How do we find a better home health agency?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Our elderly aunt has both medicare and VA. She was sent home from hospital and they set up home health care via medicare. However, the workers they sent out are terrible. They are lazy and dont want to do a good job. How do we change home health agencies and can we interview the workers before deciding who will come out.

Expert Answer

Maria Basso Lipani writes a popular website on geriatric care topics, where she puts her expertise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to good use answering care planning questions. Maria is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work and is licensed in California and New York.

If you're unhappy with the home health aides you can absolutely call the agency that sent them, explain the behaviors, and ask for different workers. Finding a better home health agency would be a much bigger feat in part because this episode of home care (i.e. an episode that follows a hospitalization) is paid for my Medicare and it is only temporary. In fact, it may only last a few weeks. Many people confuse the home care that Medicare pays for (short term) with home care covered by Medicaid which is long term. The other option is to pay for home care privately. If this is something your aunt can afford you would then be able to choose the agency freely and interview the workers to find the best fit.