Home care assistants help people with daily living activities. This includes people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or older adults. While long term care and other facilities may use home care assistants to supplement their staff, the most common way services are provided are in a client’s home.
Home health aides (HHA) and personal care aides (PCA) have defined areas of expertise, and it can be unclear what each can and cannot do. Most facilities serving the temporary and permanently disabled community know the differences. New clients who come to us through these facilities often ask us this question: can your home care person do _________?
The first thing to understand is that both home health and personal care assistants are part of the healthcare circle. If we think of the healthcare circle as having the prescribed advice (medicine, dietary, physical) at the center, home health aides are a little further from the center. And personal care aides are a little further out than home health aides.
Personal Care Assistants
Personal care assistants provide a vital role in the comfort and general well being of a patient. Think of all the daily living activities that occur in a home and the list quickly grows. At the direction of medical professionals and family members, the personal care assistant will do the following: cook meals according to the patient’s restrictions, light shopping, companionship, ensuring medications are taken on time, assisting with mobility, bathing and grooming, assisting with physical therapy exercises, light housekeeping, inform medical professionals of uncommon events, be alert and able to act responsibly in cases of emergency
Home Health Aides
Home health aides can do all that the personal care assistant does, and a bit more. They have specialized training and certification that enables them to have an active role in exercise, medication, and specialized diet supervision. While they cannot administer prescribed medication, they can read labels and open containers as needed. They assist with home exercise, physical therapy programs, take and record vital signs such as temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure. They can assist in collecting samples of saliva, urine, and stool.
What a home health assistant cannot do includes: create health plans, prescribe medication, and conduct complex medical procedures. Medical and health activities like TPN feedings, tube insertions, irrigations, medication administration, injections, glucose testing, CPR or adjusting medical devices are not permissible for either home health aides or personal care aides. Other activities that are off-limits for aides include the use of their personal vehicles for transportation, heavy cleaning, or medical tasks not listed on a care plan.
Every adult wanting to recover or maintain a standard of living at home has different needs. Being able to address those needs is what Home Care for Adults does. For specific concerns or questions about how a home care assistant can help to make daily living better, ask questions.
Do you have questions about home care assistance? Want to know if there is something specific that can be done?
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