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10 Considerations When Choosing a Senior Home Care Agency

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Choosing a senior home care agency to assist you with caring for your senior family member in their own home is a major decision. Here are 10 considerations to help you choose the best agency for your senior’s safety, security and well-being. (See how Home Instead responds below each consideration in purple.)

  1. CAREGiver Background Checks
    CAREGivers are unsupervised strangers in your family’s home. How extensive are the background checks the agency conducts on their CAREGivers?

    Only 6% of Home Instead applicants meet our strict hiring criteria. We conduct extensive background checks, including criminal history (CORI plus county-level out of state) on all employees before hire and periodically during employment. We also do pre-employment drug testing, SSN Trace, MA RMV, Nurse Aide Registry, Sex Offender Registry, and 4 references.

  2. CAREGiver Training
    What training are CAREGivers required to complete before they provide services to your family member?


    To compliment the individual level of experience of each new Home Instead CAREGiver, many of whom are HHAs and CNAs, all new hires are required to complete a thorough orientation and initial training. Additionally, we provide regular in-service trainings to enhance existing skills and introduce new ones. If your family member’s needs become more complex, we can set up targeted training with your CAREGiver(s) to ensure their ability to continue providing safe, reliable care with the specific skills required.

  3.  Client Care/CAREGiver Management & Quality Assurance
    How does the agency supervise their CAREGivers’ work performance in your family’s home?

    Our Client Care Supervisor meets regularly with our CAREGivers and your family to review our services. Each shift is set up with specific tasks to be completed. These are monitored by the office and can also be viewed by family members via the Family Portal.

  4. CAREGiver Introductions to the Family and the Senior
    Every family has unique in-home requirements. How does the agency ensure that every CAREGiver is familiar and trained with your family’s care requirements?


    Our CAREGivers are briefed in detail in advance, and our Client Care Coordinators personally introduce our CAREGivers to your senior on or before their first shift.

  5. CAREGiver Clock-in/Clock-out Verification
    How does the agency monitor and ensure that the CAREGivers arrive at their shift on time and that they do not leave before their scheduled shifts are completed?

    Our CAREGivers must clock-in/clock-out by using one of two acceptable methods, either using the landline at the client’s home with our automated telephony system, or using the GPS-enabled Mobile App on their mobile phone. Missed clock-ins and clock-outs are monitored by the office or on-call supervisor for every shift.

  6. Reliable Service
    Families expect CAREGivers to show up on-time, every time, for their scheduled shift. When a CAREGiver is unable to go to a scheduled shift, does the agency ensure a replacement CAREGiver fills the shift? Does the agency notify the family that a different CAREGiver is scheduled for the shift?


    We will always work with you to offer a replacement CAREGiver who is the best fit, or a rescheduled time, according to your wishes. We document whom to notify in such cases in each client’s profile.

  7. 24-Hour Availability
    Does the agency have an employee on-call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond to your needs (not a voicemail stating they will call you back by the next business day)? How does the family communicate with the agency regarding changes in schedule, emergency situations, additional needs requirements?


    During business or after hours, we answer our calls live 24/7/365, and we promptly communicate any changes needed for your situation to the appropriate team members.

  8. Accommodates Your Schedule
    Does the agency accommodate your unique scheduling needs?


    We work out a schedule around your exact needs. We will continuously work with you to adjust the schedule to meet your specific requirements.

  9. CAREGivers are Employees
    Are the CAREGivers employees or per diem workers? Does the agency collect and pay employment taxes and have Worker’s Compensation insurance? Are the CAREGivers bonded and insured? Ask the agency for proof of business insurance.


    All of our CAREGivers are employees of our company, bonded and insured, directly employed and paid by us.

  10. Agency Reputation
    What is the reputation of the agency you are considering?


    We are accredited by the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, which in the absence of statewide licensure, ensures that we meet the highest quality standards for home care. We are one of only fourteen companies ever to be awarded the J.D. Power President’s Award for Excellence for being the best in its industry. We also were awarded “America’s Best Large Employers” by Forbes in 2017 and “America’s Best Customer Service” by Newsweek in 2019.


Want More Information?

To learn how Home Instead Senior Care can
help keep your senior safe and well-cared for in
their own home, call (781) 352-4660

Looking for advice?

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones. (Privacy Policy)

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones. (Privacy Policy)

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