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Home Health Assistant

Home health aides take vital signs, and they assist patients in moving from the bed to the bathroom and/ or change bedpans and garments, and they can administer basic medications.

During home health aide training, you’ll learn many skills that will help you provide all types of personal care for your client. When it comes to bathing, dressing, and using the toilet, you may be caring for a person who has trouble walking, so you might need to transfer them to a wheelchair or help them walk with a cane or walker. Or, if they can’t walk any longer, you may have to use a mechanical lift (a machine or tool that helps move them). Helping someone stand, walk, bathe, and get dressed can be physically demanding, which is why loved ones need your help.

Sometimes clients may be unable to get out of bed, which is why home health aides learn how to give a sponge bath and how to provide hair care in a bed. For someone who isn’t moving much, it’s also important for an HHA to provide range of motion exercises (if prescribed by a doctor). Moving and positioning a patient with a draw sheet (a small sheet that is placed under them) is a very helpful skill to prevent bed sores and skin breakdown, as is regular skin care.

Grooming can become really difficult, because it requires steady, nimble movements that your client may no longer be capable of performing. You can expect to help your clients with shaving, brushing or styling their hair, applying makeup, cleaning and filing nails, getting dressed, mouth care and denture care, and more.

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