Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Care Agency

Enlisting the help of others to help care for your senior can be a daunting process.
And if you opt for more personalized care that meets your loved one’s daily needs, helps them retain a sense of independence, and allows them to remain in a familiar environment, in-home care may be the choice for you.
There a number of things to consider when searching for a home health care provider – like if the agency is licensed and reputable, if the caregivers are trained and qualified, and what has their track record for care been in the past.
After all, you are entrusting this person with the needs of your loved one and you want to be sure you find the right fit.
Here are a list of things we found at Freedom Home Care that will help you and your senior find the quality dependable care you need.
Is it a Licensed Agency
Currently, 43 states require home care agencies to be licensed in order to provide care. Often times these are the minimum requirements. Check to make sure each employee’s license is clear without any incidences of neglect or abuse.
Medicare Certification
Does the agency meet federal requirements through Medicare certification?
There is a process that agencies go through to be Medicare-certified. If they meet the requirements and your loved one is covered by Medicare, all or a portion of your home care services could be covered.
Background Checks
Are national criminal and sex offender background checks performed and to what extent?
Some states only require a state background check that caregivers need to complete within 5 days of their start date. In some cases, this means that someone with a criminal background could be sent to your home for up to five days.
It’s important to clarify background check policies with the agency beforehand.
Do Caregivers Undergo a Drug Screening?
Due to the prevalence of prescription drug abuse, some agencies conduct a 10-panel drug screening for prescription and illegal drug use when hiring caregivers. 
Are Employees Screened Prior to Employment?
Can the agency provide references such as a list of physicians, nurses or hospital discharge planners that they may have worked with?
Licensed, Insured and Bonded
Is each employee licensed, insured and bonded? If they are independent contractors, are they covered by the agency’s insurance?
Quality of Care
Are caregivers monitored, trained and supervised? Do they provide continuing education and other incentives for employees?
Will your loved one get along with the caregiver? Have you observed his or her attitude? What are the agency’s policies on matching employees with their clients?
When will services be provided? Does the agency offer around-the-clock care? Are employees trained to handle emergency situations?
Minimum Wage Laws
Does the agency follow national, state and local laws regarding minimum wage?
Employees that spend more 20 percent of their time each week providing in-home care, by law should at least be receiving minimum wage.