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What Does a Home Care Assistant Do?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 22 June 2014
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A home care assistant is responsible for taking care of a person who is forced to stay at home. Disabled or elderly people are especially in need of care assistants who can help them in their day-to-day living. Home care assistants are not just limited to doing just one type of task, but rather a variety of them.

Some responsibilities of a home care assistant can be grouped under personal care and hygiene. Patients sometimes have difficulties doing the simplest things, such as going to the toilet, drinking a glass of water, or even just walking. The assistant, therefore, intervenes and helps the patient go through his daily routine. This can include bathing, changing clothes, eating, and preparing for bed. Assistants should also be aware of habitual and scheduled activities the patient is accustomed to, such as drinking a glass of milk before sleeping, or going to the park every Tuesday.

Medical care is also part of a home care assistant’s duties, especially when caring for the elderly or for those with unstable medical conditions. The assistant should know how to check the patient’s vital signs several times a day, replace bandages on wounds, and operate certain machines. She should also see to it that medications are regularly taken. Along with these responsibilities, a home care assistant also has the authority to call the doctor if unexpected and unusual situations occur.

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Social services can also assign a home care assistant to act as a guardian for children. This can usually happen when it involves unfit and abusive parents. The assistant can be a mainstay at home, monitoring the parents and their treatment progress, and recording all activities in the home. She can also keep in touch with teachers to see how the children are doing outside of home. Sometimes, assistants would go the extra mile and do the house upkeep, such as washing the laundry, cooking meals, and cleaning.

The working hours of a home care assistant can vary depending on the patient’s needs. Some only work during the day, some during the night, and some even stay permanently with their patients. For all the responsibilities laid upon her, a home care assistant needs many skills and trainings, as well as a healthy mindset to be able to do her tasks well. She should also possess traits such as patience, compassion, and empathy, as the job requires the assistant to be sensitive to her patient’s needs. A friendly personality is also an attribute that benefits both the patient and the home care assistant.

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Discuss this Article

Animandel
Post 3

There are many nurses and other health care workers who work part time as in home care assistants. They will sometimes take on a patient or two, and not charge as much as some of the home care companies charge.

Drentel
Post 2

@Feryll - When my mom was at home living with Alzheimer's, she and my dad would not have been able to make it work without the help of home care assistants. We tried nursing home care, but that didn't work out because my dad was not ready for assisted living in a nursing facility and he didn't want to be separated from mom. The thought of leaving her in a nursing home alone was more than he could bear.

I was able to find two ladies who worked full time as home care providers. One of the women would go to my parents home in the morning and then the other would come in the late afternoon. They cared for my mother and they also talked with my father and kept him company. If you have any experience living with and caring for a person with dementia then you know how much this meant to him.

Unfortunately, my parents had not planned for residential home care and there was no financial help as there would have been had my mother been in a nursing home. It was a financial strain on us all, but worth the effort.

Feryll
Post 1

After reading a report recently about how much better elderly people fair when they are able to stay in their own homes as they age, I have been thinking more about the options my parents will have down the road. Right now, my parents are still active and years from retirement, but I would like to know what their choices in health care are should they ever be unable to fully look after themselves.

I like the idea of having someone come into their home and help them rather than them having to move to some type of facility. Does anyone out there have any real time experience with home care assistants?

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