Home Care Worker

by John Philip Green

Home Care Workers are caregivers trained to help those with difficulty handling activities of daily living. 90% of Home Care Workers are women, with an average age 42. They are often also considered a companion.

Home care workers are also known as Home Health Aids, Personal Care Attendants, Personal Care Aids, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), Nursing Assistants, Nursing Aids, or Direct-care workers.

Daily Living Conditions

Home Care Workers support individuals with conditions such as:

  • Post-Stroke
  • Recovering from surgery (hip, knee, heart)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD, also known as lung disease)
  • Risk of falling
  • Arthritis
  • Poor vision
  • Hearing loss
  • Confusion

Activities of Daily Living

Home Care Workers can help with:

  • Bathing, dressing, meal preparation and eating.
  • Going for a walk (with mobility device, such as wheelchair or walker)
  • Light housekeeping, such as changing beds and laundry.
  • Some Home Care Workers can also help with medication management (making sure medication is organized, taken properly and taken on time).

Training & Certification

In Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities Home Care Workers are required by the federal government to have training – usually a minimum of 75 hours. Each state and individual employers may have their own training and/or certification requirements for other categories of direct-care workers.

Long Term Care Facilities

Long Term Care (LTC) facilities include Independent Living (also called Retirement Living), Assisted Living and Nursing Homes.

  • Home Care Workers often work in an LTC facility, both as part of the LTC team or as hired by an individual resident.
  • Long Term Care Facilities may have a policy on residents hiring outside Home Care Workers.

Good to know

When hiring a Home Care Worker, make sure they can meet your requirements. This may include:

  • Trained to help with lifting out of a bed or chair
  • Speaking the same language
  • No pet allergies

Think About It

A Home Care Worker often spends more time with their client than anyone else, and can be the first to note changes that may warrant further attention. In addition to their capability, chemistry – genuinely liking the client – is important.

Cost

The average annual wage for a home care worker is $27,000.

If you are preparing to interview a Home Care Worker, check out the guide we have created to help make it easier.  

An Alternative

If you have an elderly relative living with you and wish to spend more quality time with them, getting a live-in housekeeper could be a viable option. This option is often a little more financially feasible for families compared to hiring an eldercare worker and frees up time for family members to spend time with their elderly relatives.