Although the home health aides follow the plan of care developed by the hospice care team, they are not nurses. However, the services they provide for patients and families are equally vital. Home health aides provide any personal care that falls outside of the scope of medical treatment.
These services include:
- Shower, tub bath, or bed bath
- Shaving of the patient
- Dressing of the patient
- Washing hair of the patient
- Combing hair of the patient
- Oral care or denture care for the patient
- Help with toileting or incontinent care
- Care and cleaning of foley catheters
- Nail care for the patient
- Back rub/massage care
- Turning and repositioning bed bound patients
- Transferring from bed to chair or chair to bed
- Assistance with walking
- Range of motion exercises
- Changing bed sheets
- Light housekeeping
Home health aides spend the most time with patients, they usually visit the patient 2 – 3 times a week, and as such they can become very close to a patient and their family. It is not uncommon for Faith in Angels Hospice aides to develop personal relationships with their patients, providing much needed companionship during a patient’s end-of-life journey. Because of this close relationship they are in a position to notice and report changes in a patient’s status to the physicians and nurses who rely on their observational skills.
As part of Faith in Angels Hospice’s belief that no person should die alone, and due to the relationship that may develop between the patient and an aide – the home health aide may be the personable and professional member of the hospice care team that comforts a patient through their transition in their final moments.
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Thank you for your kindness and support during my mother’s final weeks with us. You did what you said you would do in keeping her comfortable and giving us more time with her and more time to show her our love and appreciation for her.