All You Need to Know About Home Health Care Duties
Some say that being a home health caregiver is a calling. Others say it is all about will power. What we know for sure is that it requires the utmost level of commitment. There are no formal education requirements to be a home health care assistant. However, there are certificate programs and home health agencies that offer some direction but most of the training is done on the job.
You should contact UEW Health to learn if home health care duties can be compensated under The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).
Home health care duties may include caring for the elderly, mentally ill, disabled or terminally ill. Regardless of whom you are caring for, there are standard home health care duties including:
Observing and recording the patient’s mental and physical condition
One of the most crucial duties of a home care assistant is to observe the patient’s mental and physical condition. Observing the physical condition of the patient is paramount to noting if their condition is either improving or deteriorating.
It is harder to observe a patient’s mental condition as they can hide it from the caregiver. It requires constant engagement with the patient and truly listening to their grievances.
Recording the condition of the patient is also important to have a reference as to the patient’s progress over time. The caregiver should not only have a keen eye but also be organized in their record-keeping to efficiently carry out their duties.
A vital component of home health care duties is housekeeping. A patient who deserves round the clock care will also need assistance cleaning all the facets of their surroundings.
Housekeeping as part of home health care duties include doing laundry for the patient, going shopping for groceries and other related household items, preparing meals for the patient, cleaning utensils, cleaning the household and going on errands as per the patient’s requests.
Housekeeping also includes cleaning the patient’s waste and cleaning the patient if they cannot do it themselves. This is the hardest part of housekeeping but it is the most vital.
Helping the patient use assisting equipment
A lot of the patients who require home health care will be prescribed specialized equipment like canes, walkers or utensils that will help them be more active or at least enable them to perform some activities so that they are not completely docile.
One of the jobs of a home care assistant is to help patients use the equipment for their own benefit. The caregiver may have to convince the patient to use the equipment if they are opposed to it.
The caregiver will then proceed to encourage the patient to use the equipment regularly until they achieve a level of proficiency or until their condition improves.
Helping the patient observe dietary and nutritional guidelines
A patient requiring home health care will likely be prescribed a particular diet that is suitable to help them recover from their specific condition. A dietary guideline is a priceless component of recovering from any illness. (CH Ellenbaker, 2008)
A home caregiver should ensure that the patient follows the guidelines to the letter. He/she should withstand any sort of resistance from the patient and be strict with them if they must.
They can also help the patient understand how the change in nutrition will benefit them. More knowledge should help break down any opposition against sticking to the diet.
Helping family members learn how to take care of the patient
A caregiver may not always be present. They may fall ill or take a much-needed break. The family may also want to take the patient out for a trip somewhere without bringing along a caregiver. If a replacement is not possible, the family will have to take care of their loved one.
It is the duty of the home healthcare giver to show the family members the day to day processes of looking after the patients. This includes acquiring and preparing their food, giving them medicine and cleaning them if applicable.
The home care assistant should ensure there is as little change to the patient’s routine as possible.
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Home healthcare duties require commitment. They apply to the elderly, mentally ill, disabled and terminally ill.
Home healthcare duties include observing and recording the patient’s mental and physical condition, housekeeping, helping the patient use specialized equipment, helping the patient maintain a prescribed diet and helping the patient’s family learn how to care for the patient.