Interview Questions to Ask a Home Care Company


When a family decides to give in-home care a try, the primary concern is ensuring that their loved one will receive the best possible treatment. Of course, trusting an outside party with these very personal responsibilities is often challenging. Family caregivers often take it upon themselves to vet potential providers, but it can be difficult to know what questions to ask and red flags to look for.

The list of questions below will help you gather basic information about a company’s services and gain a deeper understanding of its dedication to quality care and customer service. Any reputable home care company should be willing and able to answer these queries.

Keep in mind that some companies will conduct the intake process for new clients by phone, while others may prefer to schedule a face-to-face meeting (fees may apply) to discuss your needs and their services in detail. In either situation, you can use this list to ensure you have covered all of the points you feel are important to your family's selection.

Business Basics

How long have you been in business?
Does your state require licensing of in-home care companies?
Are you insured? (Ask for a copy of their Insurance Declaration)
Are your caregivers bonded?
Do you provide workers’ compensation insurance for your caregivers?
Can you provide references from previous clients?

Care Management

Do you create a personalized care plan for each client? What does this include?
How often do you evaluate and update a client’s written plan of care?
How do you match your clients with caregivers?
What is your policy for communicating with a client and their family members?

Caregiver Selection and Training

What is your caregiver hiring process like?
Do you conduct background checks? If so, what kind?
Do you conduct drug tests?
Do you provide training for your caregivers? If so, what kind?
Do your caregivers participate in ongoing training and education?
Are clients able to interview potential caregivers? If so, is there a fee involved?

Company Policies

How do you handle complaints and requests for a new caregiver?
Can a caregiver be replaced before their next shift?
What is your policy for no-show or late caregivers?
Do you have a policy regarding time minimums per shift or per week?
Are there specific services that your company specializes in?
Are there specific services that your company does not provide?
How do you handle emergencies?
Are after-hours phone calls answered by one of your staff members or are they routed to an answering service?

Payment Methods

What forms of payment do you accept?
Do you charge different rates for nights, weekends and holidays?
How often do you bill?
Do you take a deposit for services?
Do you accept long-term care insurance? If so, do you bill the insurance company directly or do clients pay you and then get reimbursed?
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Caregivers provided invaluable services for my husband who was living at home with Alzheimer's. The best caregivers came in on time and left on time. I had a list of tasks that I needed done to help me cope with his care at home. Most caregivers do not get enough credit for their hard work. They do not receive much pay either so it is important to treat them right when doing caregiving, I feel.

There's really no "Federal" background check available for non-medical in-home care agencies to use, at least not in the sense of it being a check provided by some Federal government agency like the FBI. In California, at least, the type of government-provided background check available is only a state-level check through records available from the California DOJ. The California DOJ is certainly able to run FBI checks, but by law in California that option is only available to residential care facilities, not in-home care companies. It's just another example of how we in California live in a giant social experiment every day that is mandated by a quaint left-wing organization called the California legislature.

So, what can in-home care agencies in California do in order to obtain criminal background information from convictions arising in other states. We have to use commercial third-party sources which attempt to do searches based on searches of individual states' or counties' court records. Frankly, it's not very reliable in some cases.

One other thing about California: here in California, it's not very hard to get many convictions, even for so called "lesser" felonies, expunged from your record after not having any other arrests for a number years. If you know what you're doing, you can still learn about a person's "expunged" convictions. The labor code in California specifically forbids employers from using expunged convictions as a basis for not hiring them, regardless of the type of job that they're applying for.

The criminals have more rights than the public, in this state. (sigh)
Well this is just the beginning. Ok, those are the questions but what answers to those questions should I be looking for?? I have no idea!