What are the Different Types of Home Health Aide Work?

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  • Written By: Summer Banks
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2018
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Home health aide work involves providing medical and personal care for patients who are elderly, medically disabled, or mentally ill. The length of time a home health aide is needed to assist a patient is usually determined by the patient's doctor, family and insurance company. If medical care is needed as a result of an injury or surgery, the home health aide may only work with the patient for a short period of time, until initial recovery is complete.

Home care services can be hired on an around-the-clock or visiting basis. Live-in, 24 hour per day health services are typically the more expensive option. A visiting home health aide job often requires only brief visits to the patient's home on a daily or weekly basis.

Many health aides work with elderly or mentally ill patients. These care-givers are hired to assist patients with medical issues and daily personal care. Duties can include bathing the patient and light housework. Some home health aide work also involves cooking for the patient, driving him to and from doctor's appointments and taking him shopping.

Home health aide work may also involve tending to patients who are part of a hospice, or similar end-of-life, program. A hospice is typically an organization that specializes in care for terminally ill patients and their families. Being a hospice home health aide can be much more emotionally demanding than any other form of home care service.


Home health aide training generally involves learning simple tasks, such as basic housekeeping skills and proper emergency response techniques. Some employers may require their home health aides to obtain cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and complete lessons in professionalism. In the United States, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers a certification program for home health care aides and personal aides.

Personal aides are often hired by individuals who need home health care. The scope of work will be determined by an agreement between the patient, or the patient’s family, and the personal home health aide. These aides are not required to have any formal training and are usually not affiliated with a home health aide company.

As of 2009, home health aide positions accounted for roughly 767,000 jobs in the United States. The employment outlook for home health aide work is good. The number of people working in this health care field may rise as much as 51%, to more than one million jobs, by the year 2016.



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