How Old Do You Need to Be to Become a Home Health Aide?
Although specific certification requirements may vary based on county or state, most prospective home health aides require a high school diploma or equivalent to seek education and employment. The career does not require a college degree, though some states require completing an educational program or up to 75 hours of formal training before certification and employment. Certain employers may additionally have additional age requirements, as home health aides handle medication and assist in wellness checks, potentially handling blood and bodily fluids. Consequently, most clients and employers may prefer hiring individuals over 18.
Becoming a Home Health Aide
The prior training necessary to become a home health aide may vary based on location and your prospective employer. Some states require up to 75 hours of previous instruction and on-the-job training. Additionally, some states and employers conduct background checks on prospective employees. Home health aides may not require licensing in some locations, and their home care agency may be instead.
Depending on the employer, apprenticeships and prior work experience may be optional for prospective home health aides. Prospective home health aides who are unemployed may still be able to gain experience by volunteering in senior care facilities and other healthcare facilities until they are of age.
Education and background training required to become a home health aide may amount to up to 74 hours of training, as well as clinical training and classroom certifications. After prospective home health aides undergo training, they may need to pass a certification exam offered by their state’s Department of Health. Following certification, home health aides may seek additional education and instruction in more niche areas of their vocation to provide in-demand specialty services to clients and agencies.
What is a Home Health Aide?
Home health aides are responsible for various tasks relating to their client’s physical and emotional well-being. The duties of a home health aide typically include:
- Personal Care: Assisting with bathing, grooming, and dressing, helping with toileting and incontinence care, and aiding oral hygiene and skincare routines.
- Mobility Assistance: Assisting clients with walking or transferring from bed to wheelchair, and ensuring the safety of the client during mobility.
- Medication Management: Administering medications as prescribed by a healthcare professional, and monitoring and recording medication schedules.
- Housekeeping & Companionship: Assist with meal preparation and feeding, help with light housekeeping tasks and laundry, and provide emotional support and companionship.