top of page

Weekly Tips & Insights

Everything caregivers need to know about at-home private duty services.

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Would you know where to turn if caring for a loved one became emotionally and physically overwhelming?

Understanding your options and getting the right information to address issues that go beyond your caregiver skill set can be challenging. Sometimes, caregivers feel so overwhelmed that they rush through key decisions, ultimately choosing care options that are against their loved one’s wishes.

WATCH: Private Duty Services Director, Carol Emmerich RN, provides important details about Care - at- Home, Private Duty Services.

To help, we’ve asked our private duty care team to answer a few important questions that can help family caregivers navigate their situation in the best way possible.

1) What are common family caregivers’ motivations for hiring professional private care?

Woman caregiver sits with her ailing mother

Family caregiver(s) want to provide their loved one with the best care that meets their wishes; and in order to do so, many must first face the reality that they’re not the right person to give the best care.

There are many factors and motivations that lead to hiring private duty care, but the most common include:

Caregiver Motivations

  • Constant sleep deprivation, causing fatigue and inability to maintain a healthy standard of living

  • Inability to manage technical tasks including: handling catheter care, oxygen, incontinence and/or medication administration

  • Is an opportunity for the loved one to remain at home and/or with a spouse

  • Ability to retain decision-making responsibilities for a loved one even though they’re not a main administrator of care

2) What are common negative side effects for family caregivers?

At-home aide helps man in pain into chair

Family caregiver(s) often deal with mental and physical ailments while caring for a loved one. Such “side effects” often lead caregivers to seek professional help.

Common negative side effects of caregiving that impact physical and mental health include:


  • Physical fatigue

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Joint / body pain

  • Cold symptoms

  • Respiratory Issues


  • Loss of job or promotion (caregivers are often challenged to fulfill their professional responsibilities)

  • Psychiatric issues, including: stress, depression, anxiety

  • Fear of care wrongdoing

  • Loss or decline of personal relationships

3) What key questions should caregivers ask when considering private duty care?

Aide talks with patient by home window

Each private duty care plan is different based on the patients and families' needs. However, regardless of the need or considered provider, important questions should be asked to find the best fit for a loved one.

Key questions include:

  • How long has the agency been in business?

  • Are aides' backgrounds checked, and are they insured, bonded and drug checked?

  • Who on the team supervises the care?

  • How is care delivered if the scheduled caregiver is unavailable?

  • What are our options if my loved one doesn’t like the assigned aide?

  • Are there service contracts or minimum service requirements?

4) What are the best ways to plan financially for private duty care?

Caregiver aide laughs with patient at his home

On average, people spend 90% of their income in their last years of life. Therefore, good financial planning for care services, like private duty, should begin well in advance. Certified Elder Care Planners and lawyers can give the best information.

Good financial preparation can start with these facts:

  • Average VNA private duty care clients spend $2,000 a month on care (Avg. 24 hours of care/week, living in a 1,000 sq./ft. home)

  • New financial planning products allow seniors to protect assets that can be used for private care

  • New flexible health accounts allow people to save for private duty care

  • Different models of care are available at lower hourly fees or eligibility requirements for Medicare CDS

  • By 2019, some Medicare Advantage plans could include some private duty care (more information coming soon)

Private duty care will continue to be in high demand for the next several decades as older generations age. And, it's likely your own parents or loved one could need help, so it’s never too soon to learn about the options available.

Learn More

To learn more about VNA’s Care-at-Home, private duty services, please contact Carol Emmerich RN at or (314) 918.7171.

71 views0 comments

Over 5,000 people

receive our tips.

Sign up to receive free monthly tips and

insights on adult and senior health and caregiving topics.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page