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Interviewing Home Care Agencies

It's essential to interview each homecare agency. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Before an in-person interview, conduct a phone conversation to learn the basics. This will also help you assess responsiveness, courtesy, clarity, and the ability to build a rapport over the phone.

  • The first interview can be conducted at the agency office or the home (or both).

    • Some will prefer to conduct the first visit at the agency so they can "pre-screen" the agency.​

    • A home visit allows the agency representative to assess the physical surroundings and understand the environment in which care will be provided.

    • You should be ready to explain the medical status and physical capabilities or limitations of needed care and have an initial list of services they need to provide.

    • Explain the daily routines - the goal should be to minimize any disruptions that could cause anxiety.

    • The agency may then be able to suggest other services that you have not considered.

In evaluating and selecting a homecare agency, questions you may want to ask include:

  1. What are the minimum number of hours per week required for a person to be employed as a caregiver?

  2. What specific training is provided to caregivers about Parkinson's (or other neurological disorders)?

  3. What types of checklists or standard procedures are provided and used by caregivers?

  4. What type of feedback or reports will we receive?

    1. Do you provide a care log - a notebook used by the caregivers to note things about the visit. For example, did the person in care have trouble eating or refuse to eat? Did they take their medications?​

    2. Were there any physical/mental changes or general observations about temperament and interactions worth noting?

  5. What are the basic rules of care and service?

    1. Can a caregiver sleep if they are working overnight?​

    2. Can they eat?

    3. How does the caregiver verify arrival and departure time? For example, some agencies use a call verification system, and the caregiver must call when they arrive and depart from the home.

    4. Is the caregiver allowed to drive the person with Parkinson's to appointments or does the agency offer a separate service with a medical transport vehicle?

Discuss the amount of care that is expected/needed and ask about costs and billing procedures.

  1. In the case of a chronic condition or very limited mobility, is 24/7 care needed?

  2. With limited mobility, is one caregiver sufficient or will two be needed?

  3. Is there a minimum number of hours per shift? Depending on geography, many caregivers may either have a long commute or rely on public transportation to make it worthwhile, the agency may require a four-hour minimum shift.

  4. Is there a long-term care policy in place? If so, the family should explain that the agency should coordinate billing.

  5. What type of insurance and bonding is provided if the caregiver has an accident or believes something was stolen?

While the process may seem daunting and the costs intimidating, the goal is to make sure your care is safe, you receive your medications on time, you practice good hygiene, and you stay as engaged and as mobile as possible.

Disclaimer: At PAA, our desire is to be a GO TO Resource for everything you need for the Parkinson's diagnosis to live a quality life with PD. We want to make sure you have all resources you need as you plan your journey with Parkinson's now and into the future so that you can reflect and discern what decisions you want to make with the appropriate insights to help you choose and build a plan that is unique as your journey. The PAA, nor the contents on this website, should never be a replacement for professional expertise and guidance from medical, legal, or financial professionals. Our goal is to equip you for those conversations. As such, the PAA cannot be held accountable for your choices and outcomes while navigating your Parkinson's condition.


The Davis Phinney Foundation. Chapter 15 - Long Term Care and Financial Planning. Every Victory Counts. Page 225. "Manual." Sixth Edition, 2021. 

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