Most home health caregivers work inside clients' homes to help provide for their needs and even serve as companions, and they are generally responsible for ensuring their clients' health in regular, routine ways, such as with cooking, housekeeping, and hygiene services. They may be required to run errands such as taking clients shopping or to the doctor, and must also monitor any changes in their clients' moods or health and report them to their supervisor.
Although the job can be rewarding, it may occasionally require caregivers to deal with angry, confused, or distressed patients, so it is essential to be able to handle stress and work well in such situations. They must also have great attention to detail, interpersonal skills, the willingness to help, strong social and time-management skills, and the ability to deal with many different types of personalities. Some clients may be in pain or physically weak, which should always be taken into consideration.
Because some caregivers run errands for clients, having reliable transportation is required by some employers. Candidates for the position must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years old, while some states require a HHA certificate or another certification for eligibility.
Home Health Caregiver Tasks
Check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration.
Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.
Maintain records of patient care, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.
Direct patients in simple prescribed exercises or in the use of braces or artificial limbs.