Private Duty FAQs

NEW: For more information, visit our new Private Duty website at: pathwaysprivateduty.org (note: clicking this link will open a new browser window).

What is private duty?

Pathways Private Duty is a not-for-profit, full service organization providing premier non-medical attendant care to assist older adults and the chronically ill with their activities of daily living. Up to 24 hours a day, on a temporary or long-term basis, care can be provided in the home, hospital, skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility.

Certified home health aides, certified nursing assistants and homecare aides provide assistance with personal care, companionship and home management on an hourly or live-in basis. Caregivers are carefully screened, bonded, insured and covered for Worker’s Compensation.

What counties do you serve?

We serve San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. Coastside and Contra Costa county service is provided based on staff availability.

Do I have to sign a contract?

You must sign a consent that gives us your permission to provide personal care. It also contains the cost of the services we will provide. It contains no obligation to continue services, which the client may cancel at any time.

What is the background of the aides?

Aides must have a minimum of 6-months experience or must have completed an educational course and obtained certification. All of our applicants must pass a written competency test. References are carefully checked and criminal, driving record and social security checks are conducted before we hire anyone. Pathways conducts monthly training classes for our caregivers and offers tuition reimbursement to its employees.

Will my insurance pay for this care?

Long-term care insurance may pay for private duty services, depending on the policy. We will help verify your coverage.

Will Medicare or my Medicare Supplement pay for this care?

No. Personal care is considered “custodial” under Medicare guidelines and therefore is not covered. Medicare, senior HMOs, and Medicare supplements will not cover these services.

What are the usual shift times?

Shifts are determined by the needs of the client, and can begin at any time of day, starting and stopping anytime the client wants, a minimum of 3 hours. Round-the-clock shifts are usually 7am-3pm, 3pm-11pm and 11pm-7am, but can vary according to the needs and schedule of the client. Twelve hour shifts are sometimes preferred.

Can the aide do errands?

Yes. Aides are available to run errands in either their own car or the client’s car. Most of our hourly staff can drive, some staff may not drive.

Can the aide take me to doctors’ appointments?

Yes. Transportation arrangements can be part of the care plan.

What if my caregiver calls in sick?

Our client care coordinators will contact other employees who meet the client’s requirements. They will make every effort to provide you with a replacement caregiver as soon as possible. Pathways Private Duty has a field staff of over 200 employees to help meet the needs of our clients.

Can I change the schedule for the aide?

Yes. We can change the schedule to meet your changing needs. Our client care coordinators will review your caregiver’s schedule on our automated system and make adjustments as needed.

What if I need to talk to someone on the weekend or at night?

Pathways Private Duty offers on-call client care coordinators, as well as an on-call nurse for assistance after office hours and on weekends. Call our toll free number 888-600-2273, and our answering service will connect you to our staff.

How often will a nurse come to visit? Will it cost extra?

After an initial nurse visit, additional visits are scheduled based on the needs of the client to support both the client and the staff. There is no fee when the nurse visits.

How much notice do I have to give to stop service?

Services may be cancelled with as little as 4 hours notice. This allows time for client care coordinators to reach the caregiver and reschedule them.

Can somebody come and talk to my group about your organization?

Yes. We have a diverse team of professionals available for presentations to the community. Ask for our Community Relations department to arrange a speaker.

How can I reach Pathways private duty?

Call us toll free, in the San Francisco Bay Area at 888-600-2273(CARE).

Our Hearts go out to those victims and their families affected by the fires. For our patients and families, please remember to stay in contact with Pathways for your needs.