Questions to Ask Home Care Providers
Home Instead of Long Beach believes families should have the knowledge needed to choose the best home care company for them. Below are interview questions to ask each home care company that can help you compare one company with another.
(Home Instead's own answers are below each question in purple.)
1. Is the company a CA Licensed Home Care Organization (HCO)? What is their HCO License #?
California law established the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act which, as of January 2016, requires Home Care Organizations to be licensed and creates a public online registry for Home Care Aides who have been background checked.
Our license number is HCO 194700062. All agencies must have a license to operate in California.
2. Does the agency have 100% employer responsibility for the caregivers? Or does the client assume some, or all, of the employer responsibility/risk?
Home Instead employs all CAREGivers as W-2 employees, as required by CA state law. We maintain 100% of the employer responsibility for our CAREGivers, including: payroll, tax withholdings, annual training competencies, bonding & licensing, and workers compensation insurance. Our Clients, and their families, carry zero employer responsibility or risk when receiving care through Home Instead.
3. Are all the caregivers CA Registered Home Care Aides (HCA)?
Yes. All Home Instead CAREGivers are registered with the State of California as Home Care Aides.
4. Have all the caregivers been trained?
- By whom?
- What is the extent of their training?
- Does the training include Alzheimer's specific training?
All Home Instead CAREGivers complete a proprietary, comprehensive, multi-phased training program before they ever meet or serve a client. The program is run in-house by our training department. All CAREGivers also participate in on-going training programs that directly relate to senior care and meet annual state mandated training requirements for all registered Home Care Aides. Advanced level and specialized training classes (such as Alzheimer’s Care) are also offered to our CAREGivers on an annual basis.
5. Have all the agency’s caregivers passed criminal background checks, drug screenings, and driving record checks?
As part of the State Home Care Aide Registry requirements, all CAREGivers must submit fingerprints to the FBI and DOJ as part of their background check. In addition to the State pre-employment requirements, Home Instead checks references, verifies previous employment, conducts drug screening on all applicants, and confirms driver’s license status and driving record for all CAREGivers who will be providing transportation as part of their job duties. We will not send anyone into your home that we wouldn’t invite into our own. It’s that simple.
6. Are the caregivers bonded and insured?
Each person who enters your home is bonded and insured to protect you against loss. And we insure all of our CAREGivers to protect against loss, too. We believe in taking care of the people who take care of your family.
7. Does the agency cover the caregiver with workers’ compensation coverage?
Yes. Home Instead carries Workers Compensation Insurance to protect each of our CAREGivers in case of a work related injury.
8. Can you check references on the agency?
9. Does the agency offer back-up / replacement caregivers if our regular caregiver is unable to come?
Yes. We have a team of CAREGivers that readily fill-in when the Client’s regular CAREGiver needs to request a day off or be out sick. We will always offer a CAREGiver to fill-in.
10. How much flexibility will you have in setting a schedule for services?
Flexibility is crucial to customize each Client’s care schedule. Home Instead can provide as little as a one-hour visit, or as much as round-the-clock care, depending on the need of the Client. Clients can adjust the care schedule, as care needs change, by coordinating schedule changes with our Care Coordination team, available 24/7.
11. Does the agency guarantee the hourly cost of care will not increase for one year from start of service?
Yes. We guarantee we will not increase rates for a client within the first year of service.
12. How does the agency provide quality oversight of the care provided?
Home Instead of Long Beach provides oversight of the care we provided through on-going communication and touch-points with our clients. Our Client Care team takes a hands-on approach with our clients and their families from the initial consult all the way through to last day of service. Client Care Coordinators focus on gaining an understanding of the care needs, expectations and goals of our clients (and their families), conducting quality assurance phone calls and visits (frequency is based on level of care provided, change in condition or specific client requests), and follow up visits after a change in condition, care needs or service hours.