Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a collection of the most frequently asked questions about our business, CAREGivers, rates, and non-medical services provided by Home Instead Senior Care.
- What makes Home Instead Senior Care different?
- Why should I use Home Instead Senior Care?
- Are you a local or national company?
- Do you have any information you can send me?
- Is the owner of the company involved?
- How do you select your CAREGivers?
- What are the backgrounds of your CAREGivers?
- Are your employees bonded and insured?
- How do you train your employees?
- Can I help choose the CAREGiver?
- Will you contact us with the name of our CAREGiver?
- Do I get the same CAREGiver every time?
- Can I change a CAREGiver?
- What happens if my CAREGiver is sick?
- Do you have a supervisor "On Call" at all times?
- Do you provide Workman's Compensation for your employees?
Rates & Payment
- What are your rates?
- Do your rates change for evenings and weekends?
- Who pays the CAREGiver - me or you?
- How often do you bill for services?
- Do you withhold taxes?
- Do I need to sign a contract?
- Does someone come to do an assessment?
- Are services available for the elderly in nursing homes?
- Do you have minimum hours of service?
- Can I adjust a schedule once services have begun?
- Can you provide 24 hour/7 day a week care?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Do you have a supervisor "on call" at all times?
- What type of records do you maintain?
- Is Home Instead Senior Care a maid service?
- Can CAREgivers bathe clients?
- Can CAREgivers administer medications to clients?
Home Instead Senior Care
Q: What makes Home Instead Senior Care different
from other companies?
A: We provide the highest standard of compassionate, personalized care to seniors in the communities we serve. Our offices are local - owner involvement is on a community based level. We work hard to understand client and family needs and to ensure that each client has compatible relationships with his/her CAREGivers. You can be confident that we will be there when we are scheduled to be there. Unique business processes, proprietary computer systems, and training are part of the brand trust you get with Home Instead Senior Care.
Q: Why should I use Home Instead Senior Care
rather than someone out of the newspaper?
A: There are several reasons why Home Instead Senior Care should be your choice for your family’s supportive care needs. All of our CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded, and insured. Our large staff of quality employees, including a Registered Nurse, able to perform client assessments and quality assurance checks, ensures that your family member is well looked after.
Q: Are you a local or national company?
A: We have the benefits of both. Home Instead Senior Care is a national licensed, franchise company with independently owned locations throughout North America, Japan, Europe, and Australia.
Q: Is the owner of the company involved in
the daily operations of the company?
A: Home Instead Senior Care, Toronto, is owned and operated by Bruce Mahony, a long time resident of Toronto. He is in the office daily and involved in the day-to-day operations of the business to ensure the quality that inspired him to start this service. He has assembled a dedicated team of caring professionals, from our office staff, our CAREGivers, and our Registered Nurse, all with an emphasis on the personal aspects of a CARE GIVING business. Our clients become part of our family and are treated that way.
Q: How do you select your CAREGivers?
A: Home Instead Senior Care CAREGivers go through an extensive selection process which entails a phone screening, an interview at our local office, and an orientation before they are hired. All of our CAREGivers have successfully completed a thorough reference and criminal background check. Each CAREGiver is also bonded and insured.
Q: What are the backgrounds of your CAREGivers?
A: Our CAREGivers range in age from college students to those in their sixties who still have a lot to give to others. These wonderful people come from all walks of life. Some have been professional CAREGivers, such as retired nurses or nursing assistants, others have entered the caregiving field and become certified Personal Support Workers. Some have found that office jobs don't allow them to express their needs to share with others. Many of them have cared for family members or neighbours on a long-term basis. When we interview, we look for a warm and caring nature, good communication skills, practicality and common sense, and a history of dependability.
Q: Are your employees bonded and insured?
A: Absolutely. We carry liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance, as well as bonding all CAREGivers. You are totally protected in case of accidental damage or injury.
Q: How do you train your employees?
A: Home Instead Senior hires experienced, mature, and most often certified Personal Support Workers as CAREGivers for our seniors. Every Home Instead CAREGiver participates in an extensive orientation program, which covers the most practical topics and situations encountered in elder caregiving. Training begins upon acceptance of the position. A CAREGiver begins his or her career with Home Instead Senior Care at an orientation, learning about our company and policies, about the expectations and needs of our clients, and much more.
Q: Can I help choose the CAREGiver and/or meet
them in advance?
A: Yes, our clients can help select their CAREGiver and we discuss the selection process during our in-home visit. We pay extra attention to assigning CAREGivers that will be compatible and meet your service requirements.
Q: Does someone from your office contact us
to let us know the name of our CAREGiver or does someone come out
to introduce our CAREGiver to us?
A: After an initial screening and assessment is completed, the Home Instead Senior Care staff person selects a CAREGiver(s) to fulfill the schedule for the elderly client. On the very first scheduled visit the CAREGiver(s) that will fulfill the assignment is introduced to the client prior to the first shift.
Q: Do I get the same CAREGiver every time?
A: We set a high priority on continuity. Whenever possible the same CAREGiver will be assigned for all shifts. When we first sit down with you at your no-obligation meeting, we spend time during the conversation discussing the types of personalities you are comfortable with, as well as covering your service needs and the schedule you would like us to follow. When we assign your CAREGiver, or team of CAREGivers (depending on your needs), we take all of that information into account. If you are happy with the person or people chosen for you, the staffing will not change.
Q: Can I change a CAREGiver?
A: You are always able to change a CAREGiver, for whatever reason. We only ask that you give us adequate time to find a suitable replacement. If you are in any way less than perfectly satisfied, we will change staffing until you are satisfied.
Q: What happens if my CAREGiver is sick?
A: As soon as a CAREGiver notifies us that they are unable to fulfill a shift we will immediately seek a replacement. We employ a CAREGiver team approach. If one CAREGiver is sick, another is normally available.
Q: Do you provide Workman's Compensation for
your employees in the event that they are hurt on the job?
A: All Home Instead Senior Care clients are protected in the event that a Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver is injured on the job. If an accident occurs, the Workman's Compensation policy will cover loss of wages from any injury that occurred on the job.
Rates & Payment
Q: Do your rates change for evening, weekend,
or holiday services?
A: Our rates do not change for evening or weekend shifts. Holiday rates for designated holidays are charged at 1 1/2 times normal rates.
Q: How often do you bill for services? Do I
pay the CAREGiver directly? How are my payments tracked?
A: We invoice for services twice a month, on the 15th and the last day of the month. We ask for payment within 10 days from date of billing. The bill is all-inclusive. That is, all hours worked, and mileage or miscellaneous expenses, are all in the invoice that you receive. All payments are tracked through our computer software to ensure accuracy. We insist that the CAREGivers never get paid directly. This avoids errors including double invoicing or underpayment of federal and provincial employment taxes.
Q: Do you withhold taxes, or are the clients
A: We are actual employers, rather than just a referral service. We handle all taxes due to the government. The client is in no way responsible. You receive one bill.
(click here to see our listing
of specific services)
Q: Does someone from your office come to our
home to do an assessment?
A: Prior to utilizing Home Instead Senior Care's service, we are happy to provide a "free assessment" to make sure that the client and our service will be a compatible fit and to answer any questions, free of charge and without obligation, to our senior clients and their families.
Q: Are your services available for the elderly
in nursing homes or assisted living facilities?
A: Yes, a growing number of our clients reside in a setting other than their own home and we have had huge success working in facilities of all types. We provide companionship to care facility residents who require additional attention and/or personalized assistance.
Q: Can I adjust a schedule once services have
A: We pride ourselves on our flexibilty. You are always in control of your service schedule. As long as you meet our three hour-per-visit minimum, you are welcome to adjust your schedule to meet your changing needs.
Q: Does Home Instead Senior Care have a supervisor
"on call" at all times, or does a service answer when
the office is closed?
A: Because our clients need service at all times of the day and night, our supervisors are available at all times. Our telephones automatically forward to the cell phone of the supervisor on call whenever the office is closed. Although we do ask that calls are limited to questions about service during the night and on the weekends, you will always reach someone who is familiar with your situation and is able to help.
Q: What type of records do you maintain in
the home to keep us informed?
A: A "Client Binder" is maintained in the home to act as a communication vehicle for both clients and CAREGivers. These binders contain client information, as well as CAREGiver notes on daily activities, medications, meals, etc. for each visit.
Q: Is Home Instead Senior Care a maid service?
A: No, we offer Home Support and Personal Care services. Our CAREGivers can provide light housekeeping, laundry, and ironing, in addition to their many other services.
Q: Can CAREGivers administer medications to
A: While we cannot actually place a medication in a client's hand or mouth, we certainly can remind a client to take medications, and can track the fact in our log books that the client has taken the medications.