A personal/home care aide is a specialized healthcare worker who visits patients in home and assists them in daily activities that these individuals may not be able to perform themselves. The duties of a personal/home care aide may include simple tasks such as changing lightbulbs or helping with light housework, as well as more involved, hands-on work such as assisting home-bound patients with bathing, toilet needs, and feeding. In almost all cases, the patient may have medicines that must be taken during the day, and the aide facilitates this as well.
A personal/home care aide typically works as part of a medical group or clinical staff either as an employee or independent subcontractor. The aide typically conducts an extensive review of the patient's needs and their expected duties. The aide visits the patient's home on an agreed-upon schedule, performing whatever duties are required. Some aides visit daily, while others may only need to come a few times per week.
The requirements to be a personal/home care aide depend on the level of care being provided. Persons performing only light work with patients in their homes may only need a relevant professional background and certification. For those working with more acute and chronic patient needs, typically a nursing education and additional/more time-intensive certification are required. The hours an aide works can vary, but typically include daytime hours during the week in the home of contracted patients.
Personal / Home Care Aide 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.