Home health care can provide you with services in the comfort of your own home, these services are generally coordinated by a care agency in Schooleys Mountain. Some services offered are skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, and medical social services as advised and ordered by your doctor. A home health aide can administer additional services. These may include personal care, some housekeeping, meal preparation, and general health management.
Do You Need To Be Certified To Work As A Home Health Aide?
One common thread among those looking to become home health aides is the wish to achieve a home health aide certification. Home health aide certification in Schooleys Mountain is an important component in achieving work as a HHA as it helps establish authority and experience as well as a minimum standard for the education of the HHA.
Working Effectively With Mentally Ill Home Care Patients
Oftentimes, as a home health care aide, your job will include helping a patient to prepare food. While the standard rules of food preparation do apply for most of your patients (i.e. following the Food Pyramid), there are also a large number of different modified diets, some of them quite complex that you may need to follow. Here's what you need to know:
Increasing or Decreasing Intake of Certain Foods
The most common type of modified diet simply requires either an increase or a decrease in the intake of certain kinds of foods. For example, a patient suffering from chronic high blood pressure may be advised to decrease the amount of sodium in the diet. This would entail more than leaving the salt shaker in the cupboard. You also need to check the nutrition information on all prepared foods for the total sodium content that they include.
Other times there may be a need to increase intake of certain foods. For example, some patients may need to have in increase in the amount of protein they take in. Again, consulting the nutrition information on prepared foods will be important. It's also important to check on which whole foods include high concentrations of the necessary items (in the case of protein, most lean meats and poultry will be high in protein).
Specific Foods Not Allowed
Other times, you may need to consider that specific foods will either be allowed or not allowed. For example, some patients may require a gluten free diet which means ensuring that all wheat based products are specially prepared to be gluten free.
Chopping Food-When chopping food, you should use a clean knife and a cutting board. Avoid chopping other foods on the same chopping board where raw meat was cut. When handling raw meat, remember that wood cutting boards will absorb the liquids from the meats and so should be avoided.
Keep Things Clean-In all cases, all equipment used to process food for your patients modified diets must be kept absolutely clean. This means for example that you must be careful to wash equipment once you've used it and not allow it to sit and dry.
Storage-If foods that you have mechanically prepared for your patient's modified diets must be stored, be sure to keep them in air tight containers and to make sure that foods are kept fresh by either freezing or refrigerating them rather than simply leaving them in the cupboard.
Prevent Bacteria-Finally, pureed or cooked foods should be served right away or frozen to ensure that bacterial infections cannot form on them. Hot foods should be served while still hot and cold foods should be served cold to ensure that they are safe. Never serve meat which has been left out of refrigeration for more than two hours and be sure to keep dairy products and eggs refrigerated as well.
How to Find the Best HHA Training in Schooleys Mountain,Morris County?
Working as a home health aide with mentally ill patients requires a special sensitivity to the needs of the mentally challenged. Too often, people tend to think of the mentally challenged as being somehow inferior and as such, they tend to talk down to them. However, what the mentally ill really need is what anyone else needs - they need someone who will take them seriously and make sure their needs are met while giving them as much freedom as possible.
Just What Is Mental Illness?
Before we can begin to discuss how to work effectively with mentally ill home care patients, it's important to understand what mental illness actually means. Let's start with the most basic definition and then go into a more detailed explanation. At its most basic, mental illness means that someone is incapable of functioning independently in society due to some kind of problems with how they experience the world emotionally. Exactly how this manifests itself and what the issues are do require additional explanation however.
Some indicators that a person may be mentally challenged include:
- Inability to Develop and Maintain Healthy Relationships - Many mentally ill people find it difficult or impossible to create healthy interpersonal relationships.
- Lack of Impulse Control - Another common problem for mentally challenged individuals is a lack of impulse control. Many mentally challenged individuals will for example do things in public or even in private that mentally sound people won't do (i.e. scream out loud at no one in particular, cause damage, public urination, etc.).
- Inability to Tolerate Anxiety and Frustration - We all deal with anxiety and frustration on a daily basis. However, those who are mentally challenged often find that they cannot handle any (or very little) anxiety and or frustration in daily life.
- Inability to Respect Others - Finally, many mentally ill people find it difficult to respect others, in terms of private space and or in terms of regular verbal abuse.
Your mentally challenged patients may also experience changes in behavior which are of a positive nature. Thus, it's important to note when and if such changes occur and to note changes in personality, either for the good or the bad.
While you should note environmental factors surrounding such changes in behavior, it's important not to draw conclusions on your own as to what precipitated these changes. Instead, you should note only the facts and allow mental health professionals to make such diagnoses.
Making Sure Patients are Cared For
It's important as a home health care worker working with mentally ill individuals to make sure that they are complying with their treatment regimen. This means for example that you need to ensure that the person is taking their medication on time and in the correct doses.
You must also watch carefully to ensure that dangerous behaviors do not put your patients in harm's way. When danger does present itself, you should call 911 to get emergency workers to help deal with the problems rather than attempting to deal with it on your own. For example, if your mentally challenged patient overdoses on sleeping pills, you should call 911 immediately rather than try to induce vomiting on your own.
Provide Patients with a Path to Recovery
Finally, your role as a home health care worker is to facilitate the patient's path to recovery. This means that you work with them to ensure that they will have the right kind of support to deal with their problems and that you help to keep the family involved as well in the recovery of the mentally challenged patient that you work with as a home health care worker.