10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Caregiver or Home Care Agency!

In a recent study, it was shown that:

  • Only 55 percent of the Home Care Agencies did a federal background check. 
  • Only one-third of the agencies test for caregiver skill competency.
  • Supervision ranged from non to weekly, and included home visits, telephone calls, and caregivers visiting the office.

By being an educated consumer, you can find a qualified, reputable agency that employees caregivers who will care for your parent with compassion and skill. 

 Here are ten questions to ask before you hire a caregiver.

  1. Go through a well known agency.  This doesn't necessarily mean a large franchise, but get references before choosing.
  2. What recruiting methods do they use? How are they finding job candidates? Newspaper ads? Staff agencies? Craigslist?
  3. What are their hiring requirements for prospective employees?
  4. What screenings are preformed on caregivers before they are hired? Criminal background checks-federal or state?
  5. How does the agency assess what the caregiver is capable of doing?
  6. Does the agency train caregivers? What does the training entail? Are they knowledgeable about elderly health conditions?
  7. Are the caregivers insured and bonded through the agency?
  8. IS the agency diligent about sending the same caregiver to their home, rather than a revolving door of strangers who parents don’t know or trust?
  9. If you are not satisfied with a particular caregiver, will the agency provide a different person?
  10. Does the agency provide a supervisor to evaluate the quality of home care on a regular basis?  How frequently?

These ten questions will provide you with a great start to getting into the type of care and response that you will receive with the agency that you are questioning. 

Helpful Tips for People with TBI's to Maintain Independence

People who get their TBI later in life, often feel that their independence has been taken away.  Here are some helpful tips to help you maintain some of that independence!


To address problems with memory, attention span, and organization:

Try creating daily schedules and checking things off as you do them. 

Use alarms to remind yourself of things you need to do throughout the day, such as taking medications.  Keep calendars where they are easy to see, and review and update them every day.

Have specific places for things that you use a lot, such as your house keys. 

If reading is challenging, listen to recorded books from the local library.

Play games that use memory and problem solving skills, such as cards, dominoes, checkers, chess, word search puzzles, and board games. 

Reduce distractions such as noise and clutter to help make you concentrate and make fewer mistakes. 


If you want to feel more in control of your emotions and behavior:

Try to avoid things that make you angry or frustrated.

Make time to do the things you enjoy, such as hobbies or being with friends.

Allow yourself to grieve your losses.

Accept help from people you trust.

Get enough sleep and rest.  Being tired and in pain can make it harder to cope.

Join a support group to share your experiences and learn from others.


To ensure that you are being as safe as possible:

Keep emergency contact numbers on the refrigerator, where they are easy to find, and see. 

Remember that you may need more help than you realize.  Ask for support from a family member or friend. 

Use household appliances that have fewer risks until you have been evaluated.  For example, use the microwave instead of a stove.

If you want to drive, have an evaluation before getting behind the wheel.  If you can’t drive, look into an alternative transportation in your community.

Install safety grab bars near the toilet, and in the tub if you have poor strength and balance. 

Look into some sort of an emergency call button so that you are able to call for help if need be.

If you would like to get back into participating in work, school, or volunteer opportunities:

Think about things you enjoy and are good at.  How can you apply these to work, school, or volunteer positions?

Meet with your employer or school administrator to talk about your skills, and what you need help with.

Consider taking a different job in the same company if you are having trouble at work.

Ask for feedback or assistance from a trusted friend or colleague.   

Ways to Prevent Falls-Be Proactive!

Falls are a common occurrence with Seniors.  A study done among Seniors found that preventing falls, and the resulting injuries from these falls, can reduce or delay the need to move to a long-term care facility.  In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury death among older adults.  Here are a few tips to help you gain confidence to maintain your independence.  

Health and age related changes often attribute to falls.  Some of these include problems with balance, slow reflexes, poor eyesight, and use of certain medication.  If you are aware of these changes occurring, make sure that you take precautions while being mobile.  

Dangerous situation in the homes also attribute to falls.  To prevent this from happening, assess your living situation and take proactive measures to ensure your safety.  Some things to be aware of in your home are slippery floors, poor lighting, electrical cords in pathways, loose rugs, raised thresholds, and clutter.  Try these tips to help make the inside of your home safe:

Remove all extraneous clutter in your home.  Keep telephone and electrical cords out of pathways.  Tack rugs and glue vinyl flooring so they lie flat.  Remove or replace rugs or runners that tend to slip or attach non-slip backing.  Do not stand on chairs to reach for things.  Store frequently used items where you can conveniently reach them.  Keep a well-lit home, inside and out!  Use nightlights and keep flashlights handy. Install handrails on both sides of the stairs to keep you steady.   

In your bathroom, add grab bars in the shower, tub, and toilet area.  Use non-slip adhesive strips inside the shower or tub.  Consider getting a stool or bench to use in the shower.  

For outside of your home, paint the outdoor steps with a mixture of sand and paint for better traction.  Keep outdoor walkways clear, and well-lit.  Make sure snow and ice are kept clear from entrances and sidewalks.  

We hope that these tips have been useful in making your home as safe as possible for you.  Our ultimate goal is to keep people safely in their homes, and help them maintain their independence as long as possible!

A good example of the way to maintain                                                  A bad example of how to maintain                a room                                                                                                           a room.                                                                                                                       


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