Administrative Offices: 1150 Burnett Ave., Suite C - Concord, CA 94520 (800) 517-0757

FAQs

Click on a link below to go directly to a specific question or scroll to read all.

 

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?

The owner and founder of Affordable Home Care Agency of California, Inc., Melissa Chapman, opened the agency in 1997. We have a reputation for excellent customer service, high quality caregivers and a willingness to go the extra mile to make sure you are completely satisfied with our service.

 

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED AND WHAT AREAS DO YOU SERVICE? 

Our administrative offices are located in Concord, California, however we provide service throughout the Bay Area, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara and Solano counties. If you are unsure if your city is located in one of these counties, click on “CITIES WE SERVICE” for further details.

 

ARE YOU UNSURE OF WHETHER IT'S TIME TO GET A CAREGIVER?

Many factors can affect this decision, but a good starting point is to ask yourself if you or your loved one has one or more of these concerns:

*  Illness or injury that requires assistance
*  Surgical recovery assistance
*  Families who live out of town
*  One or more unplanned hospital stays
*  One or more visits to the emergency room
*  One or more fall, trips, or slips
*  Forgets to take medication
*  Over/under dosing of medications
*  Personal hygiene not maintained
*  Home environment not maintained
*  Difficult and anxiety with new tasks
*  Loss of driving privileges
*  Any degree of cognitive impairment

 

 WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM HAVING A PROFESSIONAL CAREGIVER?

Anyone who needs non-medical home care assistance on a regular or occasional basis can benefit greatly from our services.  Caregivers provide assistance with daily activities for enhanced independence.  Using Affordable Home Care Agency can save you a significant amount of money since you won't be paying the substantially higher prices charged by home health agencies for non-medical services.  Conditions caregivers often provide assistance for are:

*  Physical disabilities, either temporary or permanent
*  Alzheimer's care
*  Dementia care
*  Memory impairment, and/or cognitive impairments
*  Stroke care
*  Cancer care
*  Elder care for those needing assistance with regular activities
*  Hospice care
*  Respite care
*  Medical illness recovery
*  Surgical recovery
*  Parkinson's disease
*  Chronic conditions (such as heart disease, vascular disease, COPD, diabetes, kidney failure,
    the effects of strokes and many other
*  Elder care for frail seniors who are at risk of falls and other causes of injury
*  Senior care for isolated seniors
*  Long-term or short-term care
*  Family members needing assistance with daily responsibilities

Affordable Home Care Agency's registry of professional caregivers include:

  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)
  • Certified Home Health Aides (HHA)
  • Personal Care Attendants
  • Companion/Homemakers
  • Housekeepers

 

 HOW QUICKLY CAN I START SERVICE?

We pride ourselves on responding to your needs very quickly. Service can usually start within a day, or even the same day depending on your needs.

 

WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP TO STARTING SERVICES?

You can inquire through our website on the “contact us” page, or simply give us a call at our toll free number (800) 517-0757 and we’ll begin the discussion on how we can best serve you and your loved ones.

 

HOW MUCH DOES YOUR SERVICE COST?

Click on our RATES” tab and you will see our standard rate schedule. You won’t find many other agencies willing to post that information on the web. We are proud to put our rates right up front! You can be confident that rates are not quoted based on where you live or how much a representative thinks you might be willing to pay. We provide the highest quality of caregivers at an affordable cost and are proud of it! 

 

WHAT IF I NEED HELP ON A WEEKEND OR EVENING - ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO ASSIST ME IN A TIMELY MANNER?

One of our staffing specialists are always available to assist you 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Outside of normal business hours, a live person will answer your call and either put you directly through to our on-call staffing specialist or have them return your call quickly.

*Please note that some service areas may require longer hours or live-in services due to caregiver availability.

 

WHAT IF I ONLY NEED SERVICE FOR AN HOUR OR TWO?

We have no minimum hourly requirement; you decide how much service you need. You should not be required to use and pay for more service than you need. For instance, we have many clients that only need assistance for an hour or two in the morning to help them get their day started or that need a caregiver for an hour or two for meal preparation. We also have clients that only need a caregiver for a few hours once a week. Again, the amount of service you receive is up to you.

 

DO YOU HAVE LIVE-IN CAREGIVERS?

Yes, we have many live-in caregivers available. A live-in caregiver is defined as a caregiver that stays in your home for a full 24-hours and sleeps there at night. Caregivers usually work approximately 8-12 hours intermittently throughout the day and are available to assist you during the night if needed, as long as they are not interrupted more than once or twice at most so they get a good night's sleep.  Just go to our Live-In page for more information.

 

DO LIVE-IN CAREGIVERS HAVE SPECIAL REQUIRMENTS?

 The following are considered standard requirements for most live-in situations, however you and your caregiver can ultimately determine their exact role and responsibilities.

        *  Private Room with bed for caregiver
        *  Food for meals provided by client
        *  Caregiver should be able to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night
        *  Caregiver should not be woken up more than 1-2 times at night
        *  Occasional time off to handle personal matters (caregivers are generally expected to work 8-12 hours per day)

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIVE-IN SERVICE AND 24-HOURS OF HOURLY SERVICE?

If around-the-clock service is needed and a caregiver is required to be awake at all times, it would be considered hourly service and you should expect to need 2-3 caregivers per day. If you want a caregiver to be in the home for the full 24-hr day but do not need them to be awake and working at all times, a live-in caregiver could be a cost effective solution for you. See our "Live-In Service" page for more information

 

WHAT IF I ONLY NEED YOUR SERVICES TEMPORARILY, FOR INSTANCE, WHILE MY PRIVATE CAREGIVER IS AWAY? 

We do not require that you commit to any amount of service or any length of time. We have many clients that use us to help with their supplemental staffing needs on an occasional or one time only basis.

 

AM I ABLE TO INTERVIEW CAREGIVER(S)?

Yes, we are happy to arrange in-home or telephone interviews for you with one or more compatible caregivers.* Some factors can affect our ability to do this, for example, if you need service to start right away there may not be enough time to arrange interviews. Regardless of whether you choose to conduct interviews, you can still feel confident because if for any reason, at any time, you are not completely satisfied with a caregiver’s services simply call us. We will listen in detail to better define your needs and preferences and quickly provide you with a more compatible caregiver. You never need to feel uncomfortable about asking for a change, we are experts in making sure the transition to a new caregiver is a comfortable and easy process.

 *In some circumstances a small interview fee may apply. Your staffing specialist will discuss the details with you if applicable.

 

HOW DO YOU SCREEN CAREGIVERS?

Your security and peace of mind are of the utmost importance to us. Our screening process includes running professional criminal background checks and social security justification on all caregivers. We verify previous employment and experience, check work references and when applicable, verify CNA or HHA licenses are valid and current. Our goal is always to provide only trustworthy caregivers and our screening process is done with this in mind. We are always happy to provide you with more details and specific qualifications when discussing compatible caregivers with you.

 

WHAT TYPE OF SERVICE CAN THE CAREGIVERS PROVIDE? 

 Professional caregivers have a wide range of skills, talents and comprehensive caregiving experience, which we match to your unique needs.  They are not nurses and do not perform medical services however, a significant number of our clients are receiving medical care from a licensed home health agency and use our agency to provide caregivers for their non-medical needs, saving themselves substantial amounts of money.

Personal Care Services and Activities of Daily Living

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Hygiene
  • Incontinence Care
  • Transferring
  • Ambulatory Assistance
  • Wheelchairs/Walkers Assistance
  • Exercise Assistance
  • Supervision
  • Respite Care
  • Morning and Bedtime Assistance
  • Communication with Family Members
  • Plant Watering
  • Clean and Mop Floors
  • Medication Assistance
  • Eating Assistance / Feeding
  • Meal Preparation
  • Diet Assistance
  • Shopping & Errands
  • Prescription Pick Up
  • Escort to Appointments
  • Activity Planning
  • Reading Assistance
  • Conversation and Stimulation
  • Make Appointments
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Laundry and Bedding Change
  • Dusting and Vacuuming
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaning

 

WHAT TRAINING DO CAREGIVERS HAVE?

 The professional independent caregivers in our extensive provider registry include: Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), personal care attendants and companion/homemakers. They have a variety of skills, training and experience with many conditions such as: Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Strokes, Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, MS, Heart or Cardiovascular Disease, Disabilities, Injuries from Falls or Accidents, Transferring Needs, Surgery Recovery, and many more not listed here. It is important to be aware that caregivers from our agency are not nurses and cannot provide skilled nursing or medical services and can only provide non-medical caregiving and domestic services.

 

HOW DO YOU MATCH ME WITH A COMPATIBLE CAREGIVER FOR MY NEEDS?

The process starts as soon as you call to inquire about our services. Over the phone your Personal Staffing Specialist will gather information about your unique needs and preferences, desired schedule and discuss items you may not even have thought of, for example, do you have pets and if so, how important is it to you that your caregiver be an animal lover? After enough information and detail has been gathered, your personal staffing specialist will identify and discuss with you one or more caregivers that have the needed skills and experience, availability, personality and compatibility according to your preferences from our large registry of professional caregivers. This can often be done during your initial phone call, especially when time is of the essence. The final choice of caregiver(s) is always up to you – you are never just “assigned” a caregiver.

 

WHAT IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH THE CAREGIVER YOU PROVIDED?

Even though we are usually successful at matching you with the right caregiver the first time, sometimes a caregiver just doesn’t work out, for whatever reason. If this happens, you can still feel confident because if for any reason, at any time, you are not completely satisfied with your caregiver simply call us. We will listen in detail to better define your needs and preferences and quickly provide you with a more compatible caregiver. You never need to feel uncomfortable about asking for a change, we are experts in making sure the transition to new a caregiver is a comfortable and easy process.

 

WHAT IF MY REGULARLY SCHEDULED CAREGIVER IS UNABLE TO COME?

If your regular caregiver is ill, has scheduled time off or has a last minute emergency and is unable to provide services, we will immediately start working on finding a temporary substitute caregiver, or if needed, a permanent replacement caregiver.

 

WHAT IF I NEED TO DISCONTINUE SERVICE?

We understand that life is full of unexpected changes and that it may be hard to know in advance when your needs will change. If you need to discontinue service, we only ask that you provide a 24-hour notice.We do not require that you use our services for a specific length of time. We are here to meet your needs. It is important to know that if you want to discontinue service with your caregiver for any reason but still need assistance, there is no need to feel uncomfortable or to cancel services with the agency. We are experts in making sure a transition to a new caregiver is a comfortable and easy process.

 

CAN I USE SERVICES FROM A CAREGIVER YOU PROVIDED WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE AGENCY? 

Caregivers are under legal contract with the agency and cannot provide their services to our clients excluding the agency. We also require our clients to sign an Agency Agreement stating they agree to report all hours/time worked by caregivers referred to them by the agency and that they will not directly hire any referred caregivers with the intent to avoid the agency fee (which is already included in your rate). We understandably must enforce this contract and agency agreement in order to protect our business. Occasionally we discover that a caregiver and client has continued or restarted service, excluding the agency. This is an explicit violation of the written, legal contract your caregiver entered into when registering with the agency and client agency agreement and a violation can result in expensive legal costs to all concerned parties. If your caregiver offers you service excluding the agency, please notify us immediately. A buyout option is available for clients wishing to hire their caregiver and satisfy the contractual obligations with the agency. Please contact our office for further details about this option.

 

DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS?

Yes.

 

WILL MEDICARE, HEALTH INSURANCE OR VA BENEFITS PAY FOR THIS SERVICE?

Unfortunately, our services are usually not paid for by these agencies. However, services may be covered under your Long Term Care Insurance Policy (see below for more details).

 

WILL MY LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE POLICY COVER YOUR SERVICE?

 Most long term care policies provide coverage; however, each policy is different and may have requirements that need to be met before they will pay. We understand that sometimes these policies can be complicated with confusing terminology. If you have a long term care insurance policy we strongly recommend that you call your agent or insurer for benefit clarification and that you begin the claims process as early as you can. We are happy to assist in any way that we can and will gladly contact your agent or insurer and answer any questions they may have and provide them with any requested documentation, for example, a copy of our business license.

 

 

AGENCY DISCLOSURE: 

As a legally operating California domestic referral agency (also commonly referred to as “registry”), we have an extensive pool of professional caregivers that we match with our client’s unique needs and preferences ensuring they receive a fully screened compatible caregiver with the necessary skills and experience. California has specific civil and UI codes that govern referral agencies and Affordable Home Care Agency complies with these codes. In accordance with California and Federal Law, Affordable Home Care Agency reports domestic worker’s income to the IRS on Form 1099. Affordable Home Care Agency of California, Inc. is not the employer of the domestic worker referred to you. Depending on your arrangement with the domestic worker, you may have employer responsibilities. As a homeowner, you may already have insurance coverage under your homeowners’ insurance policy. California Insurance code mandates that insurers selling homeowners insurance policies in California include medical coverage for injuries to independent contractors and both medical and workers’ compensation coverage for home employees. If you would like to increase your coverage beyond your existing policy limits, most insurers offer increased coverage at surprisingly little cost and can usually be accomplished with a simple phone call or e-mail. If you are not a homeowner, renters insurance can also provide these types of coverage at little cost. Whether a homeowner or renter, contact your agent or insurance company for more information and to verify coverage and coverage amounts.