4 Career Paths for Health Care Aides: Which One Would You Choose?

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Students who choose to become a health care aide or assistant, do so because they are highly focused on providing care to those in need. Health care aide facilities exist in a variety of forms—some offering more independence than others, and thus are better suited for certain patient situations. When beginning their health care career, students must decide which form of care they would like to specialized in. Some centers cater more towards the elderly, while others provide appropriate care for patients with mental disabilities. Read on to discover the different facilities you can work at as a health care assistant, and which one is the best fit for you.

Extended and Intermediate Care Facilities

Intermediate care facilities offer long-term care services for the elderly or those with mental and developmental disabilities. Instead of residing in institutional facilities, patients are provided with community-based care. The care required by patients in intermediate care facilities is less than what is needed at a hospital, which is why intermediate care facilities employ health care aides to assist with any medical needs. These needs are often minimal, and may involve bathing, assistance eating and in some cases a daily or weekly check-up. Employees in this career should work well in teams and be very people-oriented.

Home Support Agencies

Home support agencies are designed for patients who need medical attention, but do not want the in-care services offered by intermediate care facilities. Home support agencies ensure that these patients can get the same quality of care from health care assistants, just in the comfort of their own homes. For elderly patients, the home might be a place where family resides, or a place that helps them feel at ease. Home-based care also ensures that patients can maintain their independence while also receiving the benefits of excellent healthcare.

Adult Day Care Centers

Adult day care centers are a newer form of care which provides both high levels of independence for the patient and a friendly caring atmosphere. Adult day care centers are designed to provide older adults with health and social care—in the form of activities and specialized programs. These centers function during the day, and provide older adults with an opportunity to receive both social and mental stimulation. Adult day care also provides regular caretakers (family or hired) with personal time to themselves.

Assisted Living Residences

Assisted living residences, like nursing homes, provide patient care to older adults (generally the elderly) who require aid with some everyday tasks. They differ from retirement homes, in that residents don’t require fully assisted living, and can generally still perform tasks like cooking, light cleaning and dressing themselves. Some residents may have difficulty with mobility and thus need assistance grocery shopping, taking their medication, using transportation and doing housework. Students who have taken LPN programs at BC nursing schools, or who have studied to become healthcare aids, may very well find themselves working in these increasingly popular independent living facilities.

Which career path do you think is right for you?

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