Vancouver’s Consumer Choice Award-Winning Home Care Company 18 Years in a Row

How to Choose a Home Care Provider for Your Elderly Parents or Loved One

Are you considering contacting a home care provider for your elderly parents or loved one?

Asking the right questions is critical, and if this is your first time selecting a service provider, it may be difficult to find the pertinent questions that you need to ask of a nursing company.

Here are some important questions to ask the service providers as you begin your selection process. Their answers will assist you to choose the home care provider that is best for your circumstances.


  • Is the organization accredited by Accreditation Canada?
  • How long has the organization been providing services?
  • Is the company affiliated with other organizations and is thereby able to guide you through a full range of services as a result of its professional network?
  • What services does the provider offer?
  • Will these services meet your needs now and in the future?
  • Is the support staff trained and available to meet your specific needs? (Palliative Care, for example, is a highly specialized service and most agency do not have a specialized team or sufficient RNs on staff to service their clients.)
  • Does the company have an experienced Clinical Support Team that is qualified to monitor and supervise the staff and care provided to the client? What are their qualifications?

Customer Service

  • Do you reach a person or an answering system or central staffing clerk when you call?
  • What is the front office staff, client scheduler like?
  • Is the staff accessible to you?
  • Are they involved in the hiring process?
  • How well do they know each of the nurses and their personalities and abilities?
  • Do they have a 24-hour support line and will the person on call know the client, my family member and nursing team?
  • Will you know of on call supervisor if you need help after hours?

Nursing Staff

  • Is the RN supervisor able to talk directly with other health professionals regarding the client's care?
  • Is the RN supervisor available to meet and have discussions with the client's family members?
  • Do they know the nurse who is to become your caregiver or does your request go through a central staffing centre?
  • Does the care provider speak your language?
  • Will continuity of care be a priority?
  • What happens when a staff member becomes ill and is unavailable to the client?
  • Is the health care member bonded, insured?
  • What are the hiring requirements of the health care provider?
  • How are the staff members supported with their assignments?
  • What type of orientation and continuous education does the provider offer to its nurses and supervisors?

Customized Care

  • Do they ask what needs are and tailor services accordingly. Do they help you determine your needs and help you determine the level of care you require?
  • Do they have the ability to review selected staff members qualifications, references before service begins.
  • Can they meet your selected caregiver prior to service commencing?
  • Can they interview and choose you preferred caregiver.
  • What are your care provider's limitations, such as, can staff drive a client to an appointment, cleaning tasks or medication administration.
  • What are the parameters for live in home support staff and do these requirements meet our provincial labour relation and employment standard requirements.
  • Will the provider help with other services area that they do not provide such as Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapy?


  • What is the cost of the service and how will you pay?
  • How often can you access the services and what are the minimum and maximum hours of service you can have?
  • What do you do if we need to cancel service? Is there a policy?
  • Will some or all of the cost be covered by bill health care plans, ICBC or Work Safe B.C.?


Finally, ask the home care agency to supply you with a list of references, such as doctors, discharge planners, clients or their family members and community leaders who are familiar with the company's quality of service.

Contact these references and ask questions like:

  • Do you frequently refer clients to this agency?
  • Do you have a contractual relationship with this agency? If so, do you require the agency to meet special standards for quality care?
  • What type of feedback have you gotten from clients receiving care from this agency, either on an informal basis or through a formal satisfaction survey?

Evergreen's mission is to augment, not duplicate services that are already offered in the community. We therefore help you to determine your needs and investigate funding options available to you.

For answers to your questions about our services, or to learn more about how Evergreen Nursing Services can meet your needs, please call us at 604-264-7959 or contact us online.