In-Home Care & Companions or Home Health Agency Services

Seniors E-Guide – Questions to Ask Series

This content on selecting in-home care and companion services or home health services is part of our E-Guide Series

There is a difference in the services offered with In-Home Care and Companion verses Home Health Agencies.

In-Home Care and Companions
In-Home Care and Companion companies provide a caregiver or sitter in a client’s home or senior housing community in order to provide companionship or assistance with personal care or errands. Care provided is non- medical care. If medical care at home is needed then services come from a Home Health Agency (HHA).

Home Health Agencies
Home Health Agencies provide healthcare professionals for in-home support services, from one to twenty-four hours a day. These professionals include nurses, home health aides, homemakers, therapists and medical social workers. Reimbursement can be from Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and private pay.

General Advice
Here are some questions to consider when selecting in-home care. It is important to trust your feelings and reactions when interviewing a company. The following questions are just suggestions. Take the time to consider what your personal needs are and have a family member or friend available to help evaluate responses. Researching online and then follow up phone interviews is a good start but take the time to meet in person.

Starting a Search for in-home care:

  1. Look at the organization’s website
  2. Follow up with a phone call to the companies that interest you.
  3. Listen and evaluate advice from your doctor, senior professionals and the companies you are interviewing.
  4. Schedule a meeting. Often for in-home care, the company will come to your location.
  5. If the services are for an older relative, try to involve them in the selection process.

General Suggestions – Applicable to In-Home Care and Home Health Agency Services

  1. Try not to make a hasty decision.
  2. Try to get family or friends to help evaluate the options.
  3. Trust your feelings and reactions when interviewing a company.
  4. Ask for references.
  5. Take the time to review company materials.
  6. Ask a lot of questions.
  7. Be sure that you understand pricing.
  8. Do not sign any contract until you thoroughly understand pricing and have reviewed the contract.

General Suggestions – Consider calling a Care Manager for Assistance.

Find more details and suggestions in our Seniors E-Guide on “Selecting In-Home Care & Companions or Home Health Agency Services”