Private Duty Attendants: Concerns for Communities

In an effort to retain their loved ones in the least restrictive environment, many resident’s families/responsible parties are bringing in private duty care attendants.  On the surface this appears to be a great solution to residents requiring more intensive monitoring or personal care. However, the practice has not been free from problems for providers.  Here are some of the biggest concerns providers are facing:

Oversight

Some private duty personnel feel oversight by the community is no longer necessary.  They resent reporting a change in condition or other information to community staff.  There have even been cases where providers have purposefully withheld important resident information for fear that a prohibited health condition would require the resident to move, thus causing the private duty attendant to lose his or her job.

Appropriate Attire and Behaviors

Some communities have battled private duty attendants who dress inappropriately within the community or exhibit behaviors which result in complaints by residents and other visiting families.  One community recently had a private duty attendant go door to door to resident rooms soliciting care contracts and promising the residents it would be cheaper than allowing the licensed community to provide the care.

Debilitating Resident Capabilities

One of the most devastating results of private duty attendants is the over provision of personal care resulting in residents losing the ability for self care.  One-on-one care lends itself to staff performing more care than necessary to a resident.

While private duty attendants can provide valuable care, assisted living communities need to ensure proper protocol is in place, such as:

    Criminal clearance
    Dress and behavior code when in the community
    Use of name tags
    Control entrance and exit of the community with sign-in and sign-out logs
    Policy requiring appropriate insurance coverage
    Clear expectations of duties and reporting requirements
    Regular review of resident needs

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