Finding the right senior home services agency for your elderly loved one can seem like a daunting and stressful task. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. By asking some direct, pertinent questions, you can learn all you need to know to select the right homecare company.

Here are ten questions to ask before choosing an agency to provide senior home services:

1. How long has the company been providing home care services and what is its background? Although the number of years in business doesn’t always equate to the quality of care, it gives you an idea of the home care agency’s stability and success rate. Research the agency’s background to get a clear understanding of its reputation in the community, which includes checking the homecare company’s Better Business Bureau ratings.

2. Does the senior home services agency perform background checks on employees? Don’t take this one for granted. For the protection of your elderly loved one, you need to ensure that the agency performs a thorough background check for arrest records indicating senior abuse, sexual misconduct, DUIs, and other crimes.

3. Are employees bonded and insured? It’s important to ask whether the home care agency has workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. This protects you legally and financially if the caregiver is injured in an accident.

4. Can your loved one meet the caregiver before service begins? A professional senior home services agency will allow your loved one to meet and approve the caregiver. This is another step in the process of building trust and letting your loved one know that they have control over their care.

5. Will one caregiver be assigned? Care is almost always better when the same caregiver regularly assists your loved one. This helps create a strong bond, trust, and higher level of comfort with the caregiver.

6. How do the homecare agency hire, train, and review employees? Make sure you understand the entire process to ensure the quality and ongoing education of the caregiver.

7. Does the senior home services agency provide a written plan of care? A plan of care is important because it sets everyone’s expectations and goals for the type and amount of home care services to be provided.

8. Will the agency provide references? Ask for a list of the home caregiver agency’s professional references and clients, and take the time to speak with as many of them as you can. After all, your loved one’s care and safety will be in its hands.

9. Will the company provide a no-charge, no-obligation assessment? Ask if the home care agency will visit you and your loved one in his or her living environment. This builds rapport, gives the senior the ability to meet and decide whether the agency is a good fit for them, and enables you to compare one senior home services agency with another.

10. Is the agency licensed by the state? Most states require home care agencies to be licensed, accredited, and reviewed on a regular basis. Rhiannon Acree is the founder and president of Cambrian Homecare, a homecare agency started in Long Beach, California in 1996. Cambrian Homecare serves Long Beach, the South Bay, Orange County, Palm Springs, Riverside, San Bernardino, and the San Gabriel Valley, employing professional caregivers that provide customized, flexible, non-medical home care services seven days a week.

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