Senior Living Resources Lutheran Senior Services
What is a Private Duty Caregiver?

What is a Private Duty Caregiver?

Do you want to maintain independence in your home but need a little help with day-to-day activities? A Private Duty Caregiver may be just what you need! Private Duty Caregivers can assist with daily tasks that can become more difficult with age. Some examples are day-to-day needs like personal care services, meal preparation, bathing, and light housekeeping.

“Some people wonder, ‘What is a Private Duty Caregiver,’ and I’m so glad to be able to explain to them that we actually help people stay independent longer. Folks are usually happy to discover that,” said Kyle Crellin, Private Duty Liaison for Lutheran Senior Services Home & Community Based Services.

Defining Private Duty Care

Private Duty, also known as Personal Care, Home Health Aide, Home Care, or Care Transition, is a type of in-home care service designed for people who need personal care services like help with mobility, hygiene, light housework, and other non-medical needs to help maintain independence. The in-home senior care services will be provided by someone trained but not necessarily a licensed health professional, meaning a physician does not need to order private care.

A private duty caregiver can make a significant difference when the day-to-day activities become challenging. “The help is not only for the person who needs personal care services; family members also benefit,” said Kyle.

Services Provided by Private Duty Caregivers

“Home Health Care and Private Duty Care are not the same thing,” advises Marcy Cox, Director of Private Duty in Home & Community Based Services for LSS. “The most important difference is that Home Health is care from a medical professional and is typically covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Private Duty is non-medical care and is paid out of pocket and not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.”

Private Duty is customizable by design. Some people may require personal care, such as help with bathing or dressing. Others need errands run for them or transportation to appointments and outings. Still, others may need help keeping up with mail, medication reminders or housekeeping. LSS Private Duty Home Care offers a broad range of in-home solutions to support family members and people who wish to maintain independence in their homes.

“This care can help an older adult by doing chores and services like cooking, cleaning, laundry, and bathing,” said Marcy. Typically, this type of care is offered in four-hour sessions per day. Private Duty Caregivers can provide:

  • personal care services
  • physical therapy
  • meal preparation
  • light housekeeping
  • bathing
  • toileting
  • help with pets
  • companionship

Through these services, Private Duty caregivers enable family members to enjoy time with their loved ones instead of providing care.

Is a Private Duty Caregiver Similar to a Private Duty Nurse?

They might sound the same, but a Private Duty Caregiver and a Private Duty Nurse are very different regarding services and costs. Simply put, a caregiver provides non-medical support and is not covered by Medicare, while a private duty nurse does provide medical support and may be covered by Medicare.

A Private Duty Nurse is ideal for those with an established medical need, but obtaining care outside the home is extremely difficult. Other times, this can be called Home Health Care, Skilled Nursing, Home Health, and Home Therapy. This type of care must be ordered by a physician and provided by a licensed professional, such as a nurse or therapist. Medicare can cover costs if you meet qualifications, and Medicaid can also cover costs. Examples of care would be wound treatments or physical therapy. Having access to experienced nurses, therapists, and social workers at home can positively affect health outcomes. “They serve as a buffer to help reduce hospitalization and doctor visits,” said Kyle.

Qualifying for Private Duty Care

There are no qualifications that must be met to access Private Duty Care. No doctor’s order is required, and there is no age limit. Reach out to a Private Duty Care organization and explain what support is needed with day-to-day activities to maintain your independence or that of your family member. From there, you can be matched with a Private Duty Caregiver.

Paying for a Private Duty Caregiver

In most cases, Private Duty Caregivers are an out-of-pocket expense. However, long-term care insurance plans may also provide coverage, and some insurance plans may pay for this care, so be sure to ask. For U.S. military veterans living with a disability, Medicaid may be applicable. Check with the Department of Veteran Affairs for more information.

Choosing the Right Private Duty Caregiver

A reputable Private Duty home care agency will work closely with you and your family members to assess what support is needed to maintain independence and personal care services. When Kyle receives a call for care, he spends time with the caller to gather all the necessary information. “We determine days and times when care is needed. We develop a care plan with a list of duties. We create a list of likes and dislikes that includes everything from meals and activities to how they ambulate. We note if they live alone or with others. Everything the Private Duty caregiver needs to know to provide the best care,” said Kyle.

Ensuring that caregivers are vetted and trained is essential. “All LSS Private Duty caregivers undergo background checks,” said Kyle. Caregivers undergo hands-on training that includes ethics, working with older adults, how to approach clients living with dementia, and the etiquette of being in someone’s home. “Up to 90% have experience in a care setting,” said Kyle.

Kyle recommends qualities to look for in a caregiver, such as someone who demonstrates empathy, understanding, and patience and who can adapt to the client’s personality.

Stay Home Independently with Confidence: Choose LSS

What is a Private Duty caregiver? They are the key to maintaining independence in your own home by providing help with day-to-day activities and may be just what you need!

LSS Private Duty provides access to a full spectrum of harmonized care that LSS offers. Should your needs increase to include medical services or possibly a transition into an LSS Life Plan Community, you’re already part of the LSS circle.

“Often the path to Private Duty is through REACH Short Stay Rehab,” says Kyle. “When guests are discharged from REACH, they sometimes become clients of Private Duty.”

“At LSS, we strive for continuity of care whenever we can,” said Marcy. “We love to see the bonds that form between clients and caregivers. We love knowing our clients look forward to time with those who care for them.”

Click here to learn how LSS Private Duty Caregivers could help you maintain your independence or that of your loved one!

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