Home Care Aide

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Home Health/Care Aide or Personal Care Assistant
Jacqueline Caldwell
Continued Issues Trends Health Law Ethics in Health and Human Services HHS435 Elizabeth Kane
March 14, 2011

Home Health/Care Aide or Personal Assistant
Our elderly population is living longer than ever before and not all of them are entering into a nursing home. They are choosing to stay in their own home or their caregiver is choosing it for them. Some caregivers are choosing to move their ageing love one in the home with them. Whatever the case may be, there is an increased need for some type of home health as it applies to the elderly population. “Medicare will pay the full cost of professional help only if the physician certifies that your parent requires nursing care and if the care is provided by a Medicare-certified home health care agency” (Williams, para. 5). There is also a need for home health as it applies to our disabled population. With this in mind, it is believed that obtaining a job as a home health aide, home care aide or personal assistant would be beneficial. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the profession. It will include a description of the occupation, unique and general aspects, and the historical perspective on federal laws of home care. It will also include a discussion on confidentiality, NOHSE standards, and ethical responsibilities of the profession.

Work as a home health aide, home care aide, or a personal aide not only requires working with the elderly population but, other vulnerable populations which include the chronically ill, the disable, and the mentally challenged. They may see three to four clients per day or one client daily. The job is challenging because it requires that the worker turn their client if bed ridden and help them stand. Therefore, the worker will need to be careful of back injury. The worker will also need to be careful of diseases and infections (BLS). Home health aides, home care aides and personal care assistants are one in the same with some exceptions. A home health aide is required to receive prescribed training in order to work for a licensed organization. A proficiency examination is also required. Home care aides and personal care assistants do not require prescribed training or proficiency examination. However, they do have an array of requirements that are different in each state (BLS).

Employment for a home health aide, home care aide, and personal care assistant can be found in a private home, a nursing home, assisted living home, or in a independent living home. “Because mechanical lifting devices available in institutional settings are not as frequently available in patients' homes, home health aides must take extra care to avoid injuries resulting from overexertion when they assist patients” (BLS, para. 9). Organizations such as hospice and the public health department are other places of employment but usually require that the worker has a certification. These organizations are compensated through Medicaid and Medicare. Employment is also found through private organizations that are compensated through Medicaid, Medicare, and The Veterans Administration (BLS).

The growth rate for the home health field is expected to grow tremendously in the next few years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment of home health aides is projected to grow by 50 percent between 2008 and 2018 which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of personal and home care aides is expected to grow by 46 percent from 2008 to 2018 which is much faster than the average for all occupations (BLS, Job Outlook, para. 2).

Unique and General Aspects
A high school diploma or specialized degree is not required to be employed as a home health aide, home care aide or personal care assistant. However, they are required to possess basic housekeeping skills, prepare food, and to be considerate...
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