Questions to Ask Home Care Providers

Questions to Ask Home Care Providers

Home Instead Sonoma 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 #494700008. 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 Care Professionals as W-2 employees, as required by CA state law. We maintain 100% of the employer responsibility for our Care Pros, 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 Home Care Aides with the state of CA, and have cleared a DOJ & FBI background check with fingerprinting.

4. Have all the caregivers been trained?

  • By whom?
  • What is the extent of their training?
  • Does the training include Alzheimer's specific training?

Each of our Caregivers completes a comprehensive, multi-phased training program before they ever meet or serve a client. They also participate in periodic ongoing training programs as we develop them. Your Caregiver also may opt to take specialized training modules for advanced levels of caregiving, such as Alzheimer's care, Hospice care and those for very specific aging related illness.

5. Have all the agency’s caregivers passed criminal background checks, drug screenings, and driving record checks?

Home Instead requires drug screening of all Care Professionals. We also conduct thorough background checks on all prospective Care Pros. 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 to protect you against loss. 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 Care Pros in case of a work related injury.

8. Can you check references on the agency?

Yes. Home Instead has online reviews from Clients and Caregivers on our website, Google, and Additional client references available, upon request.

9. Does the agency offer back-up / replacement caregivers if our regular caregiver is unable to come?

Yes. We have a team of Care Pros that readily fill-in when the Client’s regular Care Pro 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?

Whether your care needs are 4 hours a day or 24 hours a day, we customize each Client’s care schedule. Clients can adjust the care schedule, as care needs change, by coordinating schedule changes with our Care Coordination team.

11. Does the agency provide Caregiver’s PPE and do they know Covid and contagious disease control?

Home Instead Sonoma has a sufficient ongoing supply of PPE- from masks, gloves, face shields, to gowns for our care staff to ensure they and our clients are as protected as we can be while providing care in your home.

We have one goal in mind: developing and delivering the highest quality home care experience for your loved one. From our initial care consult and client onboarding to regular quality assurance visits, our team will ensure that your loved one is safe and thriving in their home environment!