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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: 09 April 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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