Consider These 3 Tips For Making The Right Home Care Decision

And Choosing An Appropriate Caregiver Service

When your aging loved one begins showing signs that they are unable to manage day-to-day routines for their own care, the task of choosing a senior care service that matches your loved one’s needs and lifestyle may feel overwhelming.

Elderly home care agencies vary by the quality of service they provide. After you research individuals and agencies providing home care assistance, you and your senior should feel confident in the caregiver service you ultimately choose.

If you need to find an appropriate in-home care provider for your loved one, follow these three tips to ensure you make the right decision.

1. Choose A Senior Care Management Service That Is Licensed, Bonded And Insured

Hiring a senior care service that is licensed, bonded and insured is critical because these credentials mean that your in-home care service takes responsibility in the event of an incident or accident. To be assured, request a copy of the senior care service’s insurance accord, which includes bonding. If they are unwilling or unable to provide one, you may want to choose a different senior care service.

The state of California currently does not require a license for non-skilled senior service companies. The only license required is a local city business license. However, effective January 1, 2016, California will require senior care services to be licensed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Social Services.

It is also necessary that your caregiver service has worker’s compensation insurance in case an employee is injured on the job. If a caregiver in your loved one’s home trips and falls down the stairs, an insured senior care management agency takes responsibility for the accident. If the agency is not insured, the caregiver may be forced to file a claim against your loved one’s homeowner’s insurance. If your loved one has not purchased a rider on their homeowner’s policy to cover a domestic worker, your love one may have to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

2. Look For An In-Home Care Service That Is Trustworthy

Your chosen senior care service must actively work to help you provide the best quality care to your loved one. In order to choose such an agency, it’s important to determine whether an in-home care service is reliable.

Begin by paying close attention when communicating with representatives from the agency. Are you speaking with a Geriatric Care Manager when you receive a consultation, or is the representative relatively new to home care assistance?

Observe whether the individual you speak with focuses on the negative attributes of other caregiver services or speaks about nothing but their own agency. Your senior care service should take an interest in helping you find the best long-term care solution for your loved one.

When speaking with your in-home care service, pose the following questions to help you make an informed decision:

  • How long have their employees been with them?
  • Do they perform an assessment upfront?
  • Do they partner with the client and support system to develop an individual care plan?
  • Are care plans effective in the long term?
  • Do they perform quality care checks in the home? Who performs them?
  • Do they perform employee background checks?
  • Are they able to give you a list of references for past and current clients?

Finally, the senior care management agency you choose should employ kind, personable caregivers. A reliable agency seeks to place your loved one with a caregiver who improves the quality of their life. If your home care service sends a caregiver who seems unenthusiastic or unhappy to be helping your loved one, the chances are high that this senior care service is not a good fit.

3. Understand The Difference Between A Direct Referral Agency And A Full Service Agency

A Direct Referral Agency (DRA) may claim to be less expensive in their price per hour, but these agencies often misrepresent whether they are insured and fail to inform you that they are not the direct employer of the caregiver they send to your loved one’s home.

As a result, you and your loved one are responsible for negotiating worker’s compensation, unemployment, and wage and hour disputes with a caregiver recommended by a Direct Referral Agency. This takes a significant amount of time and carries additional risk.

In contrast, a Full Service Agency (FSA) takes care of all responsibilities associated with worker’s compensation, unemployment, and wage and hour issues, leaving you free to focus your energy on more important matters. A Full Service Agency also manages the schedules of the caregivers it employs.

Choosing the right in-home care service for your aging senior doesn’t have to be a difficult decision when you have a better understanding of what to look for in an agency.


If you still have questions about a long-term care plan for your loved one, speaking with a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) is a helpful first step. GCMs have extensive experience in senior care management and are knowledgeable about the options available to you and your loved one.

Ready to learn more about preparing for your loved one’s future? Receive valuable information and guidance about senior care services by calling 877-852-2737 to speak with a Geriatric Care Manager at Keen Home Care.