In talking with people who routinely interact with older adults, we’ve come up with the following Top 5 Reasons Why NOT to Refer to Private Duty Home Care.
1)  They might not be able to afford it.

True. They might not. However, many older adults have financial resources beyond what you might expect. Wise and frugal life choices might have prepared them for a rainy day, or they might have purchased a Long Term Care policy that you are not aware of. Our experience is that some families you might not think could, can afford private duty home care when needed.

2)  They might have someone (a family member?) who will do it for free.

Again, this might be true and even expected. But does the adult daughter really have the time to add caring for an aging parent to juggling work and other family responsibilities? Will the care be consistent and at a level suitable to maintain the quality of life or recuperative care needed? Again, our experience is that even the best intentioned family caregiving can break down quickly and often does so as the weeks go by.

3)  They won’t allow a stranger in their home.

We can certainly understand the concern of allowing a stranger in your home and every precaution should be taken to avoid this danger. While not every home care agency operates the same, the most reputable ones will arrange for the owner to introduce a caregiver to ensure compatibility and build a comfort level with the family.

4)  They might be okay without it so long as someone is checking on them.

They might be, but they might not. Older adults who have fallen are more prone to repeat falls. We always consider what we would want and how we would feel most comfortable if the person being served was our own parent. I know that I would not feel comfortable rolling the dice and hoping for the best with my own mother.

5)  They don’t think they need assistance.

To be sure, nobody likes to be told what is best for them and older adults can react defensively when told they need assistance. When an older adult is treated with dignity and honor and their wishes and desires are heard and respected, when assistance is truly needed, they will come to that conclusion. It is counterproductive to talk down to or otherwise demean an older adult, but it is equally irresponsible to allow unsafe choices to rule. We’ve found that sometimes simple assistive devices can be of great value, such as a medical alert or automated medication reminder. This allows the introduction of a third party who can offer additional support or caregiving suggestions.

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