Reference Check Questions

8 Questions to Ask When Checking a Caregiver's References

Making changes in caregiving help is common. Always do a little reference-digging before you sign a contract with a home health service, switch to a new company, or hire a home health aide from the "gray market" of independent providers.

Start by asking for at least two references -- and be sure to call them. Here's what to find out:

  • How recently were the services rendered?

  • What was the care situation, and what kind of help was provided?

    SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

  • What did you think of the quality of care provided?

  • What did you think of the person/people who helped?

  • Was there a lot of change in staffing, or were the same people consistently involved?

  • Did you have any problems, and if so, of what nature were they?

    SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

  • Are you still using these services, or has care ended (and if the latter, why?)

  • What were the caregivers' names?

If it's a small company, also check with the local Better Business Bureau for any complaints against it.


Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio


over 6 years, said...

These are great tips, however, I as under the impression that asking for references was a violation of HIPPA privacy laws. I would be trilled to learn that my impression is incorrect!


over 6 years, said...

Good quick tips - questions presented in an easy to implement conversational way.


almost 7 years, said...

I'm a daughter,& grandaughter of Alzheimer sufferer's, This reference, which I will print and save for my daughters to utilize when my time comes.


almost 7 years, said...

Great questions to ask. I also subscribe to Angie's list, but there are not a lot of listings for this service. If you are a member of Angie's list, please share your experiences there.


almost 7 years, said...

Just getting started in the caregiving world and this info is good.


about 7 years, said...

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about 7 years, said...

The "Wise Health Insurance" is quite popular in California and New York. For example it offers the low income health plan. Also offers health insurance for individual with pre-exisiting conditions.