Important Factors in Choosing a Home Care Agency


When Selecting a Provider:

  • Be certain that the provider accepts your insurance or reimbursement.
  • Make sure that the provider offers the level of care that you require.
  • When paying privately, be clear and specific about your needs so the provider can send the most appropriate worker.

    Questions to Ask When Considering a Home Care Agency or Registry:

  • What licensing requirements do they meet?
  • What training is provided to staff?
  • Are references available?
  • Are criminal background checks performed?
  • How are the workers supervised?
  • Are the employees bonded and insured? What are the complaint handling procedures?
  • Are caregivers and care recipients included in developing the care plan?
  • What are the policies for providing back-up staff should your worker be absent?

    When Hiring an Independent Worker:

    • Get referrals from people you know or reputable community organizations.
    • Be sure to interview thoroughly, and request and check references.
    • Make certain that you are comfortable with the person, and that he or

      she has an open, honest communication style.

    • Request a criminal background check if possible.
  • Write out a contract and a care plan so that everyone involved understands what is to be accomplished, and the method and amount of payment.
  • Communicate your wishes clearly, and know your rights and responsibilities as a home care consumer.
  • Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about your responsibility, if any, to pay Social Security taxes. This is especially important when hiring from a registry, or when paying an independent worker.
  • Check to see that your homeowner’s policy covers theft or if the worker gets injured on the job.

    For More Information:

  • Check Medicare’s Home Health Compare for detailed information about every Medicare-certified home health agency in the country. (
  • In Pennsylvania, check the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Health Care Facility listing to check recent inspection reports. Be sure to select either Home Care, Home Health Agency, or Hospice for question #1. The Department of Health also has general information online about Home Health Agencies and Hospice care. (
  • For any additional assistance, please contact the CARIE LINE at 215-545-5728 or 1-800-356-3606 Monday through Friday from 9-5. You may also get help via CARIE OnLINE. (


CARIE Elderly Advocates logo footer


Your support helps us make a bigger difference in people's lives. Every donation you make is a gift of a better life for elders.