What Are the Qualifications for a Home Health Care Aide?

Author: Andrea Miller

Reviewed by: Brindusa Vanta

The qualifications for a home health care aide include a high school diploma or GED, along with on-the-job training in the necessary care skills. Some states require a license or certification for home health aides, which often mandates a background check, knowledge test or completion of a formal education program.

What Does a Home Health Care Aide Do?

A home health care aide does various tasks depending on the senior’s needs. They assist clients with activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing and provide opportunities for social interaction. Home health aides go grocery shopping and prepare meals based on the senior’s dietary needs. 

Home health aides also coordinate medical appointments and sometimes accompany the client to the visit or provide transportation. Many aides help with household tasks such as laundry and cleaning.

Does Medicare Cover Home Health Aide Services?

Medicare covers part-time home health aide services if you need this type of assistance and can’t leave your home because of an illness, injury or health issue. The agency defines part-time care as up to eight hours a day and no more than 28 hours a week. It can’t include household assistance such as cleaning and shopping unless ordered by your doctor.

To qualify for home health aide services, a physician must certify that you need this type of care. You must hire an aide from a Medicare-approved home health agency, and you can only receive this type of care if you also qualify for home skilled nursing care.