Questions to Ask Home Care Providers

With more than 1,000 providers of home care support in Australia, it can be difficult to find the best home care provider for your needs.

Your decision will most likely hinge on the following three topics:

1. Cost: You want to maximise your home care package funds (or out-of-pocket contributions) by choosing the best home care services for the most affordable price.

2. Care: Home care and aged care are only as effective as the care staff providing it, including qualifications, training, and care details such as scheduling and activities.

3. Quality: Every home care agency has to meet certain standards, but high-quality providers tend to go above and beyond with their services and processes.

Asking important questions is the best way for Australians to learn about in-home care providers and confidently choose one based on their care needs.

How to Find Home Care Services Near You

How to find a home care provider in three easy steps

Before you start asking questions, it usually helps to make a list of candidates.

The care system can be complex and overwhelming, but it does have useful tools to help you conduct research and learn about your care options—whether you’re looking for a home care package provider (HCP), an aged care home or other health care services.

The ‘Find a Provider’ tool on My Aged Care, for instance, can be extremely helpful. Here’s how to find a home care provider with that tool in three easy steps:

Step 1: Use the Find a Provider tool on My Aged Care to put together a list of providers in your area that offer the types of care you require.

Step 2: Call the providers on your list (or meet with them in person) and ask them questions.

Step 3: Read over your notes and choose a provider. It might also be helpful to create pros and cons lists about your top choices to make the decision clearer. And remember: this decision is not permanent, and you can transfer care providers if your needs change.

Essential Questions for Assessing Home Care Providers

The boxes below feature the most important questions to ask home care providers about their services, quality and costs. TIP: Print this page or save these question boxes on your phone so you can always have them handy during your search!

Questions about: Cost, Plans and Policies
  • What will my total package cost for the level and services I need?
  • What will my personal contribution be?
  • What administrative fees do you charge?
  • Will I be able to view itemised lists of all my charges?
  • Do you charge additional fees for carers to travel to my home?
  • What are the hourly rates for the specific service I need?
  • Do you charge exit fees if I decide to end my service with your company?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?


Questions to ask home care providers about costs, plans and policies

Questions about: Carer Qualifications, Training and Scheduling
  • Do you train and staff your own care workers, or do you subcontract to other organizations?
  • How do you credential caregivers? Are they bonded and insured
  • Can your carers administer medications based on my specific care plan?
  • How soon can you place a caregiver in my home?
  • Will the same carer visit me every time?
  • Do you guarantee caregivers will arrive at a specific time, or is there a broad period of time provided for their arrival?
  • How far in advance do I need to discuss changes in my schedule?
  • Do you offer services overnight and on holidays? How difficult is it to schedule care in these scenarios?

Questions to ask home care providers about carer qualifications, training and scheduling

Questions about: Quality and Credentials
  • What is unique about your service?
  • How long has your organisation been providing home care services?
  • Do you have professional liability insurance?
  • How do you monitor and improve the quality of your staff?
  • What processes do you have in place if I am unsatisfied with my care?
  • Have you incurred any recent sanctions or notices of non-compliance? If so, how did you rectify those issues?
  • How do you gather and implement feedback from your clients?
  • If necessary, am I able to switch caregivers or request a different one? Are there any costs or mandatory notice periods attached to such changes?

Questions to ask home care providers about quality and credentials

Questions about: Special Needs
  • Do you have carers who specialise in my particular condition?
  • Do you have carers based where I live?
  • Do you have carers who speak my language?
  • Do you have carers who understand my culture and/or faith?
  • Do you offer permanent care options?
  • Can I interview or speak with multiple caregivers to choose the best fit for my situation?
  • What types of activities can your caregivers facilitate (e.g. transportation, meal preparation, bathing, etc.)?
  • Can you provide references or case studies?
  • How do you handle emergencies and after-hours care requests?
  • How do you handle sudden changes in a client’s condition?
  • What are your main strengths, and what makes you different from other home care providers?

Questions to ask home care providers about special needs


Home care in Australia is a consumer-directed marketplace, which empowers you to choose and change providers based on your personal care needs or the needs of your family members.

Though the sheer number of home care service providers can be overwhelming, asking these important questions will help you make the best decision based on your individual needs and the level of care you (or your loved ones) require.

Ultimately, the home care marketplace and its wide range of services ensure many Australians can live in their own homes longer while receiving quality care. When costs, qualifications, scheduling and other important details are understood upfront, then care recipients and their support workers are positioned to build strong, productive relationships—and that’s what effective home care looks like, after all.

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