The home healthcare market in India is currently estimated to be 2 billion to 4 billion dollars a year opportunity.
What is the role of a home health aide?
- Provide basic personal care especially for elderly and paralyzed patients in home settings
- Provide personal care such as bathing, dressing, and grooming of patient
- Monitor or report changes in health status of the patient
- Help patients in their daily tasks and prescribed exercises
- Administer prescribed medication on time
- Maintain a safe environment for the patient
The home health aide (HHA) main role is to take care of all needs of the patients and ensuring that their comfort and needs. People opt for such treatment plan looking at their convenience, logistics and as an economical option. It is a noble profession where you get the benefit of having a homely environment. The people who usually opt for HHA are the ageing population. Since there is also an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and the need for better quality post-operative and primary care, people seek the help of HHA, so that the patient can get 24×7 care while staying the comforts of their homes and with their family.
It is important to create a good rapport with both the patient and their family to be able to have a functioning relationship with them as the HHA has to spend maximum time. The HHA has to facilitate the patient and provide personal care like bathing, dressing and grooming of the patient. If the patient requires, the HHA has to help in their daily exercising and some of the daily tasks as well.
What are the minimum qualifications for applying to the HHA course?
Even though the minimum education qualification to become a home health is eight standard pass, however, it is important that you are able to study all the relevant subjects. In the course, you will be required to study the basic human anatomy and physiology, a subject that would be helpful in your practical experience. The students will also be taught about medical waste and how it should be properly disposed of. The duration of the course is usually of 4 months.
The course curriculum covers the following topics:
- Basic human anatomy & physiology
- General health & hygiene
- Understanding a patient’s needs
- Special skin care for pressure sores
- Caring for the visually impaired
- Role of a patient care assistant
- Daily care of a patient
- Bathing a patient
- Feeding a patient
- Administering drugs as per prescriptions
- Basic nursing skills
- Disposal of medical waste
- Understanding body mechanics
- Patient handling, lifting, and moving patients
- Fall prevention care and restraints
- Emergency first aid
- Communication with patients and their careers
You must have a good adaptability at a familial setup and be keen to learn various medical subjects in a short span of time.
Scope in India
The scope of HHA in India is currently growing. Due to the change in the demography, currently, the population above the age of 60 is rapidly increasing, which is more than 300 million people. With ailments and diseases, the older population at times finds it more comfortable to stay at home and since the family members may not always be available or adept in fully taking care of the patients, people seek help from HHAs. At times, in Tier II and Tier III cities the hospital facilities are not at par or affordable, they have a huge demand.
What are some of the drawbacks of the profession?
HHAs have become an integral part of the healthcare industry. However, there is still a lack of governmental recognition. Many hospitals are urging the government to recognise the service and profession of HHAs like the Western countries have adopted. Even though hospital accreditation is increasing, this has not necessarily translated to the home health aide industry, they are still under the purview of hospitals.
The home healthcare is a rising industry as it been seen as a very attractive option by over 300 million people. With the rise in the number of old people in the population and a drastic rise in the working population, more people are opting for this service. It is a noble profession and you get to help a person who needs medical attention as well as help to carry out even the simplest of tasks. Hospital chains, family physicians and even government-run primary health care centres are beginning to add the home health aide service in their treatment plans. You can become part of a bigger and better health care provider and work in a homely setup. Portea Medical, a Bangalore-based home health care firm is one example of firms that cater to and employ home health aides.