Private Duty Nursing Care For Seniors: A Comprehensive Guide

The convenience and benefits of a private home care nurse are extensive, and these professionals can provide an array of care for seniors with specialized or complex medical needs. Private duty nurses are clinically trained caregivers who are typically licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), or registered nurses (RNs). You'll want to choose a caregiver with the proper level of education and skills to meet your loved one's particular physical and emotional needs. Private duty nursing can be customized to meet your family's needs, with caregivers often able to work anywhere from two to twelve hour rotating shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days per week or as needed.

Caregiving and Medical Services Provided by Private Home Nurses

Depending on the state in which you reside, more complex symptoms and medical techniques might only be available by hiring registered nurses or nurse practitioners. After all, you will only want those properly trained to handle the most tedious and involved medical tasks for your loved one. Depending on their level of education and certification/licensure, private duty nursing staff typically can perform several medically related tasks including:

  • Monitoring patient's medical status and keeping detailed records for overseeing and partnering medical providers.
  • Alerting family, other caregivers and primary physicians of any changes in patient's physical and/or emotional symptoms.
  • Administering medications including intravenous injections.
  • Providing traumatic injury and wound care including tracheotomy and ventilator care and tube feedings.
  • Providing hospice and palliative care for seniors.
  • Caring for those with chronic and life threatening seizures and other disorders.

Beyond medical care, private duty nurses provide companionship and personal care for their charges based upon the patient's needs and capabilities. They can assist with activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, dressing and assistance with bathroom needs and/or changes of adult diapers and catheter bags.

Much like other in-home senior caregivers, private nurses can also provide homemaking services such as light housekeeping and cooking for patients. However, there's more than physical care involved, as you will want to find a nurse that your loved one relates to and feels comfortable with. After all, they will be working closely with seniors to give them the emotional and physical stimulation and exercise they need to age in place happily and healthily.

The Medical and Personal Benefits of Private Home Care Nurses

The benefits of private home nurse care include providing for any and all medical needs of patients in addition to tending to their active engagement in daily activities according to ability.

Medical Benefits of In-Home Private Duty Nurses

Private duty nurses carefully observe and document the progress and condition of patients who require in-home monitoring. These observations can lead to the discovery of necessary changes in treatment regimens, physical therapy or care plan changes instrumental to recovery progression or overall daily comfort concerning managing symptoms. Ultimately, a private nurse's medical goal is to prevent any medical complications and handle any that may arise through proper assessment, treatment and monitoring patient's in dire need or palliative care situations by the hour.

The Personal Benefits of In-Home Private Nursing Care

With personalized one-on-one care, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes along with knowing that your loved one is cared for even when you aren't there. For those that require full-time care, a private nursing team can offer families a great deal of respite while allowing patients to feel comfortable and confident within their own homes rather than a facility setting. Most individuals feel more independent in their own homes and are more likely to engage with caregivers and become participants in their own care and recovery efforts. Furthermore, private nurses communicate daily with the family, making it easier to provide a steady stream of family support to charges.

Private Duty Nursing Education, Skills and Qualifications

With so many nursing licensure statuses and certifications available, the education opportunities and qualifications of these professionals is vast. Many candidates choose to obtain an associate's degree or attend vocational schools that prepare them for licensure in vocational nursing or as nursing assistants. These individuals have proven their knowledge in a classroom setting and shown the adequacy in performing many basic medical tasks. However, the most skilled in-home private caregivers go on to earn a bachelors degree and pass the national examinations through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to become registered nurses or practical nurses.

Private Duty Nurse Salaries and Paying for In-Home Nursing Senior Care

Due to their flexible schedules and exceptional skills, private duty nurses have quite a bit of wage fluctuations. Primarily, this depends on the number of hours worked and the level of skills that are required to care for the particular patient. For all practical purposes the average salary of hiring a full-time private nurse or a team for transitioning 24-hour shifts is approximately $70,000. However, part time care from nursing assistants or LPN/LVNs can start at around $30,975 with nurses with bachelor degrees and specialty medical areas commanding an upwards of $85,000.

Private duty nursing care for seniors can be wholly or partially paid for through:

  • Private Health Insurance or Supplemental Long-Term Care Policies
  • Managed Care Organizations
  • Medicare or Medicaid
  • Veterans Assistance
  • Supplemental Social Security Income for Long-Term Illnesses
  • State and Federal Funding Assistance
  • Grants from Private Organizations

When your are taking time to tour facilities, you will typically be introduced to the community's financial planning staff members to help you sort out the various ways you can cover the expenses of private duty nursing care for your loved one.

How to Find Private Duty Nursing Care for Seniors

Here at SeniorLiving, we strive to provide the most current and up to date information concerning all of your needs and questions about assisted living senior options. If you are looking for private care nurses or any other type of arrangements to care for an aging loved one, explore the care providers in our directory today.

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Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt