Certain illnesses, injuries and medical procedures can make it difficult to care for yourself at home. Through hands-on help with bathing, dressing and other personal care needs, Amedisys home health aides can help improve your quality of life and keep you safe at home.
WHAT IS A HOME HEALTH AIDE?
A home health aide (HHA) is a health care paraprofessional with training in caring for people in their homes. They often help seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are recovering from an illness, surgery or injury.
For example, if it has become difficult for you to bathe or shower regularly or get dressed on your own, a home health care aide can help with these tasks while you’re receiving home health care. In-home health aides complement other types of home health services your doctor may order for you, such as skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy.
HOME HEALTH AIDE SERVICES
What do home health aides do? It depends on your specific needs. Home health aide duties may include help with:
- Grooming (e.g., shaving, washing/brushing hair, nail care, skin care, foot care, ear care and mouth care)
- Getting dressed
- Using the restroom
- Moving from one place to another (for example, from bed to a wheelchair to be able to use the restroom)
- Positioning to maintain skin care
- Monitoring changes in your symptoms and reporting back to the rest of your healthcare team
With Amedisys, home health aide responsibilities are defined at the start of care, so you know what to expect. Having this type of support at home can relieve a great deal of stress and hardship for you and your family. It can also help keep you safe and independent at home.
WHAT DOES A HOME HEALTH AIDE DO?
What are the home health aide duties? Home health aides can help people with daily activities after an acute illness when they are not able to do it themselves or their caregivers are not able to assist. Our in home aides help with personal care and grooming needs. They bring a positive, caring spirit to every visit. At Amedisys, our home help aids have at least 75 hours of training (depending on state legal requirements) and complete a home health competency program.
Our home health care aides’ goal is to help you stay independent at home by making certain daily activities easier. They travel to your private residence or, in some cases, a senior living community.
A typical visit begins with checking vital signs and helping you grooming, bathing or other personal care needs. Visits will depend on your needs, doctor’s orders and clinician’s plan of care.
To receive home health aide services, you must meet home health eligibility criteria. For example, you must:
- Need skilled care such as nursing, speech therapy or physical therapy, or an ongoing need for occupational therapy; and
- Be under the care of a physician who has created a home health plan of care for you; and
- Have difficulty leaving home without assistance (for example, from another person or a device like a walker or wheelchair) or have a condition that makes leaving home medically unsafe.
Do you qualify for home health? Learn more about eligibility requirements and how to qualify for home health.
HOW MUCH DOES A HOME HEALTH AIDE COST?
Home health care is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid and major insurance plans for eligible patients receiving home health. This includes the home health aide cost, as long as home health aide services are delivered together with nursing or therapy services from a Medicare-certified provider, as ordered by your doctor. Medicare does not cover the cost of a home health aide if this is your only need.
With home health, you also get the support of other members of the home health team. This could include a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and medical social worker, depending on your needs and doctor’s orders. This makes it an affordable option for many seniors.
DOES MEDICARE COVER HOME HEALTH AIDES?
If you’re eligible for home health care and your doctor’s orders include an in-home health aide, you may have Medicare home health aide coverage. Medicaid and major insurance plans may also offer coverage for those who qualify for home health. Home health agencies like Amedisys will help explain Medicare coverage for home health aides, along with any out-of-pocket expenses, prior to starting care. Learn more about paying for home health care.
Medicare typically covers home health aide services when patients also receive nursing care or therapy as part of home health care, and home health aide services are included in your plan of care. However, Medicare does not cover home health aides as a stand-alone service.
HOME HEALTH AIDE VS. PERSONAL CARE AIDE
Home health aides and personal care aides both provide care in the home. However, there are important differences when considering home health aides vs. personal care aides.
- Home health aides help with tasks like bathing, grooming, dressing and moving around. HHA services are a part of home health care that is typically covered by Medicare and other insurance when ordered by your doctor in conjunction with nursing or therapy. Eligibility requirements apply.
- Personal care aides help with tasks like bathing and grooming, and may also provide companionship, housekeeping and help with errands. Their services are typically part of personal care (also called home care). Many clients pay out-of-pocket, depending on their needs and budget.
Learn more about the differences between home health and personal care.
If you need long-term care, 24/7 care or home health aide services only (without nursing or therapy), personal home care may be right for you.
HIRING A HOME HEALTH AIDE
There are a couple options when deciding how to get a home health aide:
- Through a home health care agency – If you qualify for home health care, you may be eligible for Medicare-covered home health aide services. Amedisys provides home health care aides for eligible patients who are receiving skilled nursing or therapy, with a doctor’s order. Medicare rates home health agencies on its
- Direct hire or through a home care agency – If you are not eligible for home health care or need long-term or round-the-clock care, it is possible to hire a personal care aide through a home health aide agency or directly on your own. In addition to bathing and grooming, personal care aides can provide companionship, do household chores, run errands and offer other personal care services. These personal care aide services are typically paid out-of-pocket.
Whether you’re looking to hire a home health aide for a family member or yourself, an important first step is finding out if you’re eligible for home health care.