Needing home care services for your parent can be an intimidating experience if you are new to the process.  When people have had services before and are more comfortable with caregivers in their home they are not as intimidated or nervous about the experience.

When looking at services, everyone is wondering how quickly can home care services begin.  How much time is needed in advance?  How much time do we need to “order” to get services?  How quickly can a caregiver be placed?  Here you will find those answers.

What You Will Learn

  • Most common situations for home care needs
  • The ideal timeline of setting up services
  • What happens in “emergency/immediate need” situations
  • How to prepare for home care services

Emergency Common Situations

There are three main scenarios that people call a home care company for a high amount of hours.  When I say a high amount of hours, you should think about anything over 40 hours a week of care.

Of course, every case is a little different but you will find yourself in one of these categories.  These categories are for families who need home care quickly and not someone just looking for transportation services or respite services for the future.

High Need Immediately  – Generally people are finding out that a parent just fell or is being discharged very soon from a hospital or rehab facility.  Families need a lot of care immediately.

The number of hours is usually between 10-24 hours a day of care because adult children need to be at work or do not have the ability to dedicate so much time to their parent so quickly.

High Need Moderate Speed – A senior is being discharged home in a few days to a week.  This category provides an adequate amount of time to go through the hiring process without rushing or cutting out steps.  Families are motivated to move quickly, but not in a panic.

High Need Low Speed – Mom or Dad isn’t going to need care for a few weeks.  Just checking in on what services are available and getting an idea of what home care services offer.

Dementia present a scenario where someone is taking care of a parent that is slowly getting worse because of the disease.  Caregivers do not necessarily need a lot of care now, but in the next few weeks to months the adult children will longer be able to handle their parent with this disease and be focused on getting help.

Home Care Services: The Ideal Time-Line

It is usually best to have about a week (5-6 business days) to implement home care services for a senior.  It takes about five working days on this timeline.

  • Day 1 – Understand Senior’s Needs/Contract signed.
  • Day 2-3 – Have a nurse conduct assessment & contact appropriate caregivers to find who is available/interested in the job.
  • Day 3-4 Have the client or adult children interview the caregivers over the phone (add multiple days if you wish to interview them in person).
  • Day 5-6 conduct final interviews and place a caregiver into the home.

Having roughly five to six days provides an adequate amount of time to understand our client’s needs and find qualified caregivers who are available to work.  It also ensures that family members have the opportunity to meet and interview the caregiver(s) before the case begins.

home care services

What Happens in an Emergency Situation

Emergency situations when someone needs immediate home care services occurs for four reasons:

1) An older family member has had an incident that shows their family they need help immediately (a demented senior wandering or leaving the stove on, or a non-injury slip and fall).  The family feels lucky that nothing catastrophic occurred but know next time things will be different.

2) A family finds out their parent is being discharged from the hospital in less than twenty-four hours, and their injuries need a large amount of care that they can not perform.

3) The family has decided an immediate change needs to occur with which company is providing them home care.  Something’s occurred where the family members or senior, no longer feel comfortable with their current home care services.

4) The primary caregiver of a senior has been hospitalized or incapacitated themselves and now someone is needed to fill the caregiver roll for their spouse.

Immediate Home Care Services Needed

When these situations occur, home care services become an immediate need, and we get calls for same day and next day caregiver placements.  What we do in these situations is straightforward.

When someone is in desperate need of care, we focus on getting a qualified caregiver in the home for the first 24-48 hours with less emphasis on whether the caregiver will be a long-term match.

We look to find a quality caregiver to provide short-term care.  Someone that can provide care for the first day or two until we can (quickly) go through the process of finding a more long-term solution caregiving schedule.

Getting through the first day or two is important as it eliminates the pressure and the emotions a family feels so they can focus on an interview the qualified caregivers who can provide care for their parent.

home care services

How to Prepare for Home Care Services

Preparing for home care services is important, so you do not end up being forced to make quick decisions because you were not prepared.

These are some great articles to read:

50+ Best Senior Care Tools Online

Home Care 101

Private Home Care: The Complete Guide

How To Select a Home Care Company


These four articles will give you an outstanding overview of what to expect when investigating home care services, but they provide with a complete understanding of what your options are and what home care services provide you.

Wrapping It Up

When emergencies happen, and you are in need of care immediately home, care services can be a lifesaver.  They are there for your biggest to your smallest need when caring for a senior.

When adults grow older, different diseases, events, and even falls occur which leave familes in a unequiped to provide care when someone needs it the most.  Looking at home care services can help elivated the pressure and frustration of not having the ability to be everywhere at once.