Once you have determined that your prospective home care company is properly insured, conducts background checks on its staff, and is accredited, it’s time to ask some questions about their standards of care.

Some people find having the questions you’d like to ask written down and taking notes helpful during your time with a potential home care provider. Also, you may want to consider asking a loved one (friend or relative) to be with you while you conduct the interview.

Can you interview potential caregivers before making a decision?

In situations where there is an event, like discharge from the hospital or rehabilitation center, you may not have the opportunity to interview caregivers. It’s fair to expect the home care company you choose to make proper introductions between you and your care provider before they begin working with you. If you have the luxury of time, asking to meet your care provider before his or her first day helps everyone involved ease into the situation. When you meet your home care provider, you’ll be able to ask them specific questions about their day-to-day care abilities. For example, if you avoid certain foods or require special meal preparation, it’s great to know if your provider has the ability to accommodate your requests.

If you are unhappy with your caregiver, or you don’t feel they are a good match, who can you talk to? Can you request a different home care provider?

While a mismatch in personality or lack of good communication between you and your caregiver probably will not be an issue, this is a great question to ask to set your mind at ease. Understanding the company policies about requesting a different home care provider will help you resolve any potential negativity right away.

If a caregiver has an emergency and cannot work, is an immediate replacement available?

The only good answer to this question is, “Yes!”

The best time to learn about how your home care provider will communicate with you about an absence or replacement is well before the event occurs. Will they call you first to let you know that your regular provider is not available? Will other staff members fill in? The home care company you choose should have plans and procedures in place to make sure that you always get the care you need.

In what way and by whom are the caregivers supervised?

Knowing what to expect relative to in-home caregiver supervision is another way to make the process of bringing someone new into your home or living space more comfortable. If your caregiver’s supervisor will sometimes be in your home or will be dropping by for a visit, this information should be available to you.

Can you speak with some of the company’s clients to learn about their experiences with home care?

One of the best ways to feel more comfortable when hiring a home care company is by speaking with current or past clients about the standard of care, dependability, and overall experience they had or are having with the company. Speaking directly with someone who is in a situation similar to yours soothes the nerves and finding out about their experience will help your transition.

Choosing a home care provider is an important process. Being comfortable with your provider, the company they work for, and the staff that supports and supervises your provider makes day-to-day life and even handling unexpected challenges easier. Forming a relationship with a home care provider you trust gives friends and family valuable peace of mind, as well.

Throughout the process of choosing a home care provider and setting up a schedule that meets your needs, it’s OK to be direct about how you see the process unfolding. If you need to slow down to ask more questions, your home care provider should happily accommodate your requests.

Additional Information

To learn more about how to choose a home care company, take a look at Home care services: Questions to ask on the Mayo Clinic website, or How Do I Select the Right Home Care Provider? by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

We’d love to hear from you and help you understand your options, so please contact us today to find out more about scheduling a no-obligation assessment.