How to Get Started with Hiring In-Home Care

How to Get Started with Hiring In-Home Care
David Posner, 2/5/2017
Per a 2012 Aging in Place survey conducted by AARP, it concluded that close to 90% of seniors would prefer to live at home instead of a nursing home. As one begins to age, physical and environmental changes may affect their ability to safely live at home. The good news is, there are options for seniors, and we will walk through the process of hiring a caregiver and starting services at home.

What is Home Care?

Private Duty Home Care usually includes a combination of companion and personal care. These services are provided by a caregiver and may include meal preparation, light housekeeping, bathing, dressing, transportation, incontinence care, companionship, and medication reminders. There are two types of licensing you should expect from a caregiver: a HHA (Home Health Aide) or CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). The choice between a HHA and a CNA will depend on your state and the required licensing.

Learn more about home care services

How do I know which home care services I need?

Many home care companies will conduct an assessment with the family to determine needs, hours, and level of care. These assessments can range from 30 to 90 minutes.

Assessment Questions:

  • Basic Information - age of client, weight, height, address
  • Needs - physical impairments, mobility, cognitive impairments, additional health concerns
  • Care Service - personal care needs or companion care needs
  • Additional - transportation, schedule, language, pets
  • Financial - how will payments be made
HomeCare.com does not conduct assessments, but it can refer a family to a local geriatric care manager who can provide an assessment. Once an assessment is conducted, the care manager will determine the schedule and services for the client. The next step is for the caregiver to be introduced to the family. Many companies will send only one caregiver. HomeCare.com empowers a family to interview multiple caregivers and find the perfect match. Sample questions to ask the caregiver:
  1. What is your background and can you provide detailed information so I can follow up?
  2. Can you provide documentation of your license, TB testing, immunizations, etc.?
  3. What is your experience as a home care provider?
  4. What are your expectations: days, hours, schedule?
  5. Do you have a driver’s license and a clean driving record?
  6. How do you handle people who are behaviorally challenging?
  7. Do you have other jobs that may affect you arriving on time or require you to leave early?
  8. Do you like to cook?
  9. What type of diagnosis’s have you cared for in the past?
  10. Are you comfortable with pets or smoke?
  11. I would like to receive updates on my parent’s care, would you be willing to email, text, or call me?
  12. Do you have any questions for me?

Financial Considerations:

Medicare will not pay for private duty home care. Long term care insurance and VA benefits may cover, but it depends on your policy and your needs. Most families are paying through private funds. Payments are made on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedule. Note, many companies will charge time and half for the holidays. You may elect to pay a caregiver time and a half in certain circumstances, but that is your decision.

Final Steps:

Once a caregiver has been chosen and the family and caregiver/agency agree to a schedule, services, and fee, you are ready to begin. Most companies have a customer service team that will handle any issues that may arise (if you need to change the schedule or may need a replacement caregiver).

Hiring help at home can ease the burden on the family. The goal is to allow the caregiver to provide the personal and companion care the senior needs. Finally, the more research you do and the more questions you ask, the better prepared you will be to choose the right caregiver for your family.
David Posner

David Posner

David Posner is the Vice President of Business Development for HomeCare.com, a leader in the caregiver referral service industry. David is a recognized thought leader in healthcare with experience growing the revenues of companies he has worked for. In particular, his passion is in sales and training others to be successful.