|What is a Home Healthcare Aide?|
August 2012- A Home Healthcare Aide (HHA) is a certified individual who provides assistance and services to a person who cannot complete all of the activities of daily living on his or her own.
An HHA can assist individuals with personal care, cooking, cleaning, and medication under the supervision of a registered nurse. To obtain certification to become a HHA one must complete a training course including a required number of clinical hours with a licensed agency.
The HHA field is a growing trend in many communities for individuals in need of assistance or care who reside in their own home. This growing trend has also begun to transfer into Continuing Care Communities for senior citizens.
HHAs in Assisted Living
Assisted living residences are senior housing options for individuals who may need a bit more assistance to complete daily living activities. Assisted living gives these individuals the resources and assistance to support their continue independence and purposeful living.
HHAs are a staffing option gaining popularity in assisted living residences. Popular in the “small-house” model assisted living household, HHAs eliminate the need for numerous departments in these smaller residences. The focus for staff is not on a specific job title but maintaining the needs of each household and the personal well-being of each individual calling that household “home”.
HHAs are a combination of many different departments and job titles. HHAs assist with personal care as well as cooking, cleaning, and promoting daily activities. “Household” style assisted living facilities staffed by HHAs encourage seniors to take an active role in their individual care, along with encouraging them to actively participate in the routine of everyday living. The goal is to create an environment where each individual is at the center of their own care, promoting their continued independence and purposeful living.
The Outcome of Household Assisted Living and HHAs
The outcome of household assisted living residences staffed by HHAs results in higher satisfaction and seniors who can “age in place” residing in this level of care longer than traditional models of assisted living. Research done by the Commonwealth Fund found seniors in household assisted living held higher scores on emotional well-being indicators; seniors also experienced lower rates of depression and were more active and had fewer declines in functional ability.
On a daily basis HHAs are engaged in personal care with seniors while also encouraging them to continue with daily chores and activities like light housekeeping, assistance with meal preparation, personal grooming, and individual pursuits. Continually engaged in these activities seniors will continue everyday skills. Seniors will find purpose and value in their activities and will remain functionally active longer.