What is a Private Duty Caregiver?

What is a private duty caregiver?

What Is a Private Duty Caregiver?

Do you or your loved one need a little more help taking care of the home or activities like bathing, getting dressed, or using the toilet? A private duty caregiver could help you or your loved one age in place and delay or avoid going to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

But what is a private duty caregiver? What do they do? How much does it cost? How can you tell if you or your loved one would benefit from a private duty caregiver? Read on for these answers and more.

What Is Private Duty Home Care?

Private caregivers provide non-medical support to help seniors age in place. Private duty home care helps with day-to-day activities like light housekeeping, cooking, bathing, getting dressed, medication reminders, and transportation.

What Services Does a Private Duty Home Caregiver Provide?

Some examples of private duty care services include:

  • Meal planning and cooking
  • Transportation to appointments or shopping
  • Light housekeeping
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, toileting, and getting dressed
  • Medication reminders
  • Specialized care for Alzheimer’s, dementia, hospice, or other special care needs
  • Companionship

While companionship may not seem like a big deal, loneliness can increase the risk for physical and mental illness (1). According to Anthony D Ong, Bert N Uchino, and Elaine Wethington:

“Increasing evidence suggests that perceived social isolation or loneliness is a major risk factor for physical and mental illness in later life.”

Benefits of a Private Caregiver

Private caregivers:

  • Allow a renewed sense of freedom
  • Provide relief for friends and family
  • Allow seniors to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their home
  • Provide reliable, helpful companionship
  • Ensure an improved quality of life
  • May improve nutrition, medication compliance, and personal hygiene
  • Help prevent falls

What Is the Difference Between Private Duty Nursing and Home Health Care?

While private duty care and home health care sound like two different terms for the same thing, they are quite different.

Private duty care is hired by an elderly person or their caregiver for non-medical services such as companionship, housekeeping, and assistance with activities of daily living.

Home health care is skilled medical care prescribed by a doctor for a limited time, usually following an illness or injury, to help people get back on their feet.

Who Pays for Private Duty Care?

Some long-term care insurance policies cover private duty care. Otherwise, people usually pay for private duty care out of their own pocket.

How Much Does Private Duty Care Cost?

Private duty care costs vary depending on where you live and how much care you need. Here are some cost of care examples from 2020 to give you an idea of what to expect (2):

  • The national monthly median cost of 44 hours of care per week from a home health aide was $4,576, while the monthly median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home was $8,821.
  • The monthly median cost in Mississippi for 20 hours of care per week from a home health aide was $1,603, while the monthly median cost for an assisted living facility was $3,713.
  • The monthly median cost in New York state for 40 hours of care per week from a home health aide was $4,506, while the monthly median cost for an assisted living facility was $4,800.
  • The monthly median cost in Illinois for 56 hours of care per week from a home health aide was $6,188, while the monthly median cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home was $6,235.
  • The monthly median cost in Washington state for 70 hours of care per week from a home health aide was $9,595, while the monthly median cost for a private room in a nursing home was $10,950.

The national monthly median cost of 44 hours of care per week from a home health aide was $4,576, while the monthly median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home was $8,821.

How Can I Tell If My Loved One Needs Private Duty Care?

Here are some signs your loved one may need a private duty caregiver:

  • They seem lonely or depressed
  • They don’t seem to be keeping up with their hygiene
  • Housekeeping is lacking
  • They have lost their driver’s license or are getting scared to drive
  • They seem to be more forgetful
  • They are gaining or losing weight from eating more or less than usual
  • They are recovering from an illness or injury
  • They have significant health concerns
  • You know or suspect they have fallen

Falls are a serious problem for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (3):

“Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among persons aged ≥65 years (older adults).”

How to Find the Perfect Private Duty Caregiver

When you choose a private duty caregiver, you want to find the perfect match and know what to expect from the company you select. Here are some questions you should ask when choosing the right private duty caregiving company for you or your loved one (4):

  • Are you licensed by the state?
  • What type of employee screening do you do? Do your caregivers have references?
  • What are the aide’s credentials or training?
  • Are your aides trained in Alzheimer’s care (or whatever other special need you or your loved one has)?
  • How do you handle billing and expenses?
  • What do you include in the services?
  • Will I get a detailed care plan before service begins?
  • When do you provide services?
  • When can services begin?
  • How do you handle emergencies?

If you want help selecting the best private caregiver for your needs, contact us today. We can help you get the best caregivers for you or your loved one.

References

  1. Anthony D Ong, Bert N Uchino, and Elaine Wethington, Loneliness and Health in Older Adults: A Mini-Review and Synthesis, PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26539997/
  2. Cost of Care Survey, Genworth, https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html
  3. Gwen Bergen, PhD; Mark R. Stevens, MA, MSPH; Elizabeth R. Burns, MPH, Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6537a2.htm?s_cid=mm6537a2_w
  4. Home Care Services: Questions to Ask, Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/home-care-services/art-20044609