Frequently Asked Questions

Affordable In Home Care provides answers to the most commonly asked questions to help you navigate through the selection of a home caregiver, senior care options, and financial planning for your future.

What is the difference between Home Health Care vs. Home Care?

Home Health Care refers to a skilled professional (Registered Nursed/Licensed Vocational Nurse), who provides medical care at home. A physician often prescribes the type of skilled care needed and the costs can be covered by Medicare or Medi-Cal, if the elder qualifies. Home Care involves a Personal Care Assistant, who provides assistance in the home and attends to the elder’s personal needs (bathing, dressing, eating, house cleaning, etc.) and also it might be covered by insurance as well. However at Affordable In Home Care, we do work with only Long Term insurance or private pay. Since many elders require this type of care rather than home health care, finding the right home care provider that suits your needs and lifestyle is critical.

Is the Home Caregiver your employee or an independent contractor?

If the Home Caregiver is your employee, you are responsible to withhold and pay various payroll taxes (including unemployment compensation and social security) on behalf of the caregiver. If an agency provides one of its employees, the agency bears the employer responsibilities. Check with an accounting professional for more information on employee/independent contractor issues.

What do I need to know when selecting a Home Caregiver?

Personalities: know that personality compatibility is a main key to have a successful client –caregiver relationship, so it is very important to know that the client is very happy with the caregiver’s character and personality. It may take several attempts before a good match is made

Screening/References: Has the Home Caregiver been properly screened (personally interviewed, criminal background checked, credit checked, references contacted)? A Home Caregiver provided by an agency or registry is not a guarantee that screening has occurred. Be sure to obtain and check references of the proposed Personal Care Assistant.

Training: Has the Home Caregiver had any specialized training (familiarity with equipment/supplies, received training in a specific illness, etc.)?

Caregiver Duties: A session of orientation is highly recommended for a caregiver, to be trained by the household member about the lists of duties, which a caregiver is responsible to perform during their shifts. Caregiver can also provide a daily duty report upon the request. 

Plan for Care: There should be a plan of care that considers and responds to the elder’s specific needs (prepare special menus, provide needed transportation, etc.). How will the plan be developed, and by whom? How will the plan be reviewed and revised from time to time?

Reliability: Does the Caregiver have reliable transportation? Is there a backup plan in the event that the Home Caregiver does not show up?

Supervision: Who will independently supervise the Caregiver to ensure the quality of care? Who will make sure that the elder does not become isolated from others?

Top Questions to Ask when Hiring a Caregiver:

  1. What is the difference between Home Health Care vs. Home Care?
  2. Do I need a nurse or a caregiver? What is the difference?
  3. Where do I find a caregiver?
  4. What do I need to know when selecting a Home Caregiver?
  5. Do I have to sign a contract or make payments up-front?
  6. Is the caregiver licensed insured and bonded? Do they cover workers’ compensation?
  7. Is the caregiver trained to assist me?
  8. Is the caregiver employed or independent contractor?
  9. Does the caregiver have a criminal record? Good driving record?
  10. Who will supervise the caregiver’s work?
  11. What if the caregiver doesn’t show up and report to work?
  12. What if the caregiver falls in my home? What are the costs?
  13. What are the costs and why do they differ?

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