Home health aides provide care and assistance to clients who are disabled, ill, or cognitively impaired. They often provide senior-aged individuals assistance with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and light housekeeping. They typically work for a certified home health or hospice agency under the supervision of a medical professional, such as a registered nurse. Some are hired directly by the family of a client. Job responsibilities of home health aides include:
- Assisting physically challenged, medically ill, and senior-aged clients with daily personal tasks
- Checking clients' vital signs and administering medications
- Helping with prescribed exercises, braces, and artificial limbs
- Providing companionship and emotional support
According to the BLS, the employment of home health aides is expected to grow 69% from 2010 to 2020. The health needs and the increasing size of the country's baby-boom and elderly population is stimulating this faster than average job growth. Senior citizens and other clients with health needs are relying more on home care which is typically more comfortable and less expensive than nursing home and hospital care.Read More
Job Growth for
Home Health Aide
Becoming a Home Health Aide
While there are no formal education requirements for home health aides, some states require certification from a community college, vocational school, or health care agency. Employers of home health aide workers often provide on-the-job training or a formal certification program. Most home health aide workers hold at least a high school diploma.
To work in a certified home health or hospice facility, home health aides must successfully complete a formal training program and a standardized competency exam. Since these facilities receive government funding, home health aides must also comply with certain regulations. Some classes in a typical home health aide training or certification program may include:
- Maintaining a Clean Home Environment
- Principles of Infection Control
- Pain & Medication
Outside of certified health or hospice facilities, employers may favor job candidates who are certified. The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) offers certification to home health aides. Additional home health aide training and certification can lead to career opportunities and advancement.