For years, Mom and I had a running joke: “Beth,” she’d tell me, “when I’m old and alone, just change your phone number so I can’t keep calling you every time something goes bump in the night.” “Don’t worry, Mom,” I’d tell her… “When you get old, I’ll come by every day just to make sure your socks match.”
We were kidding, but beneath the humor lay Mom’s biggest fear: becoming an unwanted burden to my sisters and me.
Last fall, mom had a sudden heart attack and surgery that left her weak as a kitten. She spent three weeks on the hospital’s rehab unit. When it was time to go home, the discharge nurse suggested a Home Care Aide as part of her home health plan.
I stopped by the house yesterday and found them giggling in the back room. “Look,” Mom said – pointing to a pair of fuzzy, red and perfectly matched socks. “They match, AND I pulled them on my own two feet… all by myself!”
Certified Home Health Aides (CNA) work in your home under the supervision of the RN or therapist. They perform services to help with daily living and offer emotional support to both you and your family caregivers.
CNAs may assist with nutrition, cleanliness and daily household tasks such as:
- Help with moving about
- Assistance getting out of bed, bathing, dressing and toileting
- Assist with exercise programs
- Assist with simple dressing changes
CNAs work closely with the nurse to monitor vital signs such as temperature, pulse rate, respiration, and blood pressure. They keep records of their services and help track your condition and progress.
Sometimes, their most important job is to listen.
The Certified Home Health Aide’s routine may vary. She may visit the home every day for several weeks, or one to three times a week for several months. They are there to assist you in your road back to independent living.