Home Health Aide Classes for Continuing Education

Being a home health aide can be a rewarding career.  Not only can you help people to have a greater quality of life, but you will enable to let them live in their homes for as long as possible.  But before you can become one, you do need to take different classes.  This is for both your client’s safety as well as yours.  There are a few different types of ways to continue your education, and the more you get the better your salary will become.

Some of these are life-saving courses, such as CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver.  Others are required for situations that are common with elderly patients, such as the care of clients who need oxygen tanks, or those that have a history of falling.  Some have the beginning stages of dementia, and there are other safety precautions that need to be taken with them.

family caregiver

Regardless of where you’re employed as a caregiver, whether in an assisted living home, or the client’s own home, you’ll be required by the state to complete a determined amount of continuing education classes each year. Many of these home health aide classes can be completed online and are free of charge. Course length can range from thirty minutes to two hours.

In this article, we will talk about the most common courses that you will have to take, as well as a few others if you choose to work with people who need more care.

Common Courses Offered for Caregivers and Aides

Often, the agency or facility you work for will go through an online organization that offers courses in a wide range of elder care areas. These courses can be completed in one to two hours, and often end with a multiple choice exam.

Some of the course options include how to care for elderly patients, dealing with advanced dementia, understanding sundowners, medication interaction in the elderly, and transfer safety. These sites will include several course options regarding elderly care. The facility or agency will usually leave the course choices up to the caregiver or home health aide.

One of the most common courses offered for continuing education teaches caregivers how to assist and redirect advanced dementia patients and how to keep them safe. Many of these patients have eloping tendencies, which means they must be monitored at all times.

Strategies are discussed that can help home health aides learn how to effectively redirect patients from exiting seeking, self-harming and other harmful behaviors. Many of these patients will end up in a locked down facility if caregivers are unable to prevent exiting seeking or sundowner’s behavior.

Clients Who Suffer with Sundowner’s

Sundowner’s behavior can be difficult to deal with at times, as it can agitate both your client and yourself.  While there are different theories for why it happens, the symptoms are basically the same.  As the name suggests, the behavior starts when the sun is starting to go down, and as the night progresses.


Some of the things that can happen are that your client’s mood and behavior will change.  They can become very agitated, sad, or frightened.  They can also follow you around constantly, and tell you the same thing or ask the same questions repeatedly.  You have to be prepared for these changes, and certain courses will teach you how to deal with them properly.

Courses for Patients Taking Medication

Medication interaction, adverse effects or allergic reaction continuing education courses are very informative and important. If a patient has more than one physician, medications may be prescribed that can interact with medications ordered by a different doctor, resulting in increased fatigue, lethargy, upset stomach, diarrhea, and confusion.

It’s important for caregivers to closely monitor a patient’s behaviors, vital signs and bowel habits during the first week of a new medication. It’s the aide’s responsibility to report any changes in a patient to a doctor, family member or supervising RN.

This course teaches caregivers how to identify drug interactions and the differences between interactions and adverse effects.

Continuing Education Platforms for HHA Training

Courses available online may require the caregiver to read several pages of material and answer multiple choice questions at the end of the course, or it can take the form of a live or pre-recorded online seminar, also referred to as a webinar.

Some agencies and facilities require aides and caregivers to attend continuing education training in person, mostly certification courses. This is usually reserved for CPR and first aid training, hospice care or occupational therapy techniques for patients with limited mobility.

What is the typical Private Pay Home Health Aide Salary?

The number of required CE hours can vary from state to state, but is often ten to twelve hours a year. Working as a privately paid aide or caregiver means that it’s your responsibility to ensure that you acquire the necessary amount of CE training each year, especially for CPR and first aid. Aides who obtain additional training and certifications also usually make a higher salary.

You really should take as many of these courses that you are able to.  They not only provide you with the skills and knowledge that you may need if anything were to happen with your client health wise, but taking these courses will also help you to earn a better salary.

In today’s society, clients and their families are becoming very leery about hiring a home health aide.  The more schooling that you have will show them that you really are committed to your career, and that you have the ability to be able to help the client in many different situations.

There will always be the need for home health aides, as nursing homes are getting more expensive and health insurances are starting to pay for less and less.  Also, many elderly people want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, and home aides are the people that can make this happen.

Because there are many types of training and education classes available, you will be able to easily fit them into your schedule.  As a home health aide, you will definitely never regret taking these short classes, and it may just save your client’s life.