A hospice aide, also commonly referred to as an HHA, is trained to provide personal care to patients in their own home environment.
Hospice aides may visit patients one to three days a week to provide thorough care. They interact with the patient and perform personal care services during such visits. The hospice aide may educate family members and other caregivers on patient care so that the families will feel comfortable providing day to day care to the patient between Hospice aide visits. Considering the frequency with which a hospice aide and a patient interact, a strong bond between the two often develops.
Duties of a Hospice Aide
The care provided by a hospice aide is based on individual patient need and typically includes:
- Shower, tub bath, or bed bath
- Shaving of the patient
- Dressing of the patient
- Washing hair of the patient
- Combing hair of the patient
- Oral care or denture care for the patient
- Help with toileting or incontinent care
- Care and cleaning of foley catheters
- Nail care for the patient
- Back rub/massage care
- Turning and repositioning bed bound patients
- Transferring from bed to chair or chair to bed
- Assistance with ambulating (walking)
- Range of motion exercises
- Changing bed sheets
- Light housekeeping
Hospice aides follow a plan of care developed by a registered nurse (RN) who supervises the care provided by the hospice aide. This means that an RN will likely be making joint visits with the hospice aide from time to time in order to observe the care provided by the aide and to offer any further teaching if needed.
Coverage of Hospice Aides
A Hospice aide is a covered service under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, although the need for a Hospice aide must be clearly documented in order for the service to be covered. This may potentially mean that patients who are still independent and can care for themselves do not qualify for Hospice aide services. Typically, only individuals that cannot care for themselves in a most basic manner qualify for Hospice aide coverage.
If you have any questions about how you can obtain Hospice services, talk with your physician or case manager nurse.