Questions to Ask a Home Care Agency

1) What type of agency are you?

First and foremost, we are a family-owned business who specialize in providing the most comprehensive and the most cost-effective home care service around.  Home Helpers has been in business for almost over 20 years.  We are licensed and we pride ourselves in providing caregivers with the biggest hearts to help you or your loved ones live their lives to the fullest.

2) What are the hiring requirements for prospective caregivers?

We look at two different areas. One is do they have the necessary skills and experience to do the tasks expected of caregivers.  Are they eager and willing to assist those who want to live independently?  Do they communicate well?  Are they physically able to do the work?  These are just a few questions we ask in the screening process.  Also, as home care experts, we have seen a variety of needs, situations and experiences that our work requires.  We show potential caregivers a job description of what we expect or may need and ask if any issues may arise. 

The second area we evaluate during our interview process is do they exhibit an appropriate level of passion to want to work with those who need help at home.  Often, we can train the necessary skills (our caregivers get both initial and ongoing training – see question #3) but we can never train a caring heart. If they don’t have the correct attitude they don’t get hired. 

All our caregivers are screened beforehand.  They must register as a Home Care Aide with the State of California.  They undergo background checks and are all fingerprinted.  Rest assured that they have been vetted and you are receiving the best.  

3) Does the agency train caregivers? If so, what does the training entail?

Yes, we use a training program through the Institute for Professional Care Education. We have over five hundred different courses that we can offer to our caregivers. We give them courses based on the needs of the clients as well as the needs of their own skill-set. Each course has extensive, researched and up-to-date course material to study and to test. We get a record of their test results for each course we assign them. Know that our caregivers are well trained to the benefit of both our clients and themselves.   

4) Are the caregivers insured and bonded through the agency?

Yes, we carry both complete liability coverage and worker’s compensation insurance for all our caregivers. In addition, since they are our employees, we file all the necessary tax withholding and unemployment insurance payments with both the federal government and the State of California.  They are not independent contractors (in fact, it is now illegal to hire them as independent contractors – be weary of home care organizations that do this).  Our clients should have no concerns when our caregivers arrive at their home.

5) Is the agency diligent about sending the same caregiver to the home, rather than a revolving door of strangers?

Yes, we try our best to match caregivers with clients. Once we establish a good fit we attempt to use that caregiver with the client 90% of the time. We do recommend that every once in a while, we use a backup caregiver so that if the primary caregiver is not available the replacement is not a stranger.

6) If you are not satisfied with a particular caregiver, will the agency provide a different person?

Yes, we have excellent bench strength. We do our best to provide a good match but every once in a while, it doesn’t work out. In those cases we provide new caregivers until the client is satisfied. We have been told by our clients that have used other agencies that our caregivers are the best.

7) Does the agency supervise the quality of home care? How frequently?

Yes, we always check with new clients after the first day, third day, and tenth day of service. We always then continue to monitor client satisfaction at least monthly. Our staff conduct drop-ins at each client to monitor caregiver performance. This happens at least once per month, usually more often, and most of these visits are unannounced.