Private duty care is an unwritten story that follows a different path for each senior who chooses to accept it. From companionship to total assistance with all the activities that fill the day, a private duty caregiver is more than just a person who provides care. They are the bridge to a sense of normalcy for the senior who is starting to disconnect from others due to age and ability.
Caregivers often choose a private duty in home care because it gives them the opportunity to work closely with their clients. While the caregiver provides valuable companionship, the senior shares interesting stories and sage wisdom – or snarky comments, depending on how receptive they are to having in home care. The seasoned caregiver takes it all in stride knowing that a special relationship will form, sometimes it just takes time.
What Does a Private Duty Caregiver Do?
Private duty home care in Florida can include everything from non-medical everyday demands of life such as meal preparation, laundry, and light housekeeping to total assistance with all activities of daily living (ADLs). Assistance with daily tasks including bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, and transferring can be managed by private home healthcare agencies with the appropriate license. When you are ready to explore options in home care, ask trusted experts about the differences in home health care.
Private care in the home is so much more than personal care assistance. It is a commitment to keeping life vibrant and engaging for a person who is becoming challenged by age and ability. There is much to be done in a day, and with private duty care, life continues with the welcome relief only a trusted companion can provide.
Dreading that uncomfortable conversation with an aging parent about bringing private duty caregivers into the home? They may be surprised to know that in home private care can do so much more than just personal care. Here are 15 suggestions to encourage engagement and experiences when daily activities become overwhelming without help.
15 Ways to Care Beyond ADLs
- Letter writing
- Doctor appointments
- Meal preparation
- Medication reminders
- Pet care
- Light housekeeping
- Hobby help
- Personal shopper
- Memory organizer
- Social calendar keeper
1. Companionship keeps the brain sharp and reduces depression.
Even the most introverted person craves personal interaction. Seniors who are isolated at home have a high risk of developing depression. Companionship promotes good mental health and just makes life better. Growing old doesn’t mean being alone but companionship may look different from what it was in the past.
2. Letter writing is a lost art that can be found again.
A private duty caregiver can help their senior client connect with family that lives far away. Writing letters to grandchildren, sending a cheerful card to a friend, or jotting a clever note to mark the occasion of a birthday or anniversary can be a meaningful activity with the help of an in home caregiver. The caregiver can gather the supplies while the client gathers their thoughts – a match made in Hallmark heaven.
3. I love to keep up with all my doctor’s appointments – said no one ever.
Juggling doctor’s appointments can get a bit tricky in old age. Specialists, general practitioners, teeth, ears, eyes – they all require regular appointments. And none of the doctor’s offices have real people answering the phone anymore, so getting through to confirm an appointment can be frustrating.
A private duty caregiver and a calendar can be life-changing. Or let the caregiver connect you with a mobile medical provider. Either way, having assistance keeping the schedule of medical appointments is a service for both the senior and the primary caregiver who is already stretched for time.
4. Malnutrition leaves an elderly person vulnerable.
Private duty health care is a strong step towards improved nutrition. Meal preparation is more than just putting together ingredients for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It includes meal planning and shopping – two time-consuming tasks that can exhaust an elderly person. The caregiver and senior can spend time together creating menus, shopping lists, and even cooking together.
5. An in home private duty caregiver can organize trips out and about.
Those groceries aren’t going to go buy themselves! Manageable trips to the grocery store (or to curbside pickup) and other outings to get fresh air easily fit into the daily schedule. Drive to the beach or walk in a nearby park – all of these excursions are possible with regular visits from private duty home care.
6. Private duty health care includes offering those important medication reminders.
Families can have peace of mind knowing that the private duty caregiver is on hand to gently remind mom or dad that it’s time for their medication. There are plenty of gizmos and gadgets on the market that will remind, send alerts, and even notify the family if a medication isn’t taken but nothing beats a smiling reminder from a caregiver onsite. Medication errors often result in a move to senior living – stay safe at home longer with private duty home care.
7. Who doesn’t want someone else to do the laundry?!
Laundry is much more manageable with an assist from the in home private duty caregiver. Soiled linens get attention faster and clothes don’t need to pile up – or wait for family to come visit. And it’s much more fun to watch someone else wrestle the fitted sheets!
8. Pets are a big part of the family, and they need attention, too.
Many seniors have a beloved pet to keep them company throughout the day. But with age, it becomes harder to take Fido for a walk or keep Fluffy’s litter box clean. Private duty home care can help keep the fur babies well cared for while giving the senior someone to talk to without all the cattitude.
9. Good old classic movies are easy to love.
Whether it’s a trip to the movie theater or kicking up in an easy chair at home, a movie is best enjoyed with company. Seniors love to share the cinema of their day and private duty caregivers are game to reminisce. Movies are a perfect escape on a rainy day, and the caregiver can figure out the remote controls.
10. Don’t waste energy on housekeeping tasks.
Dusting, sweeping, and mopping – oh my! For an aging adult, these tasks can be energy zappers and even fall hazards. Save energy for more meaningful activities by letting the in home caregiver do the light housekeeping.
11. Stay home longer and stronger by exercising.
We can all benefit from a little more movement during the day. A private duty caregiver can encourage their client to engage in short periods of exercise throughout the day or week with recommended exercises. Not sure which exercises are best? Consult with an Occupational Therapist who can come directly to the home.
12. Enjoying hobbies can be fun again with a little private duty help.
Aging adults often stop engaging in their favorite hobbies because it just becomes too difficult. Setting up the easel to paint. Bending down to garden. Standing at the workbench. A private health care agency can assign a caregiver to help them manage the tasks they used to enjoy. By setting up a functional painting area, raising the garden, and lowering the workbench, hobbies just may be doable once again.
13. Grandparents (and great-grandparents) still like to give gifts for special occasions.
A senior can maintain their long-standing history of gift-giving with a little help from a caregiver. Online shopping or getting out to a local store is all in a day’s work. They don’t have to sacrifice their generous spirit and they gain a personal shopper. Win-win.
Pro-tip: Designate a pre-paid debit card for shopping excursions or online shopping. Cards get lost and account numbers get stolen every day through a variety of scams. A pre-paid debit card limits financial risk and helps track spending easily.
14. A private duty caregiver can help organize thoughts and memories.
The historical knowledge of the greatest generation can fill libraries! The inventions they have witnessed and the adventures they have experienced can be written down for families to enjoy for years to come. Seniors love to reminisce, and a private duty caregiver can capture these stories in writing or recordings.
15. A healthy social life can still be a priority.
Book Club at the local Senior Center or a long-standing weekly poker game don’t need to be removed from the social calendar. A private duty caregiver can track commitments and keep the senior social for as long as they want. Old age is best enjoyed with friends and private home care can keep them connected.
There are many hard decisions to be made when helping to care for an aging parent. Most seniors want to stay at home, so finding support to help them do that safely is important. Instead of focusing on all the tasks that require help, let them see that life is not over and is, in fact, enhanced by private duty home health.
Keeping seniors safe at home and making magic happen are two of the reasons Private Duty Home Care is a Resource We Love. Learn more about the services of a private duty home care near you in the Resources Section of our Blog.