What Is Private Duty Care?

Get Help with Activities of Daily Living, Wherever You Live

There’s more to health care than just going to the doctor! Modern health services come to patients’ homes and meet them where they are, offering help with daily tasks and ensuring their safety.
For people who may need a little more help at home, private duty care is a viable solution. Keep reading to learn more about how this service can foster independence and confidence.

What Is Private Duty Care?

Private duty care is different from home health care services. Home health care is for patients who are recovering from an injury, surgery, or who have just received a new diagnosis and need intermittent care from a nurse. It requires physician orders.
Private duty care, on the other hand, is a one-on-one personal care service for patients who need assistance performing activities of daily living – they are not necessarily recovering from an illness, although they may be ill or have a disability.

Scheduling private duty care is a personal decision, rather than a medical one, although it may prevent transfer to a higher-level of care, such as a nursing home.

Who Qualifies for Private Duty Care?

Anyone who needs help living independently can get private duty care, as it does not require physician orders. It is a personal choice to begin private duty care.
Most people who receive private duty care are elderly, chronically ill, disabled, or a combination of the three.

What Are the Benefits of Private Duty Care?

For people who receive help from a private duty caregiver, they can experience a better quality of life. A caregiver spending several hours a day with them can improve their mental health and decrease feelings of loneliness. When caregivers help with food preparation, their clients are nourished and feel stronger. Because caregivers help care for their clients’ homes, they can enjoy living in a cleaner, more sanitary environment.

Private duty care also helps prevent transfers to care facilities, such as nursing homes. Private duty care recipients can live more independently in the comfort of their home, whether that’s a house, a loved one’s house, an independent-living facility, or a retirement community.

What Do Private Duty Caregivers Help With?

Private duty caregivers assist their clients with almost everything! Their broad range of services can include:

  • Toileting, bathing, or dressing.
  • Ambulation.
  • Transportation or help with errands.
  • Medication reminders.
  • Light housekeeping, like laundry, vacuuming, and dusting.
  • Meal preparation and planning.
  • Companionship.
  • And more.

Clients who require medical assistance, such as with catheters, feeding tubes, or colostomy bags, may need a higher level of care than private duty caregivers can legally provide. For more medical-focused care, patients should talk to their physicians.

How Often Does a Caregiver Visit?

A client and their family can determine how often and for how long a private duty caregiver visits. Many agencies offer care in hourly increments, up to 24-hour care.
Assess your needs before scheduling your caregiver; remember that you can always increase or decrease the time your caregiver spends with you. 

Who Pays for It?

Anyone can pay for private duty care, including a company trust officer or a family member not otherwise covered by worker’s compensation or private insurance. Private duty care is delivered on a private-pay basis; most insurance plans will not cover it.

Are There Downsides to Private Duty Care?

The biggest objection many people have to private duty care is the cost; because insurance doesn’t cover it, you must pay out of pocket for services. Fortunately, one-on-one caregiving is worth it when you consider how much it can improve quality of life and comfort. Can you put a price tag on independence?

Where Can I Find Private Duty Care in My Community?

Home care or home health agencies sometimes offer private duty care as one of their service lines. You can find private duty care in your community by:

  • Searching on Google or another online search engine, using a phrase like, “private duty care near me,” or using your specific city’s name in your search inquiry.
  • Requesting information about private duty care from your or your loved one’s current health care providers, including home health agencies or physicians.
  • Asking friends, family members, or coworkers for their recommendations, in case they or a loved one have used private duty care in the past.
  • Speaking with a social worker at your local senior center, hospital, or community health facility.