Selecting the Right Home Care Company

Knowing which home care company is right for your loved one can be difficult. Many of the facilities seem like they are very good at what they do and offer a lot of services. However, if you’re finding it difficult to make a decision, let’s take a look at some questions you can ask to help better narrow down your selection:

  • How long has this company given services to the community?
  • Does the company give out literature explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources? A lot of places will give patients a “Patient Bill of Rights” that tells the rights and responsibilities of providers, patients, and caregivers alike. 
  • How does the company select and train potential employees? Are workers protected with written personnel policies, benefits packages, and malpractice insurance?
  • Are nurses or therapists required to evaluate a patient’s home care needs? What does this entail? Do they talk with the person’s doctors and family members?
  • Is the patient and his or her family included the development of their care plan? Is the patient involved in making changes to that plan?
  • Is the patient’s treatment documented, detailing specific tasks necessary from each professional caregiver? Does the patient and his or her family get a copy of this plan, and is it updated as changes occur? Are family members being educated as to the care the patient is being given?
  • Does the provider give supervisors to oversee quality of care that patients receive in their homes? How often to these supervisors visit? Who can be contacted with questions or complaints? How does the facility follow up on and resolve problems?
  • What are the facility’s financial procedures? Does the facility give written statements explaining the costs and payment plan options associated with home care?
  • What are the facility’s emergency procedures? Are the caregivers available 24/7?
  • How does the facility ensure a patient’s confidentiality?

You can also request the facility send you a list of references, such as doctors, discharge planners, patients or their family members, and community leaders who may be familiar with the facility’s quality of service.

You should contact references and ask questions like:

  • Do you refer clients to this facility often?
  • Do you have a contractual relationship with the facility? If you do, is the facility required to meet special standards for quality care?
  • What’s patient feedback been like for this facility—either informally or through satisfaction survey?

Finding the right facility can seem difficult but it doesn’t have to be. The Home Care/Hospice Agency Locator has the most comprehensive database of over 30,000 home care and hospice agencies, and you can use this to find all the agencies in any particular part of the country.