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Hospice Care: What is the Role of home health aides?

Hospice care patients need help with various things. Whether it is a medical professional who can administer their injections and set up the medical equipment or someone to help them with their daily chores and personal hygiene activities such as bathing.

A hospice care team usually consists of different individuals from different professional backgrounds to help the patients. A physician, a registered nurse, a grief counsellor and the home health aide are some of the common and essential roles in a hospice service.

The role of a home health aide is crucial to hospice care. The home health aides help the patients with everyday activities and personal care services. This may range from giving the patients their medicines on time, to feeding and bathing them.

Inevitably, home health aides spend a lot of time with the patient. Home health aides play such a crucial role in the hospice service team.

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Tasks that home health aides carry out

1. Connecting Link

Home health aides have experience and training to deal with the patient’s daily requirements. They often have a fair understanding of the patient’s condition. They act as a link between the medical team and the caregivers since they spend the maximum time with patients and understand the needs of an end-of-life patient. They are well versed with hospice services and tend to help families with more than just daily tasks and chores.

2. Daily Activities

Home health aides’ role mainly comprises helping the patients with their everyday needs. This includes-

Bathing

Bathing service

A lot of hospice care patients need help bathing. Whether its a shower, bed baths or a tub bath, if a hospice patient is experiencing decreasing mobility, home health aides can help them bathe.

Dressing

Dressing service

This includes dressing them after baths, doing their hair and makeup if need be. All of us know that getting bathed and dressed everyday can make you feel better and home health aides can help patients who struggle with these chores.

Grooming

Grooming service

From cutting nails to shaving beards, grooming is an essential part of hygiene and should be treated as such. Home health aides help with everyday grooming needs.

Companionship

Companionship to patients

Home health aides spend the maximum time with hospice patients. They may accompany the patients on their daily stroll or for other activities. Receiving treatment for a terminal illness can be isolating, hence it is important to have some companionship during hospice care.

Handling medical Equipment

Handling medical equipment to patients

If the patient is on life support or needs catheter bags, the home health aides can monitor the setup and manage it on a daily basis. This is a crucial part of the hospice care service and helps have a professional oversight over the patient’s medical condition.

Vital Signs

Vital Signs Check

Since home health aides take care of seriously ill patients, one of their main objectives is to check the vitals of the patient and report any anomalies. This helps identify new symptoms of progression of the disease to provide the best medical care for the hospice patients.

Exercising

Exercising

Exercising helps release serotonin and alleviates mood. In many instances it is a great way to ease symptoms and tends to improve the patients’ mood as well as vitals. Home health aides help patients exercise regularly.

Conclusion

The home health aides should be empathetic and compassionate individuals. They should be skilled professionals who can dedicatedly look after the needs of the patient and assist them to improve their quality of life without hurting their dignity.

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