What Is a Home Health Aide?

A home health aide (HHA) is a healthcare paraprofessional with training in caring for people in their homes. They often help people with disabilities, and people who are recovering from an illness, surgery or injury. For example, if it has become difficult for you to bathe or shower regularly or get dressed on your own, a home health care aide can help with these tasks while you're receiving home health care. In-home health aides complement other types of home health services your doctor may order for you, such as skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy.

Home Health Aide Services

What do home health aides do? It depends on your specific needs. Home health aide duties may include help with:

  • Bathing/showering
  • Grooming (e.g., shaving, washing/brushing hair, nail care, skin care, foot care, ear care and mouth care)
  • Getting dressed
  • Using the restroom
  • Moving from one place to another (for example, from bed to a wheelchair to be able to use the restroom)
  • Positioning to maintain skin care.
  • Monitoring changes in your symptoms and reporting back to the rest of your healthcare team

Does Medicare Cover

Home Health Aides?

If you're eligible for home health care and your doctor'sorders include an in-home health aide, you may have Medicare home health aide coverage. Major insurance plans may also offer coverage for those who qualify for home health. Medicare typically covers home health aide services when patients also receive nursing care or therapy as part of home health care, and home health aide services are included in your plan of care. However, Medicare does not cover home health aides as a stand-alone service.