What is Private Duty Care?

by Joyce Baldrica, President and CEO of the VNA of the Treasure Coast

and Nightingale Private Duty Nursing



Do you, a loved one, or a neighbor feel unsafe at home due to a medical condition or age-related issues? Are you having difficulty preparing food, bathing, or getting into or out of bed? Are you unable to manage your medications and take them as prescribed? Is it a struggle to do your grocery shopping or errands? If you answered yes to just one of these questions, you should learn more about private duty care.


Private duty services are for individuals of all ages who need assistance with daily living within the comfort, security, and privacy of their own home. Private duty services foster independence and help create and maintain a safe living environment. Private duty caregivers offer peace of mind, also provide respite for a family caregiver, and may work alongside with home health and hospice care teams.


Unlike the intermittent home care paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurances, private duty care is paid for by the client and/or family, trusts, and some long-term care insurance plans. While private duty care is always tailored to the individual client’s needs, services are provided by nurses, home health aides, and trained caregivers, and often include:

  • Client advocacy and care management
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Medication management
  • Bed and bath assistance
  • Companion and homemaker services
  • Personal transportation
  • Help with laundry, meal preparation, and errands
  • 24-hour care, if needed


There are three types of organizations that can provide private duty care in the home; a private duty agency, a nurse registry, and private care giver. Each type of agency provides in-home care, however there are differences regarding how the care is managed, licensure, and employment laws. I will include more information on these three types of organizations in a future article.


Many private duty home care organizations provide a broad range of services. The goal is to provide whatever a client needs to remain safe and independent in their home. Care Management may also be provided, along with a wide array of other services such as home health aides and specialty nursing programs including wound care and pain management.


As more Americans choose to remain in their homes while they age, finding the right type of private duty care for loved ones can be a challenge. To find a qualified private duty agency in your area, turn to the National Private Duty Association (NPDA), the nation’s leading association for providers of private duty home care.


You deserve the peace of mind, trust, and security that working with a member of the NPDA can provide. All NPDA members must adhere to the organization’s policies, procedures and ethical standards for home care. They have an “Agency Educator” to provide consumers with a comprehensive list of NPDA members nationwide. Visit www.privatedutyhomecare.org for more information, or visit the Private Duty Homecare Association at www.pdhca.org .



VNA provides compassionate, innovative care of the highest quality, setting the standard for patients and caregivers needing home health, hospice, and community health services.