January 27, 2015 by Dean Bellefeuille

Now that we’ve shared with you the many reasons it’s prudent to hire a caregiver or companion for your senior loved one through an experienced, trustworthy home care agency, the next step is to compare options. At Home Independent Living offers the following list of questions you can have in front of you when calling home care agencies, to make sure you’re making an informed decision:


  • Service listing. Do they offer services specific to your loved one’s listed, required needs? Is someone available to provide information on all services, eligibility requirements and funding sources? Is that information available online or can they send it to you?
  • Training and supervision. What formal training programs and certifications does the agency require of its direct care providers? What level of professional supervises the care? How often and how do the supervisors oversee the caregivers on location to ensure proper care is being provided?
  • Documentation and coordination. Are visits and treatments documented? Do family members have easy access? Does the agency coordinate with the patient’s physician to provide a coordinated care plan?

Direct Care Providers

  • Length of visits. How often does the care provider visit, and how long does she stay during each visit? Does the agency provide care on weekends and evenings? Does the visit allow for time to talk and get to know the patient?
  • Rotation of care. Is care provided consistently by the same caregiver, or is care rotated among different people? If rotated, how often? Does the family receive advance notice when a change is being made?
  • Accessibility. Do the agency office staff and the direct care provider stay in regular contact? Do they keep you informed of any changes in the patient’s health or plan of care?


  • Funding and billing. Are services covered by Medicare or Medicaid? Do they supply written statements detailing costs? How often is the care invoiced, if there is payment due?
  • Special fees. Are there fees for special or extended services? Who is responsible for them? Are payment plans available for any out-of-pocket services? Is there someone at the agency who can assist in exploring all options to pay for care?

We hope that if your elderly loved one is in the Syracuse, NY area, you’ll consider At Home Independent Living for your care needs. With more than 30 years of experience and a full range of services – from hourly to live-in companions and everything in between – we can provide respite care as well as specialized Alzheimer’s care. We welcome your call any time at 315-579-4663.