Homecare Complaints

How to Complain About an In-Home Care Provider

What should you do when you disagree with the approach of a hired in-home caregiver, aide, or other paid worker -- or you object to some aspect of the person's performance? Follow these steps to make your complaint known.

1. First, be sure of your facts.

Get clarity in your own mind about what it is that you dislike. Note specific instances: "Mrs. Jones used baby talk when trying to get my husband to use the toilet, using juvenile terms of endearment instead of his name and using expressions like 'tinkle' and 'pee-pee.'"

2. Talk to the offender yourself.

In a calm, kind way, and out of the earshot of others, explain your objection to the person directly: "I've noticed that you do X and Y. I would really prefer that you do Z instead, because. . . ." Avoid being accusatory or insulting. It's possible the person doesn't even see that he or she is doing anything wrong. Not being a mind reader, the person may not understand your preferences without being told. Also, give the person a chance to explain his or her side, and then firmly restate your position.

3. If you don't notice any change, go to a supervisor.

When hiring any home services, it's wise to establish a complaint procedure from the start. Talk to the supervisor in charge if you don't get any satisfaction from talking to the hands-on worker. If you don't know whom to talk to, call the company and ask to speak directly to the service manager or, if it's a small company, the owner. Again, explain your perspective. Emphasize that you all share a common goal: good care for your loved one. The manager may promise to speak to the employee or may suggest a simple change of personnel. You're paying for this service, so you deserve to feel comfortable and satisfied with the performance.