General Duties that May Be Provided By A Home Services Worker

Water Tower Nursing and Home Care, Inc. (WTN) employees/home service workers (caregivers) provide home services in accordance with the Home Health, Home Services and Home Nursing Agency Licensing Act [210 ILCS 55] (Licensing Act). WTN home services are intended to enable the Client to remain safely, comfortably and independently in his or her own residence of choice. WTN would be happy to discuss any Client specific questions you may have about the services WTN caregivers may provide.

In accordance with the Licensing Act, the following is a list of general duties that the caregiver may perform along with additional duties as required by WTN’s policies and procedures:

  1. Observation of client functioning and reporting changes to a WTN Supervisor.
  2. Assistance with household chores, including but not limited to, menu planning, meal preparation, cooking, light housekeeping, changing linens, and laundry.
  3. Assistance with shopping, escorting to and from appointments and other engagements outside of the home.
  4. Companionship.
  5. Completion of caregiver time sheets documenting each of the services provided at each visit.
  6. Assistance with activities of daily living and personal care as follows:

    A. Ambulation provided the client has been professionally trained in the proper
    use of any adaptive equipment such as walkers, canes, and wheelchairs.

    B. Bathing including assistance in the shower/tub or when confined to the bed provided the client does not have any medical skin care needs before, during, or after bathing.

    C. Dressing clients in ordinary clothing or support stockings that can be purchased without a physician’s prescription.

    D. Exercise including encouragement of normal bodily movement, as tolerated, on the part of the client and encouragement with a prescribed exercise program.

    E. Feeding as long as the client can independently swallow and be positioned upright.

    F. Hair Care appearance and maintenance including shampooing with a non-prescription shampoo, drying, combing and styling.

    G. Medication Reminding including inquiries as to whether medications were taken, verbally prompting the client to take medications, handing the appropriately marked container to the client, and opening the appropriately marked container if the client is physically unable to open the container.

    H. Mouth Care as long as the client is conscious, and may include denture care and basic oral hygiene, including oral suctioning.

    I. Nail Care including soaking of nails, pushing back cuticles without utensils.

    J. Positioning when the client is able to identify to the caregiver, either verbally, non-verbally or through others, when the position needs to be changed, and only when medical skin care is not required in conjunction with the positioning. Positioning may include simple alignment in a bed, wheelchair, or other furniture.

    K. Shaving only with an electric or safety razor.

    L. Skin Care includes general skin care assistance. Skin care may be performed by a home services worker only when skin is unbroken, and when any chronic skin problems are not active. The skin care provided by a WTN caregiver must be preventative rather than therapeutic in nature, and may include the application of non-medicated lotions and solutions, or of lotions and solutions not requiring a physician’s prescription.

    M. Toileting includes assisting the client to and from the bathroom. Caregivers can: provide assistance with bed pans, urinals, and commodes; provide pericare; change clothes and pads of any kind used for the care of incontinence; empty or change external urine collection devices, such as catheter bags or suprapubic catheter bags; and empty ostomy bags or other client-directed ostomy care only when there is no need for medical skin care or for observation or reporting to a medical professional.

    N. Transfers when the client has sufficient balance and strength to reliably stand and pivot, and assist with the transfer to some extent. Adaptive and safety equipment may be used in transfers, provided that the client is fully trained in the use of the equipment and can direct the transfer step by step. Adaptive equipment may include, but is not limited to, wheel chairs, tub seats, and grab bars. Home services workers may assist clients in the use of a mechanical or electrical transfer device only when the client or client representative is able to direct the transfer step by step.

  7. Regarding respiratory care; the caregiver may temporarily remove and replace a cannula or mask from the client’s face for the purposes of shaving or washing a client’s face and may provide oral suctioning.

Additional caregiver duties

  • Familiarize themselves with their job responsibilities and limitations, as specified by each Client’s specific Service Plan.
  • Follow basic hygiene and infection control practices. A listing of uniform instructions may be found in the document titled:Infection Control Guidelines.
  • Follow employee health policies that require reporting of health symptoms and exposure to any communicable or infectious disease.
  • Follow procedures related to identification and protection from potential dangers to the health and safety of the Caregiver.
  • Follow basic personal and environmental safety precautions.
  • Follow procedures on communicating with clients that are hard of hearing, have dementia, or have other special needs.
  • Follow disaster procedures.
  • Maintain a clean, healthy and safe environment.
  • Protect the confidentiality and security of client’s personal, financial, and health information as found in the document titled: Notice of Privacy Practices.
  • Recognize behaviors that would constitute abuse or neglect and the legal prohibitions against such behaviors as well as knowledge and understanding of abuse and neglect prevention and reporting requirements.
  • Recognize emergencies and have knowledge of emergency procedures including basic first aid and implementation of a Client’s emergency preparedness plan.
  • Report all questions and concerns to a WTN Supervisor in a timely manner.