Family Survival Kit: Questions to ask a home care company before hiring

New Jersey Elder Care Home Care Checklist

The following list of questions to be ask when seeking home care NJ. It is meant as a guide to help you find quality New Jersey elder care.

Business/Services Provided

  • How long has your company been in business?
  • Does the company have a fully staffed office? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Does the company have an automated telephone “time card” system to alert supervisors if a caregiver arrives late or leaves early? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Is a personalized plan of care developed with me during the assessment? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Is the New Jersey senior care plan reviewed and updated with regularity? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Does this plan of care include goals and expected outcomes? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you provide temporary as well as long term assistance? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you provide special program for veterans and veterans’ widows? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Does the company have the capacity to accommodate a full range of home care needs—from light duty companion care to heavy care, including end of life care? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • What happens if I need different tasks done each week?
  • How many hours is a minimum shift?
  • How many hours is a maximum shift?
  • What are the pros and cons of hourly vs. live-in care?
  • How soon could your care start?
  • Is assistance on weekends available? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Are there any restrictions against accompanying the client outside the home or driving a car? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Are home care workers employees of the company (with benefits and insurance)? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Or contractors (e.g., private individuals on a referral registry)? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Is your company and its employees bonded and insured? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you have proof of liability coverage? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Is the company licensed by the state? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • How are caregivers assigned?
  • Is/are the caregiver(s) available for emergencies and/or on short notice? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Are they available on holidays? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Will I be able to indicate preferences for the type of caregiver I would like? (For example, male/female, non-smoking, etc.) ❍ Yes ❍ No

Caregiver Qualifications (Training, Licensing, Background Checks)

  • Are all your NJ home care workers licensed or certified? ❍ Yes ❍ No If not, what minimum qualifications do workers have?
  • Do you screen your workers? ❍ Yes ❍ No If so, what type of background checking is done?
  • What are the qualifications of the person who will do my initial assessment?
  • Do caregivers receive a thorough orientation by a supervisor on safety issues, company procedures, and NJ senior care goals and standards before placement? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Is/are the caregiver(s) experienced in any special services? ❍ Yes ❍ No

Service Quality

  • Are workers supervised? ❍ Yes ❍ No If so, by whom?
  • Is there a written care plan specifying the home care worker’s routine duties? ❍ Yes ❍ No If so, can the family have a copy? ❍ Yes ❍ No How often is the plan updated?
  • Do the elder (and involved family members) have input into the client service plan? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you arrange regular conversations with the family about the client’s case? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Will a supervisor visit or call the client’s home? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • To whom can the client or family ask questions or make complaints?
  • How do you ensure your clients’ confidentiality?
  • How does the company follow up on/resolve problems or complaints?
  • Can a different aide be requested, if there was a problem with the first one? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Are NJ senior care workers available 24 hours, 7 days a week? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Is there always someone available at your office to take a call? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Can a replacement worker be called if the worker does not come or cannot complete a shift? ❍ Yes ❍ No


  • Do you accept long term care insurance? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Does the company pay the worker’s Social Security and taxes? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • What is the cost for overtime, if the worker stays late?
  • When is payment due? (e.g. at the end of each visit? Weekly? Monthly?)
  • Does payment go to the company? Yes ❍ No Or the home care worker directly? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Are there any additional costs for travel time or extra services (e.g. doing laundry or errands)? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you charge for the initial New Jersey elder care assessment? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you charge any other upfront fees or administrative costs? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you have a reassessment fee? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • What is the hourly or daily charge for one person?
  • For a couple?
  • Do you charge mileage to and from my home? ❍ Yes ❍ No
  • Do you assist with billing my insurance company for home care? ❍ Yes ❍ No