Top 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Home Care

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posted by Ryan Whittington on August 31, 2011

Choosing quality care for aging relatives can be one of the most important decisions any of us will make.  We want our loved ones to be comfortable but also safe and well cared for.  Senior home care services can be the answer for many consumers. These services allow seniors to stay comfortably in their own homes but also provide for qualified professionals to visit regularly to ensure quality care.  There are five important questions anyone should answer before hiring a service:

  1. Are the workers employees or independent contractors of the service?
    In general, employees will have a higher level of support from the service company and often more stringent rules governing their actions.  That doesn't mean you should rule out independent contractors, many healthcare professionals make their living as contractors, but you'll want to carefully interview the service about how contractors are managed and supervised, and if there is a case load difference between employees and contractors.
  2. Is the company bonded and insured? 
    You are hiring a company to have its employees in and out of your relative's home, often when you are not present.  It's important to protect you, the company and the employee to ensure that the company is bonded and insured.  You can feel more comfortable about the employee entering your relative's home when you are not there and possibly having a key when this protection is in place.
  3. How does the agency choose the assigned caregiver?
    When choosing senior home care it's important to consider the needs of the senior. Does he or she have specific medical requirements for which the care specialist should have specific training.  What about personality compatibility?  You are hiring a service not only to look after a senior's medical care but also to make him or her more comfortable.  The right caregiver can make all the difference in how your loved one responds to the care.
  4. Does the company provide a plan of care?
    You are hiring a service and its employees for their expertise.  They should give you a detailed plan of how they plan to care for your loved one.  It doesn't matter if your senior home care needs are short or long term, a caregiver should have a clearly defined plan to follow.
  5. Does the company have a service agreement that clearly spells out terms and conditions?
    Ultimately, you are signing a contract with a company to provide services and like any business agreement you will want to see all of the requirements, terms, conditions and carefully review them before moving forward.

Hiring senior home care may prove to be a significant expense so its also important to protect yourself.  And it goes without saying, you'll likely need to involve yours (or the senior's) health insurance provider in the evaluation process.

Hiring someone to help take care of a loved one is a big decision, but by following these simple tips, you can find a caregiver that will take excellent care of your loved one, and you will be able to enjoy the time you spend with your senior more.

Post Tags

Advocacy and Education, Caregiving, and Case Management
  1. Scott


    July 20, 2017

    I’m glad that you suggested finding a company that has a specific plan for care. I have been looking for home care for my father, but I don’t know how to choose a service. I can see how it would be good to find a place that has a detailed plan, so mistakes are less likely to happen.

  2. Callum Palmer

    Callum Palmer

    March 21, 2018

    Not many people would think about it, but I like that your article encourages readers to ask how the caregiver is chosen. After all, you want to make sure that your elderly loved one will end up with a caregiver that you know you can trust. However, to ensure this, you need to know how the caregivers are picked and if you can request one specifically.

  3. Earnest Watkins

    Earnest Watkins

    March 23, 2018

    I appreciate how you mentioned that you should choose a home care service that is both bonded and insured. My wife and I are looking into homecare for my wife’s mother. We haven’t ever had to look at homecare services before, but we’ll make sure to check for licensing and insurance to ensure my mother-in-law gets the best care possible.

  4. Ava Murphy

    Ava Murphy

    May 15, 2018

    The best part of your blog for me is when you talked about the importance of choosing a home care agency that’s insured and bonded to give you peace of mind about the safety of your house and your loved one. My sister is looking for an in-home care agency for her husband. She is mostly at work, so it’s crucial for her to find a home care agency that she can trust with regard to her husband’s welfare, so I will make sure to share your tips with her.

  5. Ava Murphy

    Ava Murphy

    May 21, 2018

    It got my attention when you suggested finding out if the home care agency that you’re interested in assigned caregivers to their clients based on their specific training and requirements. My best friend’s mother has dementia. She wants to find an at home assisted living company that can provide her caregivers that specialize in handling dementia patients to make sure that her mom is going to be taken care of in the best possible way.

  6. John


    June 22, 2018

    The best piece of your blog for me is the point at which you discussed the significance of picking a home care organization that is safeguarded and attached to give you genuine feelings of serenity about the wellbeing of your home and your cherished one.

  7. Rhianna Hawk

    Rhianna Hawk

    September 25, 2018

    It’s good to know how an agency chooses the assigned caregiver, I agree, particularly to ensure that my mom gets someone that she can get along well with personality-wise. My mom can get somewhat blunt when she’s having an episode (she has dementia) and I want someone who can handle being around that without becoming offended or hurt by her words. It would be great if they had something of a dark sense of humor as well, though just having a specialist with dementia training would be just fine.

  8. Charlotte Fleet

    Charlotte Fleet

    June 07, 2021

    I am glad you mentioned the importance of hiring a caregiver for your home that is properly insured and bonded so you can trust them. My mom and aunt are hoping to find a great home caregiver for my grandma to make sure she is okay since she lives alone. I will make sure that they look into the insurance and licensing of a caregiving service before they hire one.

  9. Jane Guff

    Jane Guff

    October 27, 2021

    My grandma is getting old and needs more help around her house. I think it would be best to find her a senior care company that can come help her more often than I can. I like your tip to talk with potential companies about their proposed plan of care.

  10. Greta James

    Greta James

    October 28, 2021

    Thanks for the advice to consider the needs of the senior when choosing a caregiver. My parents are getting older but want to remain at home. I think that I should find a reputable agency to provide personal services to them in their home.

  11. Mats Wolff

    Mats Wolff

    August 31, 2022

    I recently got a new job, so I’m looking to hire someone to look after my ageing mother in my home. I’m delighted you stressed the significance of selecting a home caregiver who is appropriately insured and bonded so you can put your trust in them. I appreciate the advice on picking a home care provider, and I’m hoping to locate a dependable individual soon.

  12. Iris Smith

    Iris Smith

    September 05, 2022

    Thank you for mentioning that you are using a service to ensure a senior’s comfort in addition to their medical needs. My father requested home care since he is bored and has nothing to do at home. I’d like to find the best home care so that he not only has activities but also feels comfortable coming there.

  13. Elina Brooks

    Elina Brooks

    December 17, 2022

    Thank you for reminding us to ask about their bonds and insurance before we consider hiring a senior home care agency since this will help protect us in case something wrong happens while the caregiver is on the job. My grandma has issues with her mobility due to her back and her legs, so she needs assistance when moving around to do her daily tasks. I’ll have to be sure I inquire about this once I find an in-home caregiver I might consider hiring for the job.

  14. vivi smith

    vivi smith

    December 22, 2022

    Thanks for pointing out that a home care company that is bonded and insured can make you feel more comfortable and protected. My husband is planning to find a home care company that offers-hour services for his father who suffered from a stroke two weeks ago. He wants to ensure that his father is going to be properly cared for, especially when he is away, so your tips are helpful.

  15. ara minvers

    ara minvers

    January 13, 2023

    I could not agree more when you said that you must consider your loved one’s medical requirements when choosing a trained caregiver. This is something that I will share with my best friend who is planning to hire a caregiver for her 67-year-old father who has been hypertensive and a stroke survivor. He wants to make sure that her father is going to be cared for in the best possible way.

  16. ara minvers

    ara minvers

    January 13, 2023

    I could not agree more when you said that you must consider your loved one’s medical requirements when choosing a trained caregiver. This is something that I will share with my best friend who is planning to hire a caregiver for her 67-year-old father who has been hypertensive and a stroke survivor. He wants to make sure that her father is going to be cared for in the best possible way.

  17. Elina Brooks

    Elina Brooks

    February 10, 2023

    As unfortunate as it is to admit, my family does not have the time to spare to watch over my grandma 24/7 since we have jobs to attend to during the day, so we have decided to leave her in the care of a senior care center instead where we can rest assured that she’ll have someone to watch over her properly. I appreciate that you reminded us to verify if they have the right credentials, such as license, bond, and insurance to ensure we’re choosing the right facility for our senior loved ones. I’ll make sure to inquire about it once we find a senior care center to consider for my grandma soon.

  18. Elaina D'Agostino

    Elaina D'Agostino

    April 06, 2023

    You were right that we’d feel more comfortable when the people that go in and out of our relative’s homes are bonded and insured. I would feel comfortable, but I guess there’s one more reason why my mom wanted to move my grandma to a facility. It’s more like, she doesn’t think one professional is enough to address my grandma’s condition and needs.

  19. Elle Jones

    Elle Jones

    May 26, 2023

    As painful as it is to admit, my family does not have the time to provide round-the-clock care for my grandmother because we have jobs to attend to during the day. As a result, we have chosen to leave her in the care of a senior care facility so that we can be confident that she will have someone to properly look after her. I appreciate that you reminded us to make sure the facility we select for our elderly family members has the proper qualifications, such as a license, bond, and insurance. When we soon locate a senior care facility to take into consideration for my grandma, I’ll make sure to ask about it.

  20. Olivia Smart

    Olivia Smart

    June 27, 2023

    Thank you for pointing out that you should make sure that they’re insured. We’ve been wondering what we should look for in a home care service for our mom. I’ll have to share this with everyone since it seems like a good thing to check for.

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