As the aging senior population throughout the U.S. continues to enjoy increasingly longer lifespans, health care is becoming a very popular subject. Hospital stays and living in long-term care facilities can be quite costly and many people prefer to have housekeeping assistance and health care brought right into the homes in which their loved ones live.
A home health aide is a highly skilled professional who can help seniors and other individuals who are experiencing challenges with occupational therapy, physical therapy, language and speech rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation and any other needs pertaining to injury recovery or recovery from a medical event such as surgery, heart attack or stroke. Although “in-home health care” is a very broadly used term, the type of care that it entails can vary from one discipline to the next.
For instance, a Certified Nurse’s Aide or CNA is a person who can assist seniors with daily living activities like meal preparation, toileting and bathing, as well as assisting with ADLs, checking vital signs, performing shopping errands, assisting with range of motion activities and exercises (ROMs), meal planning, and the disbursement of treatments and medications. CNAs are also capable of providing essential emotional support and social stimulation while observing notable changes in cognition and behavior.
Both seniors and their loved ones tend to prefer home health care. It enables seniors to continue living in their own familiar home environments, while allowing them to enjoy a sense of autonomy and independence, and of belonging to a community. Moreover, essential companionship is provided through home health care which can alleviate negative emotions such as loneliness, anxiety, and even senior isolation, which are all common issues after hospitalization, or when seniors are temporarily or permanently housebound due to illness or recovery.
Seniors in need of basic daily care can gain great benefits from a compassionate and competent professional who offers services directly in the home. People who live in skilled nursing facilities tend to have shorter life spans than seniors who remain in their own homes, even though they may be dealing with similar health issues. Experts assert that being institutionalized provides seniors with less love, comfort, familiarity and friendship than these individuals would receive if remaining in their own homes.
The state in which home health care aides function requires these professionals to be duly certified by the local department of health. This person will need to take and pass a certified licensing exam before becoming a licensed CNA, and he or she will additionally need to pass a background check and drug testing.
Certain states like California, currently lack set standards concerning the requirements for home health aides. In states like Florida, state licenses are mandated for numerous health care services.
More often than not, a CNA will assist debilitated, aging, or rehab patients with their daily tasks. A government-certified HHA will have higher pay, greater job opportunities and advanced qualifications.
As the number of seniors throughout the nation continues to increase, the need for more qualified health care professionals will invariably increase as well. An HHA is a vital bridge between the person needing care and the RN or registered nurse.
There is currently a shortage of people who are willing to seek employment within the health care industry. Due to this fact, salaries for these positions are on the rise and qualified and seasoned home health aides can make as much as $30k each year. Moreover, many practitioners start their careers as home health aides and then complete the additional educational requirements to become RNs or registered nurses.
For greater opportunities, a rewarding salary, increased personal satisfaction and a chance to advance your career, health care is currently a very rewarding industry throughout the United States.