Home Health Aide

Home health aides, or home attendants, assist in the personal and daily care for elderly, handicapped, or recuperating patients in their homes.

Work Activities/Work Locations

Home health aides work in private homes and are usually employed by hospitals, home health care agencies, visiting nurse associations, public health departments and volunteer agencies. They assist patients with daily activities such as getting in and out of bed, going out of the house, dressing, bathing, eating, shopping, and cleaning. Home health aides also provide companionship to patients by talking to them, reading, or just playing games. Performing miscellaneous duties for patients is an ongoing part of a home health aide’s job. Home health aides are supervised by a registered nurse, physical therapist or other health professional.

A related occupation is a Home Care Aide – someone who takes care of cooking, cleaning and other jobs around the home – usually for an elderly person.

Getting Started

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High School Courses

Home health aides usually must pass a competency test that covers different areas of skill and care including communication skills, observation, reading and recording vital signs, basic elements of body function, emergency procedure awareness, basic nutrition and personal hygiene and grooming. Classroom and practical training programs are offered through vocational/technical colleges, or by the employer. Certification is offered through the Foundation for Hospice and Home Care. 

Education and Training

Professional Organizations

American Assisted Living Nurses Association
P.O. Box 10469
Napa, CA, 94581
707/622-5628
www.alnursing.org/

American Health Care Association
1201 L Street NW
Washington, DC, 20005
202/842-4444
www.ahca.org

Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations
Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing and New York University College of Nursing
433 First Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY, 10010
212/992 – 9416
hartfordign.org/advocacy/cgno/

Hospice Association of America
228 Seventh St. SE
Washington, DC, 20003
202/546-4759 and 202/547-7424
www.nahc.org/haa/

National Association for Home Care and Hospice
228 Seventh St. SE
Washington, DC, 20003
202/546-4759 or 202/547-7424
www.nahc.org

Private Duty Homecare Association
228 Seventh St. SE
Washington , DC, 20003
202/547-7424
www.pdhca.org/#

Visiting Nurse Associations of America
2121 Crystal Dr., Suite 750
Arlington, VA, 22202
571/527-1520 or 888/866-8773
vnaa.org

Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care
563 Carter Court, Suite B
Kimberly, WI, 54136
920/560-5632
www.wiahc.org/

Wisconsin Health Care Association/Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living
131 East Wilson Street, Suite 1001
Madison, WI, 53703
608/257-0125
www.whcawical.org/

Wisconsin Nurse Aide Program
Department of Health Services
1 West Wilson St.
Madison, WI, 53703
608/266-8481
www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/caregiver/

Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
5202 Eastpark Boulevard, Suite 109
Madison, WI, 53718-8337
608/277-7477
www.wphca.org/

World Homecare & Hospice Organization
228 Seventh St. SE
Washington, DC, 20003
202/547-7424
www.whho.org/

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2012 (Wisconsin): 9,650
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 913,500
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 1,261,900
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 38%
Expected Annual Openings: 55,480
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $22,787

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.