After several conversations with your elderly mother, she’s finally agreed to accept professional home care. Because mom lives several hours away it’s going to take some diligent “homework” on your part to find the right provider. Choosing the best home care agency for your loved one can be challenging- especially when it’s being done from a distance. Using these tips will help ensure that yours receives the nurturing that she deserves. 

Make a List

Begin your search by compiling a list of home care agencies in mom’s area. Sometimes the best referrals come from coworkers, friends, family members, or neighbors. Ask those trusted sources if they know of any good home care providers. Ask them about the ones that they’ve used- or are using- where your mother lives.

Church or synagogue leaders are also good referral sources, along with doctors and other healthcare professionals that work with the aging. You can also obtain agency names through elder care resources like the local Area Agency on Aging, the national Eldercare locator, or by contacting senior centers.

Narrow Down Your Search

Next, narrow down your search by asking each provider these specific questions:

What types of services do you offer?

Hiring someone to handle grocery shopping or laundry is quite different from hands-on or live-in care. Does your loved one have dementia? Is their mobility limited? Focus on agencies that can only provide the level of care that mom needs.

Is your agency licensed and insured?

Licensed home care agencies must meet stringent state and federal guidelines. The more reputable ones are also insured so that your family will be protected if something unfortunate were to happen.

Do you screen your employees?

If a person you didn’t know was going to be in your home, you’d want to know about their background first. Narrow your agency search down by only including the ones that conduct criminal and driving background checks on all their caregivers.

Do you offer staff training?

Look for agencies that provide ongoing staff training. In addition, they should require their caregivers to stay updated on the latest health precautions and care protocols.

What’s your backup plan?

Because emergencies like natural disasters happen, be sure that the agency has a good continuity-of-care plan in place. Does the agency use technologies like video chat services to stay connected with clients when their caregivers can’t physically be there?

Do you have RNs on call?

Reputable home care agencies also have RN case managers on call 24/7 that supervise staff members and answer questions that family members might have.

How do you communicate?

Find out how and how often the agency would communicate information about your loved one’s status to you and other family members- whether it’s by email, phone, or another method.

How much does the home care agency charge?

Also look into how much the agency charges for their services, and whether those costs fit within your family’s budget. Most agencies offer flexible care programs and charge by the hour if that’s your preference.

What do others say?

Next, Google each agency and see what others have to say about the quality of their services. Look for client testimonials and reviews on their website, along with any awards or certifications that they’ve earned.

Before Making Your Final Decision

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a couple of agencies that meet these criteria schedule a time for you both to sit down and meet with a supervisor and potential caregiver. During that face-to-face meeting look for signs that the caregiver’s personality meshes well with that of your loved one.

We Do Our Homework So You Don’t Have to

Choosing the right home care agency can be overwhelming. At Colonial Home Care Services, we’ve already done most of the homework for you. We’re a local, Orange County-based, family-owned and operated senior care agency. As such, your loved one’s safety and wellbeing are our primary concern. All our professionals are carefully selected and thoroughly screened. This ensures that they have the skills, knowledge, experience, and personality to be exceptional caregivers.

As a client-trusted home care provider serving Orange County, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, and surrounding communities, CHCS has been providing peace of mind to those we serve for over 25 years. To learn more about our award-winning home care services now, or to schedule a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in our service area, please visit Colonial Home Care Services today at