When a family member becomes homebound due to health conditions and complications, many families assume they must handle all of the non-medical needs of the loved one. However, families may have another option. While home health aides offer medical support to the people they care for, medical care is far from the only work they do.
In fact, some of the most valuable services offered by home health aides aren't directly related to a person's medical status at all. Here are just five of the many ways a home health aide is permitted to help you or a loved one.
1. Cooking Meals
A healthy diet is so crucial to the condition of a person, especially when they're ill, that meal preparation is almost a form of health care. Most people that qualify for the help of an in-home caregiver struggle with cooking for themselves due to mobility issues or bed confinement.
Because even heating up canned or frozen food is often impossible for these individuals, home health care aides play an essential role in keeping them well-fed. Aides are happy to prepare meals that fit both the personal preferences and health needs of the patient.
Many aides work with the traveling nurse or doctor managing the care to ensure meals are offered at the right times to complement any medications or other treatments the person receives throughout the day.
2. Planning Appointments
While some patients that require in-home health care are completely homebound, most of them still travel at least occasionally for doctor's appointments. Important legal and family events also require the coordination of transportation services or a willing driver.
Home health care aides are able to offer help with coordinating and setting appointments. Aides can contact doctors or other service providers, set a time and date, and arrange for transportation. Some services also allow their aides to act as a driver for the patient, depending on the insurance requirements and state regulations.
3. Accompanying the Patient
Many people receiving in-home care are still relatively ambulatory and would love to get out of the house more. Not only can an in-home aide make plans for a patient to travel, but an aide can also accompany the patient along the way to make sure there are no falls or other issues. While an in-home aide provides most of their services within the patient's home, aides are not strictly limited to remaining at the personal residence unless there's a company policy dictating it.
4. Cleaning Up
When preparing meals is too much for someone, more strenuous home activities like vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning the bathtub are also out of the question. Yet staying healthy becomes harder if you're living in an environment with too much dirt and dust.
Light and general cleaning is one of the main non-medical tasks handled by a home health aide. You or your loved one can trust that the aide will take care not to damage any delicate decorations or furniture as they clean.
5. Encouraging Exercise
Mobility issues or a bed-ridden lifestyle makes it practically impossible for many people to exercise enough. Trained aides can help each person get as much exercise as possible without putting them at risk for injury.
Even when someone can't leave their bed, gently moving their limbs back and forth encourages good circulation and prevents muscle tissue from atrophying. Home health care aides aren't physical therapists, but aides do work with physical therapists to determine what kind of exercise is best for each patient.
Chat with one of our service coordinators here at Angelic Health Care Inc. to find out how in-home health care could work for you or a family member.