can be overwhelming for someone who is struggling to safely care for themselves.
If you have ever been injured or sick at home, you know how hard it is to keep up with the daily housekeeping tasks. As a home health aide, you provide clients with the reassurance that those tasks will be done even when they can’t do them.
Your assistance can also take stress off the client’s family members. When you take over many of the day-to-day responsibilities, the family can relax and focus on spending time with their loved one.
Research has shown that social relationships are vital to your mental and physical health. When you provide care with compassion, excellence and reliability, you are not only helping your client, you are improving your own health as well.
Helping others can decrease your blood pressure, reduce your stress level, and help you find meaning and purpose in your life. An added bonus of being a home health aide is you are getting paid to brighten people’s days!
Your companionship duties may involve looking at family pictures, singing a song together as you help the client get ready for the day, or making a rough day better with a gentle smile. Seniors, especially, can feel isolated and lonely, so your company is something they look forward to. And if you’re like many home health aides, you’ll appreciate and value the relationship just as much.
Rewards of Working as a Home Health Aide
Working one on one with a client in their home means you get to build a strong and meaningful relationship with each client you see. In addition to personal care and housekeeping tasks, you can spend the time listening to your client’s stories about when he was younger or laughing and enjoying a joke that the two of you share.
Working in home care not only gives you a meaningful and valuable profession, it also allows you to enjoy a flexible schedule and a career in one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of jobs available for home health aides will increase by 41% by 2026, so there will ample opportunity for ongoing work.
A career as a home health aide gives you the chance to do important and significant work that makes the world a better place. Now that’s a powerful job description!