Home Health Aide Jobs in Assisted Living Facilities
When you are looking for a job as a home health aide, you do not have to limit yourself to only clients who are still living at home. Many aids are employed by clients, or families of clients, who are living in an assisted living facility.
Some patients need 24-hour care, and many of them have needs that just cannot be met by living in their home. Assisted living facilities help people to live a good life, but will be able to keep them on their medications properly, keep them on oxygen when needed, and other things that are medically necessary that can’t be done at home very easily.
As an aide, you will take on the responsibly of making sure that your client is able to do as much as possible. You will be a companion, you will take them to doctor’s appointments, or shopping if they wish (and are able to). The facility staff is often very limited, which is why an aide is so important. There are different environments that HHA’s can work in.
Positions can be found in rehab centers, nursing homes, hospices, a client’s home and assisted living facilities. When one works at an assisted living facility, they are typically paid by a private party and are responsible for a single resident. They are not directly employed by the assisted living facility and instead will work closely with the resident’s family members to coordinate care, doctor’s appointments and meet the needs of the resident.
In this article, we will talk more about home health aide jobs in assisted living facilities. We will talk about the different requirements for different levels of care, as well as the different earnings that you can make.
Home Health Aide Jobs in Assisted Living Facilities
Typically, family members will hire an HHA to care for a loved one because the facility they reside at is unable to meet that resident’s needs. At an assisted living facility, most residents are somewhat independent. But if a resident requires constant companionship, has wandering behaviors, advanced dementia, or is unable to walk, it’s the family’s responsibility to hire outside help in order to avoid moving the resident to a higher level care facility, such as a nursing home or lockdown dementia facility.
Working with people in a nursing home is a lot like working with them at their own home. But because of their special needs, they will need more help in keeping a good quality of life.
As an HHA you’ll get to form close bonds with your patients, spending one on one time with them, assisting with a wide range of needs, making doctor’s appointments, assisting with feeding, bathroom care and grooming, bathing, and even grocery shopping.
Many clients will hire a HHA to be a companion, as many people in these facilities are often lonely. If they are unable to walk well, or are in a wheelchair, you can take them outside. You can also do many other things with them, keeping them company, as well as keeping them safe.
Some clients may only need assistance for a few hours a day. When this is the case, you will probably work with more than one family in order to supplement your income. You may also need to work with and coordinate with more than one home health aide, reporting any changes in condition as you go off shift.
Working in a Client’s Home
Working through an agency often comes with a higher hourly rate, however, keep in mind that the agency gets a percentage of your pay. Because of this, many experienced caregivers will decide to strike out on their own, advertising their services on websites for private pay clients.
Whether you’re a live-in aide, or you work part-time or full-time, it’s your responsibility to closely monitor your client’s condition and report any changes to family members or doctors.
If you’re new to caregiving, this level of responsibility can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure how to manage significant changes in behaviors, mobility or appetite.
Most families will choose to hire caregivers with a minimum of two years of experience and individuals who have experience working with end of life patients or patients who suffer from advanced cases of Alzheimer’s.
When you work in an assisted living facility first, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and experience that many families look for. They want only the best care, and the more experience that you have, the better. There are many classes that home health aides can take, and these will not only benefit you as far as the care that you are able to offer your client, but it will also allow you to earn higher wages.
There are many certification classes that you can take, and many classes that will enable you to gain more knowledge and even hands-on training that you can take to help clients who need more expert care. Some states require HHA’s to take basic life-saving courses such as CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver, as well as other first aid courses. Even if your state does not, it would be a very wise decision to take these courses.
Working for private pay clients comes with its own financial risks. While you may end up making a higher hourly rate when compared to the wages offered at an assisted living facility or nursing home, private pay positions do not offer the same type of job security. Should your patient rapidly decline or pass away, you’ll become unemployed. Going through an agency can offer a little job security, but higher-paying positions can be found.
Being a HHA can be a very rewarding career. You will form close bonds with your clients, especially the more help that they want or need. Because of the shortages of nurses and professional staff, there is a great demand for home health aides in assisted living facilities.