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Become a Home Health Aide

Home health aides are similar to certified nursing aides, as they are also responsible for providing personal care to individuals. However, they travel to an individual's home to provide this care. Most home health aides work with elderly or disabled individuals, who need care in the home beyond what the family of the individual can provide. Home health aides are responsible for assisting an individual with daily tasks, such as dressing, laundry, housekeeping, bathing, cooking and more. They also change dressings, check the temperature and pulse of a client, and assist with exercises or tasks prescribed by a doctor or therapist. Depending upon the agreement between the home health care provider and the client, home health aides may also travel to and from doctor's appointments with the client or they may transport them in a company vehicle.

Education: Some home health aides do not have to have any formal education or training in order to do their job. However, more and more companies are requiring some type of education or training, due to the fact Medicare will usually only reimburse for services provided by a trained or licensed aide. Most training and education can be completed at a local community college or technical school in a matter of weeks.

Where They Work: Most home health aides work in the homes of clients, although they are employed by companies providing home health services. Other places of employment for home health aides include nursing care facilities and social service agencies.

Average Pay: Home health aides earn an average of $8.50 per hour, although it can range from $6.50 to $13.00.

Job Outlook: There will be a significant increase in the number of jobs for home health aides in coming years due to the growing elderly population. In fact, more jobs for home health aides will exist than CNAs, due to the fact elderly individuals are choosing to remain in their home instead of move into a nursing care facility.

Work Environment: Home health aides work an average of 40 hours per week, although some of this time is spent driving between homes of different clients. While some home health aides do provide care in the evenings, during night or one the weekends, most work their 40 hours during regular working hours.

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