Questions to Ask Home Care Providers

Questions to Ask Home Care Providers

Home Instead of Culver City, CA 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 ​194700052​​. 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. We maintain 100% of the employer responsibility for our CAREGivers, including: payroll, tax withholding, annual training competencies, bonding and 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.

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

Home Instead® requires drug screening of all CAREGivers. We also conduct thorough background checks on all prospective CAREGivers. 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. 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?

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 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 Culver City created a specialized position titled, Quality & Safety Coordinator. Our Quality & Safety Coordinator has her Masters in Gerontology. Her primary function is to monitor the quality of care and make recommendations to the care plan to adjust for changing client needs and to make sure we have the proper equipment and training in place to keep Clients and CAREGivers safe.

She conducts weekly and monthly quality assurance phone calls and also home visits with the CAREGiver, Client, and client’s family. It is a relationship focused position, and Clients and CAREGivers both feel the extra attention and support because of this specialized role.