28 Questions to Ask before Hiring a Home Care Agency
To ensure that the company you hire follows best practices and provides safe care, you should investigate the philosophy and business practices of the companies you are considering. The following questions will help you to do so:
- Does the agency have an office where you can meet them? Is the office address listed in local directories?
- Are their caregivers employees of the agency or independent contractors with limited supervision?
- How long has the company been in business?
- Does it belong to the Better Business Bureau?
- Is the agency recognized for payment by long-term care insurance companies? If so, will they assist in getting the services pre-authorized?
- Is the agency a member of a state and/or national geriatric care association?
- Is an assessment by a qualified professional provided before the start of care? Is there a charge for the assessment?
- Will a written care plan be left in the home to describe the caregiver’s duties?
- Will a case manager be assigned to provide ongoing case management to ensure the highest quality of care?
- What are the requirements of the caregiver providing the transportation?
- What are the caregiver’s qualifications? Does the person have appropriate experience and training for special needs clients, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease?
- What are the agencies’ hiring practices?
- Does the agency conduct any specialized testing of prospective caregivers?
- Does the agency provide regular supervision of the caregiver while in the home?
- Does the agency withhold all applicable state and federal employment taxes?
- Are their caregivers bonded and insured?
- Does the agency require a contract for its services?
- Is the caregiver paid directly by the client or do you bill for your services?
- If the level of need increases, does the rate charged increase?
- What are the provisions for terminating service?
- Do they have extra charges or fees? (such as travel to and from the home, errand miles, overtime, bathing assistance)
- Do they require a deposit?
- What is the additional charge, if any, if there is to be more than one person cared for in the home?
- Is the caregiver covered by worker’s compensation, disability and unemployment insurance?
- Can you interview the caregiver?
- Is transportation available? If so, whose car will be used?
- How can you reach the agency after regular business hours and on weekends in case of a problem or emergency?