Free Home Health Aide Training

For those interested in HHA training but without the financial resources to enroll in HHA courses at fancy schools, there is another option: Free Home Health Aide Training. There is no shame in taking these free courses and in fact, despite what colleges may market at you, some free courses are even better than their pricey university counter parts.

The first step to taking free home health aide training is making sure you meet the requirements. First of all, a potential course seeker will need to be over the age of 18. Next off, the student will need to be able to read and write English at at least a 6th grade reading level. While not required to take courses, having a clean legal record will be an important step in making sure the health aide will be able to qualify for a job after the free home health aide training is finished. Finally, a potential job seeker should be able to lift somewhere in the are of 45-65 pounds. If you can meet these requirements, you will be all set to pursue a career and education in the home health aide field.

The best way to proceed with free health aide training is to reach out to a local HHA agency and see if any courses are available. Home health aid agencies are monitored at the state and federal level by the health service department of record. This ensures that the proper and in demand skills are being taught and that the student will learn to do their job the legal and proper way. The other reason for this oversight is to ensure that the trained HHA is able to receive payments from medicare or medicaid (which requires state sanctioned training).

Contacting an Agency for Free Home Health Aide Training

Free Home Health Aide Training

When contacting the HHA agency, you should be straightforward and ask specifically if there is a free HHA training available. If there is, go ahead and ask about the requirements and time frame of these classes. Agencies often times require that you work with them for a certain amount of time after receiving free health aide training but this can be viewed more like a paid internship than anything else. The standard time period is 1 year. When applying for free training make sure to ask about this part of the deal.

Another way to search for free HHA training is to ask your local state Department of Labor. They should have information about what, if any, free HHA training is available. Some states may provide free training directly with no expectation that the student work for the state. These courses are often time aligned with unemployment training.

The other chief method of finding free home health aide courses is to go online. There is a plethora of free HHA training available. To find these courses the first step is to head to your favorite search engine like Google and just do a simple search for “free HHA training” and see what comes up. Keep in mind that online coursework is often times harder than in person course work due to the lack of accountability so this option may not be best suited for everyone. Also be aware that there are many organizations that will claim to be accredited HHA agencies or education institutes but are not. It is recommended that you all up your state health services department to find out more about the free online courses you come across.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Free Home Health Aide Training

Home Care for Bed Bound Patients

To witness a family member or loved one bed bound is an emotionally draining experience. To be unable to do much to help their suffering and to provide the best of care makes the feeling worse. This article strives to offer some solutions and understanding for the layperson caring for bed bound patients in the context of home care.

Bed bound patients face a variety of issues, from manpower support, mental illnesses like depression, basic cleanliness and hygiene, bed sores, to chronic diseases like hypertension. Of this list, manpower issues usually rank highest.

Most bed bound patients in Singapore stay at home and are looked after by family members. Over time, this can take an exhausting toll on family members and an understanding of home-based care will be of immense aid to family as well as patient.

Understand the Cause for becoming bed bound

A patient can become bed bound for a multitude of reasons. A fracture of the spine, paralysis and coma post trauma, surgery, head injury, end of life causes, old age and the commonly encountered cerebrovascular accident are all situations which can cause patients to become bed bound. Understanding the causes can help prevent the problem from happening in the first place, while adjusting the care for such patients will improve the quality of life for these patients.

Common problems

Nursing Issues

  • Ulcers or bedsores: Pressure ulcers and bed sores, if left unchecked, can cause serious complications over time.

  • Basic Hygiene and Cleanliness. Basic cleaning of patients, regular change of diapers, monitoring of bowel movements, are all important but physically very demanding.

Medical Issues

  • Muscle atrophy. After prolonged periods of inactivity, muscles eventually lose their strength and muscle weakness sets in, making it a vicious cycle. The bed bound patient becomes more bound to the bed with the passing of each day.

  • Frequent Infections: Due to the sitting / lying posture, the lungs cannot fully inflate with each breath and hence respiratory infections are common. Due to the long term use of diapers, the urinary tract becomes easily infected.

  • Mental Illnesses. It is common for patients who are bed bound to become depressed. Love, care and attention, frequent companionship and empathy will go a long way in treatment of these patients.

  • Insomnia. It is common for bed bound patients to have poor sleep.

General Issues due to lack of activity:

  • Bed bound patients usually report a loss of appetite, loss of interest in all things big and small, and a general decline amongst all functions.

Challenges for the Caregivers

Caring for a bed bound patient is challenging. With the passage of time, the daily grind of caring for the bed bound patient will take its toll on the caregiver.

Enforcing personal hygiene, administering the correct medications, serving proper foods, ensuring regular exercise, and providing companionship for bed bound patients are but the basic fundamentals required.

To go beyond the above, turning the bed bound patient every 2-4 hours to prevent bed sores round the clock, suctioning and cleaning the airway, feeding through tubes, dressing open skin sores and wounds, care for urinary catheters are all farther challenges faced by caregivers faced with patient who have complicated medical problems.

It is hence normal for a caregiver to feel overwhelmed at some stage, resulting in high levels of caregiver stress. Thus, the provision of manpower, simply an extra pair of hands, will make a big difference when it comes to home care.

Risks faced by bed bound patients

Common risks include:

  • Development of bed or pressure sores which worsen if left untreated.

  • Formation of blood clots in the veins of the lower limbs. If these clots break off and get lodged in the heart, lungs or brain, it can cause farther complications.

  • Muscle atrophy.

  • Frequent infections and complications from the general lack of activity.

As an aside, do note that bed sores rank highest where nursing care is deficient. It usually begins with a mild redness to the skin but if left unchecked, the bedsores will infiltrate deeper into the skin layers and can erode the skin all the way down to bone if left unchecked.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Perform daily skin inspection to check for reddening of the skin, especially in bony areas like knees, hips, shoulders, ears, tailbone, and buttocks.

  • If a bed sore is identified, cushion it immediately and seek medical help if the skin is broken.

  • Keep skin clean and dry. Clean the skin with mild soap and water; pat dry.

  • Moist the skin: Use body lotion to keep the skin lubricated. Use powder to dry the folds of the skins, such as armpits and under the breast.

  • Bedding and linen should be changed daily. In case of bed wetting, change the wet sheets immediately.

  • Keep the patient hydrated.

  • Have a balanced diet: A healthy and nutritious diet is very important to boost the patient’s immunity. Keep a diary to record all meals taken.

  • Exercise the patient: To prevent muscle weakness, exercises should be done, keeping in perspective the patient’s condition. If the patient can walk a little, help him/her walk around as per convenience.

  • Massage: Deep massages can help prevent blood circulation-related complications. Light massages are ideal for painful muscles and prevention of bedsores.

  • Positioning: Reposition the patient every 2 hours. Never drag the patient; always lift.

  • Keep limbs elevated: Both hands and legs should be kept a little elevated to prevent swelling and help blood circulation.

What to do in case of bedsores?

Unless experienced or trained, the first contact of bedsores should be handled by medical professionals as far as possible.

However, for first response, the best treatment of bed sores is to leave it open to air and to alleviate any pressure on the bed sore as much as possible.

With enough experience with the type of dressings to be used, the caregiver should learn from each episode and become familiar with the available treatments and methods used to clean bed sores.

The best method of treatment bed sores is prevention. So constant vigilance is the key.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Home Care for Bed Bound Patients