Guest Post: Home Health Aides

Home Health Aides: the Unsung Heroes of Healthcare

It takes a special type of person to succeed in the field of home care. Home health aides’ commitment to their patients really does make them the unsung heroes of the healthcare field. Often times, after patients are discharged, they recall the names of their home health aides and write them letters of gratitude.

Home health aides assist patients during very vulnerable times. Hospice home health aides, for example, provide comfort to patients near the ends of their lives.

A home health aide is sometimes the only person a patient sees on a given day. Therefore, aides go beyond providing much needed medical help; they also provide compassion and an emotional connection. They might be the only person to whom a patient expresses their emotions and thoughts. They’re typically a patient’s housekeeper, caretaker, and compassionate listener.

These compassionate care givers work on the front lines of healthcare to assist seniors, people with disabilities, people recovering from illnesses, and others unable to take care of themselves. Home health aides help their clients with daily activities such as grooming, hygiene, and eating. They give clients their medication and also perform tasks such as dressing wounds, changing bandages, and applying topical medications.

Home health aides also clean their client’s home, do their laundry, and changes their linens. They plan nutritious meals and shop for and prepare the food. They also run errands for their clients and provide much needed time off for family caregivers.

Testimonials

Here are a few excerpts from letters written by actual patients in which they express their thanks for their home health aides:

“Just a note to thank you for the time you spent with my sister and me. You were very helpful and your sensitive manner put us at ease so that we could understand and deal with mother better at such an emotional time. You folks who work with ill people are very special and I for one thank you for being that way.”

“I want to thank you for sending Dolores as my homemaker. She does a great job; she sees what needs to be done and does it! This is so helpful to me. She’s very pleasant to have around.”

“Thank you so much for your promptness in responding to my need. I must say, Ellen was excellent. She was so warm and kind. I responded favorably to her at once. She worked hard and seemed to fit my rhythm so well. I had been quite shocked by my recent experience and was feeling quite low. Her spirit and enthusiasm had such a positive effect on me. I think she is a gem and I am so grateful to have had her come into my life and care for me.”

(Source: Metropolitan Home Health Services, Inc.)

Home health aides make a huge difference in the lives of their patients and their family members. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of home health aides is only $20,610. It’s no question that these unsung heroes who play a vital role in improving the quality of life of their patients deserve a whole lot more!

Brian Jenkins writes about the home health aide career field, as well as other careers in allied health, for the Riley Guide.

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