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How to Be a Support for Your Loved One Receiving Private Duty Care

Private Duty Caregivers Fulfill Your Loved One’s Many Needs, But You Can Still Play a Major Role

A private duty caregiver is a blessing to any family. These caregivers allow your loved one to thrive more independently where they live and experience a higher quality of life. Because of the support that a private duty caregiver offers, your loved one can enjoy a routine that doesn’t include having to part with the comfort and familiarity of where they live right now.

Available anywhere from two-hour shifts to 24/7 care, private duty caregivers deliver a steady form of care that ensures the safety and quality of life of your loved one while developing a meaningful relationship with them.

However, once you and your loved one have decided that private duty care is necessary, that doesn’t mean that you as a close family member are going to be left out. By offering support, love, and service, you can play the role of advocate for your loved one, too.

How You Can Help Your Loved One At Home

Healthcare advocacy is not to be confused with a professional who takes on the role of patient advocate. Family members can serve as healthcare advocates without any special certification. The Joint Commission, an organization dedicated to globally improving the quality and safety of healthcare, defines a healthcare advocate as anyone who:

  • Supports their loved one during healthcare challenges.
  • Asks medical professionals questions and takes notes at appointments.
  • Facilitates clear communication between healthcare professionals.
  • Coordinates support from other people, including family members.
  • Runs errands.
  • Looks for opportunities to serve.

Even while a private duty caregiver is offering consistent care throughout your loved one’s day, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a role to play.

Some advocates are particularly engaged with a loved one’s medical care and stay informed to help make treatment decisions. But this isn’t the only role you can play. In fact, another family member may have already taken on that role.

Imagine being able to support your loved one in any of these simple, hypothetical scenarios:

  1. If your loved one only receives private duty care for a certain portion of the day, you visit regularly during one of the caregiver’s “off” hours to provide companionship and help to your loved one.
  2. You happen to be in touch with several family members who want to visit your loved one. You take it upon yourself to coordinate these visits, so they don’t interrupt routines, medical care, or other engagements. You ensure that everyone has a chance to visit.
  3. Your loved one’s private duty caregiver explains that a kitchen appliance doesn’t seem to be working. You’re handy, so you come over on a weekend day and make the repair yourself.
  4. You know that your loved one enjoys a particular television show in the evenings. You can make a commitment to watch that show with them each week.
  5. When your private duty caregiver mentions that they are taking your loved one out for a social outing, you decide to do some research into community centers that have activities that your loved one would enjoy. You help create an enriching schedule, so your loved one has activities to look forward to.
  6. Your loved one may have mentioned to you that they are particularly hungry for a certain type of food. You can coordinate with your loved one’s private duty caregiver to ensure they get to experience that special food they’ve been looking forward to.

This list could go on endlessly; there are many day-to-day situations where you can be useful to your loved one, even if you aren’t a daily caregiver. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with daily caregiving responsibilities, you can leave those to a team that offers private duty care near you while you serve as an advocate as needed for the additional responsibilities that arise.

You Don’t Have to Be a Family Caregiver to Make a Difference

Some family caregivers are able to spend a great deal of time with their loved ones. However, not everyone has this luxury because of work, other family obligations, and more.

In any community, everyone has a role to play. It may “take a village” of support to help your loved one experience the best quality of life possible, including choosing to hire a private duty caregiver in the home. No matter what you decide your role will be, your consistency is perhaps more powerful than you know. Your presence matters, no matter how you’re able to give back.

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Wesley Koenig, RN

Meet Wesley Koenig, RN from our Columbia location. Wesley, we are so thankful for your dedication to your clients and Phoenix Home Care and Hospice!

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