Can a Home Health Aide Help You Manage Diabetes?

If you have type 2 diabetes, a home health aide can help you manage your condition and lend a hand with other health problems. It might be a good choice for you if you need someone to come to your house to assist you in things like taking your daily meds or doing some everyday tasks. If you need it, you can arrange for 24-hour-a-day care.

What Does a Home Health Aide Do?

Health aides work with people of all ages, and can help with all kinds of health issues. You can get a wide range of services at home, depending on your needs. From skilled nursing and medical care to social services, there is someone who can help you live a healthier life.

A home health aide can check your pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and breathing. He can keep tabs on your weight and help with exercises and medication. He can also assist you with bathing, dressing, and grooming, if you need it.

While you may not have thought about contacting a health aide, consider that many studies show that health care you get in your home -- compared with care in a facility -- is more comfortable, has less risk of infection, can save you money, and raises the chances that you can work out better long-term health strategies.

A home health aide can work with you to set realistic goals and help you find the best way to move forward, whether you have concerns about taking your daily medications, worry about weight gain, or have trouble getting to doctors' appointments.

By giving you the daily help you need, home health aides can also help you ease the stress that comes with managing diabetes. That's a big help in controlling the disease, since stress can raise insulin resistance and lead to high blood sugar levels.

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Training for Home Health Aides

When you choose a certified health aide, it means that he's had formal training and passed a test that meets guidelines set up by the federal government. The exams allow aides to work for health agencies or hospice organizations that get funds from Medicare or Medicaid.

Your state may also have other training requirements. Some aides may choose to get certified through the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, or get licensed as a certified nursing assistant.

Your health aide's training may include learning about special diets, nutrition, sanitation, safety, reading vital signs, infection control, and how to handle medical emergencies.

Paying for Home Health Aides

Home health care can often be much less expensive than a stay in the hospital or an assisted living facility.

It's covered under Medicare Part A, and there's a national standard payment rate for a 60-day stretch of home health care. This includes a variety of services and medical supplies you might need. For example, a home health agency will pick up the cost of insulin needles and blood testing supplies if the aides are helping you use them.

Home health aides are in a great position to help you take charge of your diabetes. If you feel that you're not able right now to deal with all the things you need to do to keep up your health, coaching from a home health aide may be for you. It can help you develop the skills and confidence to manage your diabetes and make important decisions about your health.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on June 30, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Diabetes Spectrum: "Managing Care of Patients with Diabetes in Home Care Setting," "Home Health Care and Diabetes Assessment, Care, and Education," "Home Health Care: Who Pays?"  Home Health Care: The Stress Reliever,"  "Home Health Care: Definition"

CNA Classes: "What Do CNAs DO?"

AAHome Care: "Cost Effectiveness of Home Care."

Health Aide Training: "What home Health Aides Do: The Complete Guidelines."

Learn.org: "5 Steps to Becoming a Home Health Aide."

National Institutes of Health: "A Randomized Study of the Impact of Home Health Aides on Diabetic Control and Utilization Patterns."

Hopkins Medicine: "Types of Home Health Care."

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