Questions to Ask an Agency
We've made it easy to find those in-home care agencies serving your home, and below you'll find a list of questions to use as a guide during your selection process. That way, you're sure to ask the same basic questions of each company you contact in order to make the best choice. You're about to select someone who will come into the home of your loved one on a regular basis to provide care, so you have a right to know as much as you can about the agency, the people and the services they will be providing.
Here are some questions you'll want to consider:
General Questions About the Agency
- What type of agency is your company? (See Types of Home Care Agencies)
- Does our state require your agency to be licensed?
- Is the agency currently licensed by the state?
- What services does your agency provide? What services can't or won't your agency provide?
- Are services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Is management available 24/7?
- How long has your agency been providing services?
- Can I talk to references that have used your services recently?
- How do I go about arranging for care to start?
- How soon can you start care?
- Do you have any minimum requirements regarding the length or frequency of care you provide?
- Is your agency, including your caregiver staff, insured?
Questions About Agency Caregivers
- What types of staff can your agency provide?
- How do you screen and select your caregivers?
- Describe your typical caregiver to me? What kind of caregiver can I expect from your agency?
- What training and support will your agency provide to my caregiver?
- Are your caregivers employees of the agency? Or, would I as the client, be the legal employer?
- Are your caregivers bonded (insured against theft or loss to a home) through the agency?
- What is the procedure if my caregiver does not report to work when scheduled?
- Can a different caregiver be requested if I am unhappy with the worker the agency sent?
- How many caregivers do you have on staff available to care for me at any given time?
- Can I interview the caregivers before they work in my home?
Questions About Costs
- What is the cost of services? (See How Is Care Paid For?)
- How are your prices determined?
- Do you require a deposit or any type of payment in advance?
- How often does your agency bill me for services?
- Will your agency bill my LTC insurance company directly?
Questions About Quality
- Does the agency have references or satisfaction reports for itself and staff?
- Is the agency reviewed by an outside organization?
- When was the last review and are the results available to clients?
- What kind of system is there for receiving client problems or complaints and resolving them?
- Is there a written plan of care for each client?
- Are clients and family members involved in putting the plan together or reviewing it?
Questions About Management
- Who owns the agency? How long have they owned the agency?
- Who is the manager in charge? What is there experience in the home care field?
- How can I get in touch with the agency and the manager on evenings and weekends?