Care assistants need to be detail oriented as they have to follow specific guidelines in taking care of their clients. They also have to have a compassionate, upbeat attitude and enjoy helping people.
Care assistants, also known as home health aides, help people who are disabled, are mentally impaired or suffer from chronic illnesses. In some states, the health aide is allowed to give medication or check vital signs under the supervision of a nurse. Clients may be under heavy daily stress or pain, so health aides need to be patient with them. Care assistants also need good interpersonal skills because they work closely with clients, sometimes living with them.
The job requires good physical stamina to physically move a disabled client. Since clients rely heavily on home health aides, it's important to have good time-management skills. They are expected to perform tasks on time and show up to a client's home as scheduled.
Typical duties include bathing and dressing clients, organizing their weekly schedules and making appointments for them. Care assistants may also do light household chores, such as washing the dishes, washing clothes and vacuuming the client’s home. They are responsible for grocery shopping, preparing meals according to the client's prescribed diet and providing transportation arrangements for doctor visits or any other outdoor trips. Last but not least, home health aides must provide companionship.