Private Duty Nursing - A Mother and Caregiver's Personal Experience

    Caring for ailing loved ones can be tough, but trusting others to do it for you can be even harder.  Your family members are irreplaceable, and you always want to make sure they are in safe and competent hands.  As we’ve explored earlier in our Private Duty Series, Private Duty Nursing can be a godsend to many families of children with medical needs.  For parents who are caring for their adult children, this home health care service is just as vital and valuable!  This week I had the pleasure of speaking with one parent in particular who has observed her adult son’s care at home as both a mother and a caregiver.  Her unique perspective sheds light on how important quality Private Duty Nursing is, as well as how crucial it is to find a truly compassionate and competent Home Health Agency to get the job done. 

    Vicky is a caregiver, but more importantly she is also a mother.  Vicky’s journey as a caregiver began after her adult son was in a car accident in 2006, which caused permanent damage to his brain stem.  “He is unable to care for himself and has minimum vocabulary, so I’m his voice,” she says.  As you can imagine, it hasn’t been an easy transition for Vicky and her family.

    Before going full time as a caregiver three years ago, and before finding Harmony Home Healthcare, things were less than ideal. “[My son has tried] to show his emotions and movements to his nurses and aides, but after a while, some of them just decided to give up on him,” Vicky reflects. “They would just put him in front of the TV…and some even decided not to do his range of motion [exercises] on him.”  As a parent in a nearly impossible situation, any comfort they can take in their child’s quality of care and treatment is absolutely needed.  However, for Vicky and her son, this comfort didn’t come right away.  Vicky also describes finding out that her son’s staff had taken to complaining openly about her in front of him, even with him being unable to come to her defense.  This unprofessional and hurtful activity was the source of much pain and distress for Vicky, and left her looking for new home health agencies to provide what her son so desperately needed.

    These experiences, albeit negative, became significant learning tools for Vicky in identifying what exactly should and should not go into quality, compassionate, private duty home healthcare.  Her son became her inspiration for her career in caring for others, and she has dedicated her time since then to finding the best staff possible to provide his care—staff who will see him as she sees him, an amazing person with feelings, needs, wants, and a life worth living.  “It made me do more with my son, so I could show them he still has feelings and understands what is going on around him,” Vicky says, “It just takes him longer to complete a task.”

    For Vicky, the most important trait a Private Duty Nurse can have besides compassion, is the willingness to go the extra mile for their client.  It’s not simply taking care of someone in the most basic sense, it’s creating a relationship with the client, and putting the little extra into each shift to make their day special.  “While the basic work is important, it is also important to spend time with [the client] by talking to them about current events, going for walks, doing activities with them, and even asking them to help with their care,” Vicky says.  Getting the client involved with their daily activities and making them feel important can make a world of difference!  Also, oftentimes a compassionate Private Duty Nurse or caregiver won’t just fill the role of nurse or caregiver…they also become a friend.

    Working in a client’s home, versus a facility, carries with it immense rewards, but also great responsibility.  It’s crucial for Private Duty Nurses and Home Health Aides to always remember the boundaries that exist within each family’s household.  A respectful, professional manner is always a must!  Keep in mind that the client’s family may be under a great deal of stress at any given time, but they always have their loved one’s best interests at heart.  Seeing your once-active adult loved one reduced to round-the-clock healthcare is never easy, making it all the more difficult and terrible to witness them receiving any kind of subpar or inadequate service.  Every patient and client deserves nothing less than your all.  When this happens, relationships between the nurse, client, and client’s family will flourish and create bonds that last a lifetime!

    For families seeking Private Duty Home Healthcare services for their adult loved ones, Vicky strongly emphasizes taking the proper amount of time to do your research!  Now that Harmony is taking care of Vicky and her son, she has high hopes and peace of mind.  As she had to learn the hard way, not all Home Health agencies are created equal.  It’s crucial to trust your loved one with an agency that values relationships, integrity, and compassion above all.  When a company’s core values are centered on exactly that, it creates a win-win for everyone involved!

    As Vicky knows, taking care of others isn’t always easy, especially in the home health setting.  It takes commitment, relentless work ethic, a fantastic problem-solving nature, and ultimately a passion for compassion.  At Harmony we are blessed to have so many nurses and caregivers who fit this exact bill in order to provide exceptional care to our clients, and we look forward to providing exactly that to Vicky’s extraordinary son.

    Does Private Duty Home Healthcare sound like the best option for your adult loved one?  Does a career in Private Duty Nursing or Caregiving sound like the career opportunity of a lifetime?  Contact us to learn more.

    Harmony is founded with a single focus in mind: providing compassionate home care and home healthcare to the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

    Our trustworthy caregivers are ready to lend a helping hand to your mother, father, children, and loved ones in Fayette County, Greene County, Somerset County, and many more locations throughout the region. Contact us and one of our patient advocates will be happy to discuss how Harmony's programs can help your family today.


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    Author: Michelle Adams


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