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Questions to Ask Home Care Agencies

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Questions for Home Care Agencies

Business InformationServices Provided

  • How long has your agency been in business?
  • What is the background/experience of the owner?
  • Does the agency have a fully staffed office?
  • Can I interview the caregiver before accepting care?
  • Is a personalized plan of care developed with me during the assessment?
  • Does the agency have the capacity to accommodate a full range of home care needs – from light duty companion care to  heavy care, including end of life care?
  • Do you have a nurse on staff?
  • Do you provide Certified Nursing Assistants?
  • Do you provide skilled care?
  • What is the minimum shift?
  • How much is your hourly rate?
  • How much is your overnight rate?
  • How much is your 24 hour shift rate?
  • Are there any restrictions against accompanying the client outside the home or driving a car?
  • Are home care workers agency employees (with benefits and insurance)?
  • Do you 1099 or W-2 your workers?
  • Is your agency bonded (insured against theft)?
  • Do you have proof of liability coverage?
  • Is/are the caregiver(s) available for emergencies and/or on short notice?

Caregiver Qualifications (Training, Licensing, Background Checks)

  • Are all your home care workers licensed or certified?
  • What types of background checks are done with your workers?
  • Do caregivers receive a thorough orientation by a supervisor on safety issues, agency procedures, and care goals and standards before placement?
  • Do caregivers write daily care notes with a copy left for the client and eligible family members?
  • Can you furnish references for your workers that I can check? If not, do you have any client satisfaction survey results you can share with me?

Financing/Payment

  • Do you accept long term care insurance?
  • Does the agency pay the worker’s Social Security and taxes?
  • What is the cost for overtime, if the worker stays late?
  • When is payment due? (e.g. at the end of each visit? Weekly? Monthly?)
  • Are all costs and fees listed on a written statement?
  • What is the hourly or daily charge for one person? For a couple?
  • What is the mileage charge for trips to the doctor or shopping?
  • What does it cost to buy out a caregiver?

Service Quality

  • Are workers supervised?  If so, by whom?
  • Will a supervisor visit or call the client’s home?
  • Do you arrange regular conversations with the family about the client’s case?
  • To whom can the client or family ask questions or make complaints?
  • How does the agency follow up on/resolve problems or complaints?
  • Are workers available 24 hours, 7 days a week?
  • Is there always a management person or owner available take a call?

© Copyright Reserved, Eldercare Specialists, LLC, May 2009 Version 1.0