Senior Resources » Home Care » **Home Health Care Services: Features To Look For & Questions To Ask

Ask These 5 Questions Before Hiring Home Care for Your Senior Loved One

home care nurse and senior man wearing masks

If you’re looking to hire a home care service for your senior loved one, then you already know there’s a lot to consider. From personal care to medical services, you want a provider with experience who you can trust. So, where do you start? Let’s talk about features you should look for and what questions you should ask before hiring.


1. What types of services does the home care provider include?

home care provider with husband and wife at bedside

Home care services are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Individual abilities and needs will determine the types of services that will help your loved one best. There are various medical and non-medical services usually available. Before hiring a provider, determine what services you need, and ensure they offer them. You should also check whether they provide services at night and on weekends or holidays. Some services that home care providers often include are:

Personal Care: bathing, grooming, dressing, and toileting
Homemaking: housekeeping, meal preparation, and errands
Nursing Care: medication management, wound care, and medical equipment
Home Health Aides: companionship, socialization, and transportation


Before choosing a home care provider, it’s important to assess your senior loved one’s needs and determine what type of services will be the most beneficial. Then, check business websites and ask questions about the specific services you’d like to ensure are included.

2. What qualifications do the providers have?

Home Care Specialist

Is the company you’re thinking about hiring qualified and capable of providing the level of care that your loved one needs? Ask about the qualifications and background of the home care providers that will be coming to your home. Ensure they have the necessary credentials and can provide the type of care you or your loved one needs. Examples of credentials to look for include qualifications such as RN, LPN, CNA, and HHA.

Additionally, it’s important to know the extent of the employee screening and background checks they conduct. Ask about their hiring process, whether they conduct drug tests, criminal background, or driving record checks.

3. How much does home care cost and how can you pay?

piggy bank with heart and houses in background

Home care services can be costly. In fact, the average cost nationally is just around $5,000 per month. It’s important to understand the costs associated with your services and the payment options available before hiring. Determine if your insurance covers home health care services, or if it’s a private pay arrangement. Some programs offer financial aid to veterans and low-income households. Some accept Medicare or Medicaid as well. Some businesses may even offer payment plans or sliding-scale fees based on income.


Be cautious of low-cost providers who compromise quality over cost.

4. How does the home care provider communicate?

nurse with patient

Be sure that you have a clear understanding of how communication and documentation will occur between you and the home care providers. Will there be regular updates? How will they communicate changes or progress in monitoring the health of your loved one? Will they keep proper documentation of clinical care, medication management, and activities performed?

5. How flexible is the provider?

nurse with curly hair smiling and holding clipboard

Seniors may need care at any time of the day or night, and you don’t want a provider who is unavailable when you need them. Also, providers who are more flexible can accommodate last-minute schedule changes or provide additional services when required.

Additionally, how flexible is the provider in an emergency situation? Is there a policy for termination of services if your family’s circumstances change?

Help Finding Home Care

home care aid wearing pink, holding hands of resident on couch

Choosing home care services can be quite an undertaking. It is an important decision that you should make carefully. To find the right provider, first research the company. Check online reviews, ask around, or consult with your family doctor. You should know everything about that company before hiring them. Try to find out whether they are licensed, insured, and accredited. Then, remember to ask these 5 questions!


If you’re ready to look for home care near you, then start here:

Find home care near me.

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Originally published June 14, 2023

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