Preferred Lifestyle Services - Care Management

Care Management ~ Eldercare Advocacy ~ Dementia Care

Serving families in Palm Beach, Martin and Port St. Lucie counties

How Well Do You Know Your Parent's Home Care Worker?

Judie Rappaport
May 22, 2014

"I asked the agency for a homecare worker to drive Mom to errands and church. Everything went smoothly until my sister visited and asked, 'Did you check her driver's license?' I said, 'I assumed the agency did that.' The aide admitted she didn't have a license, couldn't read English and had no concept of what the road signs meant. The agency's B.S. response? 'She told us she had one.' Now the aide's gone, Mom wants her back, I'm stuck driving Mom around, and I haven't slept in weeks thinking of how many times I put Mom's life at risk." 


Question: Which items have you ordered online or from a television ad without wondering if the product can meet your expectations?  

Answer: Zero. I’m betting you, like most of us, need the security of a return policy guaranteeing complete satisfaction or your money back.

Follow-up Question: If trusting the supplier isn’t good enough for a can opener, why is it good enough when Mom’s life is at stake?


True, you won't get the same guarantee from a home care agency that you get with a can opener, but you can help prevent some basic problems. All you need is a list of the right questions to ask the agency. Here they are:

  • Ask for proof of a state license or Medicare certification.
  • Ask for proof of a current healthcare certificate, background check, and government issued photo I.D.
  • If you can afford it, pay for two hours of the worker’s time for an interview prior to hiring. This allows you to:
    • Determine if the person is a good fit for your parent and your needs
    • Ask about problems she encountered with patients like your parent and how she handled them. 
    • Determine if she can communicate clearly with your parent
    • Confirm your expectations for hours/days you’ll need her, continuity, and for duties you want her to perform


Make this meeting the start of your relationship with the worker: keeping the lines of communication open will help you and your parent have a better experience. 


Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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