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Questions to ask a home care service agency

Important questions to ask a company or person who will be helping with caregiving duties.

February 13, 2024

Questions to ask a home care service agency

Around 70% of adults aged 65 and older will need long-term care at some point in their lifetime. Caregiving can be a rewarding, but challenging responsibility, and not every caregiver has to handle the responsibility of caring for their loved one on their own. Home care service agencies can offer skilled care and a much needed helping hand.

Finding the right home care provider for your loved one

Once you’ve made the decision to seek the help of a home care service, the next step is to find the agency that is best suited to serve and care for the needs of your loved one. You can start by browsing different providers and exploring their overall reputation and history, patient satisfaction scores and whether their approach to care matches your expectations and preferences. There may be needs that are specific to your personal situation, but there are several baseline questions that are important to incorporate into the process and can help you make a confident decision.

Are they licensed, bonded, and insured?

Along with browsing the services they provide, it’s important to ask the home care provider whether they are licensed by the state and licensed as a business in the city. You want to be sure the agency is operating above board, since you’ll be entrusting them with the care of your loved one. Their care staff members should all be bonded and insured, and you should also make sure to grasp the full breadth of their offered services

Find out more about their care staff

Their employees are the people who will be in your loved one’s home, so it is essential that you feel you can trust them. Begin by asking the home care provider questions like:

  • What is your hiring process?
  • How are applicants screened and what type of background checks do you perform?
  • What are the care team members’ qualifications?
  • What training does your care staff receive?
  • Will we have a consistent caregiver?

Try to also learn as much as you can about the culture the agency cultivates among their employees, and the type of supervision that is conducted over the care staff. You may have an opportunity to meet with members of the care staff and determine who you’re most comfortable with to provide care for your loved one.

Ask about the cost of their services

Home care service agencies should be able to clearly break down the costs and help you understand out-of-pockets expenses and what insurance and Medicare should cover. Additional questions include:

  • Will you have to sign a service contract or an agreement?
  • What does the agency charge for their services, and are there additional fees?
  • Are there different payment plans available to accommodate your financial situation?
  • Will they work with your insurance company?

For some, these can be the most difficult questions to ask, but it is vital that you have a firm grasp of the financial aspects of their services. Having these questions answered upfront will go a long way towards making an informed decision and ensuring a smooth process.

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