What Personal Care Aides Do
Personal care aides help people in their own homes or in residential facilities. Personal care aides help clients with self-care and everyday tasks, and provide companionship.
Personal care aides typically do the following:
- Care for and assist clients with cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s or mental illness
- Provide companionship by talking to, playing games with, or going for walks with clients
- Help clients with tasks related to hygiene, such as bathing, brushing teeth, and going to the bathroom
- Help transfer clients from a bed to a wheelchair or vice versa
- Complete housekeeping tasks, such as changing bed linens, washing dishes, and cleaning living areas
- Help prepare and plan meals
- Organize a client’s schedule and plan appointments
- Arrange transportation to doctors’ offices or to the store
- Help clients pay bills or manage money
- Shop for personal items and groceries
Personal care aides—also called homemakers, caregivers, companions, and personal attendants—provide clients with companionship and help with daily tasks. They often are hired in addition to healthcare or social workers who may visit a client’s home, such as hospice workers. Personal care aides perform tasks that are similar to those of home health aides. However, personal care aides cannot provide any type of medical service, whereas home health aides may provide basic medical services.
Assist the elderly, convalescents, or persons with disabilities with daily living activities at the person’s home or in a care facility. Duties performed at a place of residence may include keeping house (making beds, doing laundry, washing dishes) and preparing meals. May provide assistance at non-residential care facilities. May advise families, the elderly, convalescents, and persons with disabilities regarding such things as nutrition, cleanliness, and household activities.
- Administer bedside or personal care, such as ambulation or personal hygiene assistance.
- Prepare and maintain records of client progress and services performed, reporting changes in client condition to manager or supervisor.
- Perform healthcare-related tasks, such as monitoring vital signs and medication, under the direction of registered nurses or physiotherapists.
- Participate in case reviews, consulting with the team caring for the client, to evaluate the client’s needs and plan for continuing services.
- Care for individuals or families during periods of incapacitation, family disruption, or convalescence, providing companionship, personal care, or help in adjusting to new lifestyles.