Nurse Next Door

Private Duty FAQ's

Who does St. Joseph Private Duty help best?

St. Joseph Private Duty helps seniors and others with disabling conditions with the support they need to remain at home, rather than relocate to an institutional setting. St. Joseph Private Duty clients are of all ages, and can include seniors with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Alzheimer's disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Cancer, or nagging problems with impaired eyesight or hearing, memory loss, difficulty bathing and dressing due to arthritis, or other chronic illnesses and conditions. Many clients have more than one condition, which can make the simplest tasks of daily living difficult.

St. Joseph Private Duty provides the support clients need to feel safe, to help with tasks that clients may no longer be able to do, so they can spend their time doing things they want to do-spending time with friends and family, reading a good book, or other recreational activities. St. Joseph Private Duty also helps family caregivers with support and respite, relieving them of some responsibilities so they, too, can spend more quality time with their loved ones. Families do the bulk of the care, so St. Joseph Private Duty provides support and takes care of families as well.

What services do you provide?

St. Joseph Private Duty provides care and assistance for the elderly and disabled in their homes. We have trained caregivers, all of whom are bonded and insured. St. Joseph Private Duty is a private duty home care company serving all of Orange County. We offer help from 2 - 24 hours a day. St. Joseph Private Duty caregivers help with the everyday tasks that enable clients to remain independent in their own homes.

We take care of a range of needed services including, but not limited to:

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Comfort Care
  • Meal Preparation
  • Transportation
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housekeeping
  • Shopping / Errands
  • Laundry
  • Companionship
  • Geriatric Care Management

How can I afford home care?

Many people are worried about the cost of long term care. At St. Joseph Private Duty, we understand and try to provide only the help you may need. It is found that some people do very well with 4 hours of care, 2 or 3 times per week. Hours can be changed as the need changes. The care hours are customized to meet your needs. For many people, the cost of care can be met from a variety of sources-personal savings and income, home equity, long-term care insurance, family help, etc.

What alternatives are there to nursing home care?

Many home care clients receive 24-hour care from qualified caregivers who work in shifts (by the hour). Home care is usually less expensive than the nursing home. And for clients receiving care at home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, St. Joseph Private Duty's caregiver ratio is 1-client-to-1-caregiver (instead of 15:1 in most nursing homes), making home care far higher in quality and client satisfaction.

How much do services cost?

St. Joseph Private Duty develops care plans that are tailored to every client's individual needs and means. Exact cost is determined by the number of hours of care and the type of care you receive, personal daily living care or skilled nursing care by a LVN. Our services are billed by the hour. Most important, St. Joseph Private Duty also offers a long-term care planning service that can assist you with these and other choices.

Do I need a doctor's order for care?

No, there is no pre-authorization, certification, pre-qualification, prescription or physician's order required. Services begin and end when the client decides, and the level of care is up to the client to determine in collaboration with St. Joseph Private Duty.

Will the same caregiver come each time?

We always seek to match the best caregiver with each client, and to keep the same caregiver with a client as long as the client is satisfied. A good relationship with your caregiver is critical to the success of our services. We understand how important a stable, lasting caregiver relationship is. We offer clients the choice of which days and times you receive care, and depending on your choice, it may become necessary to schedule more than one caregiver. We will do all we can to keep the same team in place, coming in week after week, as long as you are satisfied with the arrangements. All scheduling arrangements are made with the involvement of the client.

Do I pay the caregivers myself?

No. You or your authorized representative will receive an invoice for the care we provide. Because all St. Joseph Private Duty caregivers are employees of the company, you will not have to pay them directly, nor will you be asked to pay any additional fees.

Are your services covered by health insurance?

Sometimes, either long-term care insurance, worker's compensation, or automobile insurance policies will reimburse for these kinds of services. And our long term care planning professionals can help you determine how best to use your own resources, that might include savings, income, reverse mortgages, and community programs for which you might qualify and that are often used to pay for home care. Our professional long term care planners can help sort out the best option for you, and will help you and your family through every step of the often confusing process. We will provide the documentation your insurance company requests. Most health insurance policies, including Medicare, do not pay for this type of hourly companion and personal care service.

Can St. Joseph Private Duty help monitor my medications?

Yes. We help clients by reminding them to take their medications, reporting side effects, and helping with pre-filled medication packages. While our caregivers cannot administer medications, they can assist clients by instructing and reminding them how to take their own medication in a timely and accurate fashion. St. Joseph Private Duty does offer a separate Medication Management program with our RN. Medication Management includes communication with Doctor and pharmacy for med orders, setting of medication packages for the client, and oversight of medications.

Will I be able to choose who comes to my home?

Yes. We match the right caregiver(s) with each client to the client's satisfaction. And we will accommodate any request for a change as best we possibly can. We encourage your participation in this decision-making process. If a change needs to be made, we will handle the scheduling, the coordination and the phone calls.

If I want to discontinue, must I keep the service?

No. You are not bound to a long-term contract, and have the right to cancel at any time. Any credit will be refunded promptly. St. Joseph Private Duty does not require you to continue with services if you choose not to.

How long have you been providing services?

St. Joseph Private Duty is a service line of the St. Joseph Home Health Network, which has been providing in home health care since 1988. The Home Health Network is part of the St. Joseph Health System, a ministry sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, a religious community of the Catholic Church, founded in 1650 in Le Puy, France during a period of great poverty and upheaval. St. Joseph Health System also includes St. JosephHospital (Orange), St. Jude Medical Center (Fullerton), Mission Hospital (Mission Viejo) and Mission at Laguna (Laguna Beach).

Are your caregivers bonded & insured?

Yes. Every St. Joseph Private Duty caregiver is an employee of our health system. We perform a comprehensive national background check on all caregivers. They are all covered with general liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance.

How is my privacy maintained?

St. Joseph Private Duty does not sell information to any 3rd party or affiliate. Your information is kept strictly confidential. Only St. Joseph Private Duty personnel and caregivers directly involved with your care will have access to your information. All federal and state guidelines relevant to the privacy of personal and healthcare information are followed. This begins on the first day of care. The service agreement clarifies any restrictions on the use of your information. Unauthorized family members will not have access without the client's or legally authorized representative's formal consent.

How do services get started?

To start our in-home care services we arrange an initial visit with a client and sometimes his or her family. Services will generally begin within a few days after that, but sometimes can start the same day. We will discuss the care needs in this visit and develop an appropriate care plan. We will then match you with the right caregiver. Each client receives an individualized plan of care. We can answer any and all questions you may have during this initial visit.

What if I wish to change my services?

At St. Joseph Private Duty we offer flexible service schedules. We know how things can quickly change, and we can modify schedules with little advance notice. We can set up care within a few days, sometimes sooner, and do not hold clients to a fixed period of services.

Can my family verify that the work was completed?

St. Joseph Private Duty uses both telephony (a web-based time and attendance monitoring system) as well as written timecards. Documentation is kept confidentially in your home and on the attendance monitoring system. Written verification can be provided any time.