Every part of a home care and hospice team should receive plenty of appreciation from residents of Mount Vernon and elsewhere.
Nurses, therapists, social workers, providers, and other skilled health care professions that provide palliative care to clients deserve appreciation for what they do on a daily basis. It can be challenging some days but we always want to make sure our clients have all the services and comfort they deserve at a difficult time in their lives. This could be on a temporary basis for rehabilitation or for the remainder of their lives if they are part of a hospice program.
The team at Above and Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice tries to do its best to regularly recognize the important role our people offer clients throughout Eastern Iowa. Coordination this recognition with national awareness celebrations for the different occupations also helps.
For instance, November is National Home Health Care Month, an annual commemoration that praises anyone who works in the home health care field. The event site has other resources to let people know about the valuable professions and how they can support people in their communities.
Within this month is a whole week dedicated to one group. Nov 12-18 is Home Care Aide Week, which is intended to celebrate the role of people who provide personal care services to clients. Organizers say aides can play an important role in helping create or improve quality of life for a client.
Home care aides are sometimes described as a special kind of caregivers. They may have some medical or nursing training and certainly can be called caregivers, but they also are willing to do other non-health care-related tasks, including sometimes just sitting and listening. Sometimes, these occasions can be especially welcome for a client who may feel anxious or unhappy about their current situation or what’s ahead.
The National Association for Home Care and Hospice said home care aides “play an invaluable role for their patients as caregivers, companions, and friends.”
What aides can help with
Above and Beyond Home Health Care and similar organizations, home care aides offer a variety of services. These can include many tasks that a client may not be able to perform as well as they used to, as often as they used to, or not at all in their current condition. These can include:
- Light housekeeping, such as vacuuming or laundry
- Feeding if needed
- Help with personal care activities for clients with decreased mobility and skills including oral hygiene, bathing, dressing, oral health, shaving, skin and nail care, and similar needs. These can all make a client feel significantly better if they’re unable to do these regularly for themselves.
- Assistance with meal preparation and feeding if needed.
- Taking care of some errands themselves, such as picking up an item from the grocery store
- Reminding clients of appointments or medication
Aides can help the client with their regular exercises and remind them of appointments or medications.
Aides also have the opportunity to learn from others in the health care industry, which could be useful for people interested in a future career in nursing, medicine, or other health therapies.
For instance, they may be asked to help when a physical therapist or occupational therapist comes to visit for their regular appointment with a client. An aide may be requested to assist the client with the range of motions for their exercises, or just to provide balance and support as they focus on mobility exercises.
They may check in with the client’s case manager to share their observations or their vital signs. An aide may visit occasionally, or they may be asked to be a live-in caregiver, depending on the client’s needs.
They also may work with registered nurses to make sure the client properly is able to take their prescribed medications.
In addition to home health aides, Above and Beyond Home Health Care offers the services of Homemakers who specialize in non-medical services that can also be appreciated by clients. These can include local errands like trips to the pharmacy, post office, or grocery store; meal help; organizing medical supplies; and light housekeeping which can include laundry, dishes, and vacuuming. Homemakers can also make the bed and change linens regularly which can also be welcoming to clients who may not be able to do this as often or as well as they used to. Even though it’s considered a little thing in the big picture of all the services a client may need, there’s really not much better than getting into a freshly-made bed each night. Talk about a boost to quality of life!
While everyone who works with a client in a home health care atmosphere is considered vital to a client’s quality of life, an aide has the opportunity to have a significant role in this. Even if they offer services that may not be medical, they can help clients deal with difficult transitions. In the process, the aides may learn a lot to help their future education and career paths.