What you need to know about Home Care Paraprofessional Services

Home care paraprofessionals assist clients in a variety of areas. What services they provide the client depend on how they are licensed and trained. Paraprofessionals in Minnesota fall into three categories: home health aide tasks, home care aide tasks, and home management tasks.

1. Home health aide tasks:

  • administration of medications with certain restrictions;
  • performing routine delegated medical or nursing or assigned therapy procedures.
  • assisting with body positioning or transfers of clients who are not ambulatory;
  • feeding;
  • helping with bowel and bladder control;
  • assisting with therapeutic or passive range of motion exercises; and
  • providing skin care, including full or partial bathing and foot soaks.

2. Home care aide tasks:

  • preparing modified diets, reminding clients to take regularly scheduled medications or perform exercises;
  • household chores in the presence of technically sophisticated medical equipment or episodes of acute illness or infectious disease;
  • household chores when the client's care requires the prevention of exposure to infectious disease or containment of infectious disease; and
  • assisting with dressing, oral hygiene, hair care, grooming and bathing, if the client if ambulatory, and if the client has no serious acute illness or infectious disease.

3. Home management tasks (includes two or more of the following areas):

  • meal preparation;
  • housekeeping; and
  • shopping.

In addition, home care paraprofessionals can help clients during episodes of serious disease or acute illness. Services may include maintaining appropriate hygiene and nutrition, oral hygiene, helping with mobility, bathing, dressing, hair care, toileting, bedding changes, basic housekeeping and meal preparation.

How do you get paraprofessional services?

You may either hire a person yourself or call a licensed or registered home care agency.

If you do your own hiring, make sure the person is a licensed or registered Individual Paraprofessional.

Paraprofessional services are regulated under the Minnesota Home Care Hospice Licensure Law through the Minnesota Department of Health.

A "Class C" license is for individual paraprofessionals. This license allows for a self-employed individual to perform home health aide tasks, home care aide tasks and home management tasks. This individual is employed directly by the consumer.

There is a difference between home care aides and health care aides. Health care aides require more training. Therefore, a paraprofessional trained only to perform home care aide tasks may not perform home health aide tasks.

A paraprofessional trained to perform home health aide tasks may do home care aide tasks.

Agencies and individual paraprofessionals who only perform two or more home management tasks (housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation) are not required to obtain a license but are required to register with the Minnesota Department of Health.

Licensing questions?

To inquire about the license or registration of an agency or paraprofessional, contact the:

Minnesota Department of Health at (651) 215-8701 or Fax (651) 215-8709.

or

For general licensure information or to discuss a home care problem contact:

Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care
Telephone: 1-800-657-3591 or (651) 431-2555
Fax: (651) 431-7452