How to set up home care services

Updated July 20, 2017

People in need of home-care services include those clients with age-related issues, disabilities, handicaps or illnesses. The duration of home care can be for either a short- or long-term.

Arranging for home-care services is generally conducted by the client, combined with assistance from a family member, medical professional, or social workers, along with the possibility of a designated person. A client's financial resources and type of insurance coverage maintained or to be obtained will direct the selections of available, necessary, and required options. In any case, setting up services for home care incorporates the same process.

Assess the client's condition. Make an appointment with the client's primary physician to learn if home care is possible. From the client's overall diagnosis and prognosis by all medical professionals, the physician will decide if in-home services will meet the medically-required needs of the client. Should the physician agree to home care, he or she will compile and assemble the necessary medical documentation to support a plan for home care.

Obtain a home health referral. The primary care physician will refer the client's request for home services, along with charted medically-related needs, to an appropriate home health agency. On behalf of the client, request copies of the diagnosis, prognosis, and medically-related necessities. Choice of agency, by the physician, will be dependent upon the type of medical insurance coverage and financial resources that the client possesses. The client, a family member or designated person will then be furnished with the agency's phone number in order to contact and begin the intake process.

Contact the home health agency. Phone the agency. Advise the receptionist that this call is based upon a physician's referral, and that you would like to start an intake. Upon being transferred to an intake representative, provide complete client information, diagnosis, prognosis, request for in-home services, and the name of the referring physician. The representative will then advise as to their agency's procedure for conducting the intake.

Fulfil the intake process. The intake will be conducted in one of three ways: application form, facility visit, or home visit. If the intake is to be done through an application form, the client, a designated family member or person can complete the paperwork as directed by the agency. Make a copy of the completed application for the client's personal file. Should either a facility or home visit be the agency's method of intake, the client must be present, along with the option for a client's designated family member or person to take part in the visit. For facility or home visits by an agency representative, date and time must be noted. The purpose of an intake is for the agency to gather sufficient client information. The information will then be forwarded to a home health nursing consultant.

Undergo the assessment. An agency-delegated nursing consultant will contact the client, along with the client's designated family member or person, in order to arrange a date and time for an assessment. Be sure to note the appointment. Assessments are conducted by a nursing consultant where the client will be living. In addition to the nursing consultant, the client and a designated family member or person will be present. The objective of the assessment is to determine the supportive medical and daily living needs of a client who will be receiving services in a home environment.

Determine services to research. The specific services necessary to provide home care for the client will be derived from the assessment. Both the client and a designated family member or person will receive a copy of the assessment to reference when necessary. Where the services of an in-home caregiver, plus an emergency call service, for the client are concerned, the nursing consultant will handle those arrangements. As for client transportation service to and from medical and therapeutic appointments, contact information will be provided to the client, as well as a designated family member or person, by the nursing consultant. Other in-home care services for the client, such as a visiting home health nurse, occupational and physiotherapy, durable medical equipment, diabetic supplies, incontinence pads, a pharmacy that delivers, and any further medically-related services and supplies are at the responsibility of the client, a designated family member or person to arrange.

Research required services. Online searches serve as the best method for researching services that provide supportive home care. Use the client assessment for a glossary and reference. Should the need for assistance, clarification or consultation about a particular need or service arise, contact the client's primary physician's office or the home health agency for professional advice. Use a Word program document, a notebook or writing pad to fully note research that corresponds with the service needed, along with the phone number. If possible, list more than one resource for each service.

Contact the researched home care services and qualify availability and acceptance. Using the research notes, begin to phone the services listed. Upon phoning each service provider, furnish them with the client's name, address, contact phone numbers, the medical condition of the client, the service required, and the insurance coverage that the client possesses. If the service or relevant product need is available, and the client's insurance is accepted, then this is a service that will benefit the client's need. Should the service not be available, or does not honour the client's insurance, move on to the next service within the same area of need.

Arrange home care services. Once a service within each area of need has been qualified by availability and acceptance of the client's insurance, proceed with the call. Verify that the service has noted all of the client's information and needs correctly. Schedule the service with the service's representative. Note the service chosen, along with details, such as arranged deliveries, services and products in the Word document, notebook or writing pad. In a briefer manner, note the client's designated calendar of all scheduled services, appointments and deliveries.

Confirm caregiving services with the nursing consultant. Phone the nursing consultant, who is responsible for securing and arranging a caregiver for the client. Inquire as to the details concerning the caregiver to be assigned. Note the name, home care source, contact information, and the schedule that the caregiver is to work in the Word document, notebook or writing pad. Note on the calendar the dates and times that the caregiver will be providing service for the client.


Coordinating all services for in-home care to begin simultaneously is paramount to success---and client satisfaction. Communication and sensitivity between client, the client's designated family member or person, and all service representatives is essential. To achieve excellence in the quality of home care services, ensure that all aspects have been determined, arranged and covered. The nursing consultant is the best resource for both reference and assurance in that the needs of home care services have been sufficiently met.

Things You'll Need

  • Writing pad
  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Phone---land line or cellular
  • Physicians' contact information
  • Medical insurance details
  • Client's diagnosis
  • Medically-related recommendations for care at home
  • Client's contact information, as well contact information for family member or designated person
  • Calendar
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About the Author

As a freelance writer, Gary Willhite has written professionally for 20 years. He honed his skills while attending the International School of Journalism, The Institute of Children’s Literature and Writer’s Digest School. Willhite’s experience encompasses a number of online and print publication successes, along with copy-writing endeavors.