Once you’ve decided that your senior needs to begin receiving home care, you’ll need to start your search and choose the right home care agency to provide that care. One of your requirements should be that the agency conducts a “home care assessment.” During the assessment, the agency staff member(s) will ask you and your senior questions about the elder adult’s physical health, cognitive abilities, care preferences and needs, etc. You’ll also have the chance to ask the agency questions during the assessment. This lets you gather basic information about the agency’s services, their caregivers, rates, and other vital details.

To help you find the right fit from the agencies you’ll be comparing and contrasting, here are some questions that will help you find the home care provider that best meets your senior care needs.

About the Agency

  • How long has your agency been in business?
  • Where are your offices located?
  • Is your agency licensed to provide home care in my state (if applicable)?
  • Do you carry liability insurance, and can I see a copy of your insurance certificate?
  • Are your caregivers bonded?
  • Are your caregivers’ agency employees or independent contractors?
  • Are your caregivers covered by Worker’s Compensation insurance?

Concerning Care Management

  • How long does it take to begin receiving care?
  • Do you create a personalized, written care plan for each senior? Who makes the plan, and what does it include?
  • How often do you evaluate and update a client’s written care plan? Who conducts those evaluations and prepares the updates?
  • How do you match caregivers and clients?
  • Do you offer specialized care that will meet my loved one’s specific needs (e.g., dementia, Parkinson’s, mobility assistance)?
  • How do you communicate with clients and their family members if there are questions, concerns, or recommendations?

Caregiver Selection and Training

  • How do you recruit and select caregivers?
  • What type of background checks do you conduct? What is your policy regarding hiring caregivers with prior criminal charges or convictions?
  • Does your agency use initial and routine drug screening of employees?
  • What type of initial training do caregivers receive? Is there ongoing training?
  • Do you conduct periodic supervisory visits to evaluate caregiver performance?

Company Policies

  • Who will be my point of contact if I have a concern or issue?
  • What is your backup plan when my regularly scheduled caregiver isn’t available?
  • How quickly do you respond and provide last-minute coverage if a caregiver is late or a no-show?
  • Do you have minimum requirements for hours per shift or shifts per week?
  • If I need to speak with someone after hours, will I be able to talk with a staff member, or will my call go to an answering service?

Billing Practices

  • What are your rates?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
  • How often do you bill?
  • Do you require a deposit?
  • Do you accept long-term care insurance? If so, do I have to pay you and get reimbursed by my insurance company, or will you bill them directly?

Home Instead of Southwest Florida will be happy to provide you with an initial assessment and answer all of your questions. We’ve been providing quality senior home care in Naples, Fort Myers, and Charlotte County since 2002, and we’d be honored to assist your senior loved one. Contact us today to learn more about us or complete this simple online form. We look forward to visiting with you.

(If you’re a dedicated and compassionate caregiver and would like to discuss current job openings, apply online today.