The following list of frequently asked questions may be helpful to you in evaluating the significant advantages of choosing Home Care Assistance over other agencies and senior care options:
- How long has the company been in business?
A: Home Care Assistance of Northern/Central New Jersey was opened in the fall of 2005 by Kevin McClarren. Home Care Assistance Parent company was founded in 2002 in Palo Alto, California, by Kathy Johnson, PhD, a Certified Geriatric Care Manager. We now have over 40 offices throughout the country.
- Is the agency licensed and bonded?
A: Yes, we are licensed as a Health Care Service Firm by the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, Division of Consumer affairs. Agencies must be properly bonded to maintain this licensing.
- Do you have sufficient insurance?
A: Yes, we maintain general and professional liability insurance, worker’s comp insurance, non-owned auto insurance and theft bonding.
- Where is your office located?
A: The main office is at 53 Mountain Blvd, Warren, NJ that serves the North/Central Jersey (Somerset, Union, Essex, Morris and Hunterdon).
- Are the caregivers employees of the agency or independent contractors with limited supervision?
A: All of our staff members are our employees, not contractors. We are not a referral agency. You will not be saddled with any of the hassles or risks of becoming an employer. Caregivers are supervised by our RNs and other members of our management team.
- Is an assessment by a qualified professional provided before the start of care?
A: Yes, an assessment is done by one of our RNs and a written care plan is created prior to the start of care.
- Will a written care plan be left in the home to describe the caregiver’s duties?
A: Yes, the care plan and the associated daily checklists completed by the aides are available in a binder in the home at all times.
- What are the caregiver’s qualifications?
A: All of our aides are certified by the State of NJ, and have completed all the necessary training, background checks, fingerprinting and physical exams necessary to maintain their certification.
- Do you have caregivers experienced in dealing with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia?
A: Yes. A significant percentage of our clients have some form of dementia, and we can provide caregivers that are skilled and experienced in providing safe, effective care for clients with dementia.
- What are the agency’s hiring practices?
A: All caregiver candidates undergo a face-to-face interview with our Director of Human Resources. We review the aide’s state certification, perform a criminal background and sex offender registry check, review authorization to work in the U.S. and check professional and personal references. We also administer a proprietary psychological screening test. All caregivers must be able to read, write and speak English fluently. Due to the high number of applications we receive, we are able to be very selective in our hiring process.
- Can we interview a potential caregiver prior to starting service?
A: Yes. Our Care Manager will do a warm introduction of the potential caregiver. If you feel the potential caregiver will not be a fit for some reason, we will work with you to find a more suitable candidate.
- How do you ensure that your caregivers arrive for their shifts on time?
A: We use an automated time management system for all caregivers. When our caregivers arrive at a care location, they call into our scheduling system from the home phone that lets us know they have arrived. If this automated check-in is not done within a few minutes of the scheduled start time, the office staff will follow up to see if there is a problem. Caregivers also check out over the phone when they leave, ensuring that the client is always billed for the proper amount of time.
- Is the caregiver paid directly by the client or do you bill for your services?
A: No money is ever exchanged with the caregiver. We invoice weekly for our services, and payment can be made by check, bank debit or major credit card.
- Does the agency withhold all applicable state and federal employment taxes?
A: Yes, we pay our caregivers weekly and we withhold all state and federal taxes.
- Does the agency require a contract for its services?
A: Our clients sign a straightforward agreement of service. There is no fixed contract length, and we invoice for services after they are delivered.
- Do you accept insurance?
A: Most of our clients pay privately due to the fact that most health insurances do not reimburse for the type of non-medical in-home care services we provide. We are happy to work with clients to help them receive reimbursement from long term care insurance if such a policy is in place.
- Are there any other funding sources that can help us pay for the services?
A: We are familiar with the Aid & Attendance program through the Veteran’s Administration which can reimburse qualifying Veterans and surviving spouses for in-home care. There are other funding sources for special circumstances (i.e. Holocaust survivors), and we are always open to looking for creative solutions to help families get the care they need.
- Can you provide transportation?
A: Yes, we can provide transportation of the client as part of our hourly or live-in service. This can be done using the client’s vehicle (if available), or the caregiver’s vehicle. We do need to reimburse the caregiver at the federal rate for any transportation done in the caregiver’s vehicle. For Live In’s due to the high demand for Drivers there is a $10 surchage per day.
- Is it possible to reach the agency after regular business hours and on weekends in case of a problem or emergency?
A: Yes, we have staff members on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to respond to our clients’ needs. Simply call the office number and you will reach a member of the management team directly.
- What are the provisions for terminating service?
A: If you need to change your schedule or terminate service for any reason, simply call the office and speak to our scheduling coordinator. We only ask for 48 hours notice for a change in hourly service, or 72 hours for a change in live-in care. We always strive to be flexible and work with our clients on any scheduling challenges that may arise.