Top 10 Complaints from Home Care Clients

Complaints-From-Home-Care-Clients

Kristi Larson, Home Care Pulse Director of Customer Development, put together a list of the top 10 complaints we hear from home care clients. Pay attention to see if your agency is making these common mistakes:

1. Confusion in Communication Due to Multiple Caregivers for One Person

Clients like having the stability of one caregiver and one point of contact. Having a “point man” ensures responsibility is taken and assures clients that nothing will be lost in communication.

2. Caregivers Lack of Punctuality

Home care clients commonly report that caregivers come late or leave early. Some clients are on a strict schedule, and having a caregiver show up late means they could be left unattended. It can be a huge inconvenience for family members who have to stay longer while missing out on those extra 10-20 minutes they’re paying for.

3. Quality of Care is Inconsistent

Some caregivers are better at their job than others, but it can be really frustrating for a client when one caregiver is exceptional, then the next performs only basic tasks. Read our posts on recruiting, retaining and training quality caregivers to ensure your level of care is always reliable.

Read Top 10 Complaints From Home Caregivers

4. Caregivers Texting/Calling/Surfing the Web

Clients get really irritated when caregivers are on the clock and wasting time on their phones, neglecting the client. Enforce strict rules about cell phone usage, set a standard penalty for those who break the rules, and hold your caregivers accountable.

5. Lack of Caregiver Training

Clients are sometimes upset when caregivers can’t perform basic cooking and cleaning requests. One woman we interviewed said when she asked her caregiver for a grilled cheese sandwich, the young woman stuck cheese on a piece of bread then dropped it in the toaster, creating a huge mess. Some caregivers may benefit from basic cooking instructions or recipes.

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6. Cultural Differences/Language Barriers

Many cultures have different standards for cooking and hygiene. If you hire someone from another country, teach them about our customs and basic words in English before they start working. Language barriers and cleanliness differences can be very troubling and frustrating for your clients.

7. No Discounted Rates for 12+ Hour Shifts

Clients who have a greater need for help will pay much more than those with only basic help needed.  If your budget allows, try to take off a dollar or two for those long visits. This could be more difficult with the recent changes to caregiver exemptions, but clients will appreciate whatever effort you can make.

8. Pay Schedule is Inconvenient

Some companies send out a weekly bill, but some clients prefer monthly billing since it’s easier to keeping track of payments. Keep clients in mind when planning your billing schedule.

9.Being charged time and a half

Clients complain of being charged time and a half on holidays, which equals to about $30/hour. They feel that’s too steep and care shouldn’t cost that much. If you’re able to make adjustments, do so. At the very least, provide information for clients, so they understand why this policy is in place.

10. Not Being Told When Caregivers Call in Sick

It’s not uncommon for caregivers to call in sick to the office, but the office doesn’t call the clients or send a replacement. This is a communication problem that could cause astronomical problems for your clients and your home care business.

While all businesses struggle in one way or another, it’s important to take a detailed and honest inventory of your performance. Only by doing this can you begin the road to improvement and create a growing, healthy home care business. If you’re making one or more of these mistakes, take the necessary steps to solve the problem and prevent the negative impact these issues could have on your client pool and reputation.

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2017-05-11T13:38:00+00:00 Sep 30, 2013|Articles|27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Stan Lawson October 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    It is very hard to be all things to all people, but the things you list here go beyond personality conflicts. We try very hard to avoid these issues. Thanks for the article.

    • Anonymous June 5, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

      Sorry, but if a carer isn’t willing to adapt to clients needs, they shouldn’t even be a carer in the first place.

      • A June 14, 2016 at 12:01 am

        Clients want more from carer than they do from family members. If it wasn’t for carer many clients, would be in nursing home or even worse —DEAD!!!

    • Jay May 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Caregivers are under appreciate in so many ways. We don’t get paid for the many things we’re asked to do. We are asked to do so much including things that is outside of our job scope. The family’s of the clients are overbearing and they always get in the way of the caregiver. Being a caregiver today feels like modern day slavery. I was asked by a clients husband to change diapers on his sick dog (pet). People will always complain and mistreat the caregiver regardless. I mean why even have such a thing as home care services!

  2. Kristi Larson October 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    While it is hard to accommodate everyone’s needs or to meet each client’s standard of excellence, it’s good to continually keep their needs in mind.

    If you can’t lower the price of the services, you may be able to increase the value of those services by training the caregivers to go above and beyond the call of duty by performing tasks that increase client satisfaction.

    People often feel a willingness to pay more for a service as long as they feel they are getting “the most bang for their buck!”

    Keep up the good work Stan!! It’s so awesome that you try so hard to improve the quality of living for seniors in your area!

    Kristi Larson
    SRC Manager at Home Care Pulse

  3. […] however, home care agencies aren’t without fault. Recently, Home Care Pulse posted the top 10 complaints that many agencies hear from their clients. Let’s review a few of these complaints and how a […]

  4. Elena Petrenko May 26, 2014 at 2:17 am - Reply

    I agree with every insight! These posts are key to my agency’s evaluations! The proactivity and accountability are factors that an agency cannot be successful without. I highly recommend take extra classes in health care administration and leadership.
    Thank you for the article. It is down to the point and absolutely true according to the national statistics and quality performance measures by Home Helpers agency of Fairfield county in CT.
    http://www.homecaregreenwich.com

    • Home Care Pulse June 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Good suggestions, Elena. It’s a great idea to take extra classes that can add to your leadership skills. Education pays off. Clients will notice your expertise and experience.

  5. Myrna Pouloute November 16, 2015 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    I’m a single mom with a down’s syndrome son in a catch-22 situation such as taking him to/ fro doctor’s appointment in Melbourne, Orlando, Jacksonville or to pick him up at school for any reasons. I had a previous agency that gave me a worker with criminal background after she will show up 2-hrs later or don’t show up at all while I’m work. Now, I got another for 1 month with another job because I had to leave because I didn’t have the care and no funds to pay for 8 or 9 hrs to hold on to my job. This new agency workers left because the traveling cost from Titusville was too much and the second worker was pulled to a different case. Can someone help me or where to go to expose those homecare agency who doesn’t care about the family’s but getting new cases with no workers. Now I’m about to lose another job because of the ethical and treatments of this agency. I’m afraid for my son to have a trachechtomy without having everything in order. Thanks in advance for replying.

    • Home Care Pulse November 17, 2015 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      Myrna,

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a terrible experience with your care. Have you contacted the supervisor of these caregivers or the home care agency owner? Most agencies will do their best to find you a replacement and to fix the situation when a caregiver can’t come. I would start by contacting them to make sure they’re aware of what has happened. If they can’t fix it, I would talk to them about refunding you for the services that they didn’t provide. I would also recommend checking bestofhomecare.com for a new provider if the situation doesn’t improve. This site only lists providers that Home Care Pulse has certified as providers of quality care. Let me know if you have any other questions. I hope things get better soon.

    • Anonymous June 5, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Complain to the CQC or Healthwatch England. In fact, complain to as many healthcare commisioners as you can. They will do inspections on the agency, and if they don’t improve, the commisioners shuts them down for good.

    • A June 14, 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

      Many agencies and companies do not pay carers full time or hire them in for they do not want to carer to get benefits. Carers have to do what they have to do make ends meet (e.g. another job). One thing you must remember carers are there for a certain time bracket and have their own lives and families and not obligated to be there after the time expired.

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  7. Anonymous February 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I use a home care agency, and there’s no communication between office staff and carers. The only time they communicate, is when it’s time to give the carers details of where their next clients home is. Not only that. They suddenly get unexpected calls, so now they can only spend twenty minutes with each client. They have no social life, or family time. It’s a nightmare for both client and carer. The clients can’t always be bothered, and sometimes the carers have also had enough. I’m not sure that home care services will ever get back to how they once were.

    • Home Care Pulse February 24, 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      It’s frustrating when you don’t feel like you or your caregivers have a voice with your home care agency. I would recommend bestofhomecare.com. It’s a website that allows you to search for home care providers in your area who have been certified for their quality of care. You can also search through award-winning providers who have been recognized for their services and their workplace. These awards are based on the ratings they’ve received through regular third-party interviews with their clients and caregivers, so you know they’re recent and reliable.

      • Anonymous June 5, 2016 at 11:21 am

        Thanks 🙂 I really appreciate it.

    • Fran January 14, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

      Understand Totally.
      My question to these home health care agencies is ” Why take on a new patient when you don’t intend to get them a permanent provider? $ maybe

  8. ann stafford April 22, 2016 at 10:48 am - Reply

    I live an hour away from my mother, she receives home care 3 days a week for 1-2 hours each visit. The fridge was full of expired food, radishes with fuss, rotten vegetables , food that had been sitting in the fridge way over the expiry date. She is not being showered regularly her room smelt of urine, sheets not being changed. just unforgivable state. who do I take my complaints to above the provider also the caregiver is borrowing money from her not to mention what she may be helping herself to

    • Home Care Pulse April 25, 2016 at 9:21 am - Reply

      That sounds like a terrible situation Ann. The best person to take your complaints to is the provider (business owner) who should work to resolve them immediately. If you can’t reach the provider, you could speak with the caregiver’s direct supervisor. However, if you have already spoken to the provider and you haven’t seen a change, you should consider switching providers.

      Start by searching for a provider on BestofHomeCare.com. There you’ll be able to find providers in your area who have proven their quality through client and caregiver interviews and ratings. Start there and see if there are better providers available nearby. Then let us know how it goes. We hope things get better soon.

  9. Rosa Begley August 14, 2016 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Iam a care giver. I love staying busy. I enjoy my job. Iam old school and go above and be on caring for my client. I am 59 and still able to work very well. I work for Medicaid. I have to pay my oun taxes. I keep up my oun CPR frist aid. Finger prints, and had three pay cuts in the last eight years. I would love a job that would appreciate my work,.passion , and care. Have the taxes taken out. Iam a verified CNA HHP.

  10. Debbie Huff August 22, 2016 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    I have been in healthcare field for 20 years. I do agree it is good to educate caregiviers what to look for when you allow someone in your home with your love one. When you pick your home health provide ask questions do your research. Do not be afraid to ask what if this happens or who do I call. Even ask if they are certified nursing assistant. There are jobs that home health hire non cerified staff for such as cooking (sittier jobs) which would be the less of training how to be care for elderly at home. Ask if they do backround checks or tb test for safety of love one.

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  12. Shree December 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

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  13. Unknown December 13, 2016 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Well I feel them aides do to much, they apply by companies rules if they don’t do what that clients want they call the company lying.

  14. Rob Gundic May 24, 2017 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I agree 100%. As an owner of Caring Companions (www.CaringCompanionsHC.com), these issues were discussed at length prior to inception. We really believe the best thing we can do to combat these issues is to remain proactive. For example: 1) keep staffing a priority, so you’re not ever desperate. 2) maintain integrity for the sake of your clients, business and employees. There is never an excuse to disregard background checks as one commenter mentioned. 3) treat your employees fairly and with respect. Happy employees are always better employees.

  15. Greg Holly June 6, 2017 at 7:27 am - Reply

    I really appreciate the insight here in this post and wanted to say thank you for answering the questions in the mind. This post was so helpful for me.

  16. home care providers June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    The post is highly appreciated.

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