Home Health Aides—an Invaluable Resource

dstricoff June 1st, 2011, 6:53 AM
Debbie Stricoff, Dir., Adult Day Care Services
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One of the keys to success at a Day Center is teamwork, and an essential part of that team is the home health aide. Not only are our aides trained in personal care, but they are also skilled in identifying issues that may affect a person”s ability to function in everyday life. Especially for our participants with dementia, it’s critical to observe behaviors and report issues because the participants may not be able to articulate a problem themselves. Since the aides spend so much time with our seniors, they are very attuned to noticing changes in behavior and functioning. This means they can notify caregivers, nurses or social workers, so issues can be addressed as quickly as possible.

An interesting example of this was a challenge one aide had when she arrived at Ms. M’s house for morning pick-up. Her family had been struggling for months to get Ms. M down her home staircase.  The aide paid close attention to Ms. M’s reaction when she got to the stairs and noticed that instead of touching the handrail, she quickly pulled her hands away. This was frustrating for the family, online casino scams as they experienced this every time they tried to take her out of the house. The aide suggested that perhaps the handrail was uncomfortably cold for Ms. M. So, the family put gloves on Ms. M, and voilá! She reached for the handrail immediately and went right down the stairs. Now, Ms. M has no problem getting to the Day Center van and more importantly, her family is now able to take her out anytime with ease.

Observations and insights from Home Health Aides are extremely valuable. They”re an essential part of the caregiver team and can make a real difference in quality of life for patients and caregivers.

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