The elderly, sick and disabled who need long-term care often need medical care within their homes. These patients also often need help managing day-to-day tasks, since their conditions sometimes make everyday tasks difficult. Home care managers make sure that these individuals receive all the resources they need.
Home care managers ensure that a variety of home care programs run smoothly. Home health aides are assigned to the home of a patient, where they keep the patient company, interact with the patient, help the patient perform tasks such as laundry, remind the patient to take medicine or use health equipment, and monitor the patient's health status. Many home care aides are trained in providing emotional support to patients. Health services managers travel to patients' homes, where they make sure the patients are receiving adequate care and evaluate home care aides.
Home care managers divide their time between office work and traveling to the homes of patients to assess the quality of care. They are on call whenever there is a problem that the home care aide cannot resolve. In some cases, they are exposed to patients who have infectious diseases. However, proper safety precautions can prevent them from being exposed.
Home care managers usually have post-secondary education in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration, or business administration. However, some are hired without any education, receive on-the-job training to become a home care aide, and are then promoted to the position of home care manager. These managers must have empathy and interpersonal skills to work well with patients who often have emotional needs.
Between 2008 and 2018, the need for home care is expected to grow 50 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An aging Baby Boomer population will fuel this need, as more Americans need help attending to daily needs. This is one health-care job that cannot be automated, with the elderly often needing continual attention.
In 2008, the median salary for home care managers was $71,450, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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