Frequently Asked Questions



Home Care Service Options

Do you provide care for COVID patients? What is the protocol for providing services to those who are COVID positive?

We are not able to provide care for patients with actively positive COVID tests. However, we do work with patients who are in a high-risk COVID environment but test negative. In that case, we provide client instructions for honoring the CDC’s two-week quarantine recommendations, after which we can begin service.

What services do you provide?

We provide a wide range of senior services, all designed to respect a senior’s dignity and independence in their home and local community. This ranges from personal hygiene and companion care to facilitating safe transportation services, memory care, and 24/7 care.

Click Here for a more detailed description of our home care services.

How do I know when my loved one requires home care services?

Acute illnesses or disease diagnoses are a clear sign, but most of the normal signs of age-related decline go unnoticed even by the most diligent and caring family members. They happen slowly, over time, which makes them easy to miss.

Some of the most common signs are:

  • Weight loss without explanation
  • A general fatigue or malaise
  • Withdrawing from activities and social circles
  • Empty refrigerator and pantry

All of the above and more are alleviated with trained in-home senior care givers. Read our post, Warning Signs: Is Your Elderly Loved One Safe? to learn more.

Do you create a personalized care plan for each client? What does this include?

While the warning signs and age-related challenges may seem universal, each and every client is different. We conduct extensive intake interviews and assessments to create personalized and detailed care plans.

These are designed to address the physical or medical challenges but, even more importantly, to keep seniors social, engaged, and active doing the things they love most.

How often do you evaluate and update a client’s written plan of care?

Each client is assigned a Client Service Manager, who visits regularly and communicates with both the client, the caregiver, and the client’s primary family contact(s) to update the written plan of care as needed.

General Operations

What is the minimum amount of time that you will provide services to a client?

We have a four-hour minimum service requirement. During this time, we can provide any of the senior care services listed above, and we can also support things like shopping, errand running, as well as meal preparations so the client and caregiver can share meals together. The latter is one of the best ways to get senior loved ones to eat more than they would on their own.

How quickly can services begin?

In many cases, services can begin within a few hours after we’ve finalized the initial client evaluation and contract. Other times, it may depend on the time of year (holidays, for example, might make it harder), the types or specificity of the services needed, and your location.

What is the process to begin services?

  • Step 1: Intake
    • Goal: Schedule Assessment. Once Assessment is scheduled, it’s usually a go.
    • Who, what, why. We want to understand all of the greater and smaller needs of our client, and will also go over the recommended services, along with a rate quote.
    • Send an informational packet. If you’ve found us or contacted us online, we’ll send you an informational packet. If you heard about us through word-of-mouth, we’ll get a packet out by email or mail as requested.
  • Step 2: Schedule Assessment
    • Determine frequency and immediacy. More independent clients who independently handle basic, daily care tasks may not require the same level of immediacy or frequency of care as those who need help with daily tasks.
    • Care Notes. We’ll take careful notes about the client’s preferred diet, med reminders, bed time, other medical or therapeutic needs, favorite activities, etc. This forms the basis of the personalized care plan.
    • Set expectations. It’s important that the client, the client’s spouse/family, and the caregiver on the same page. We will set expectations and service goals in writing and use those to review and amend the care plan as needed.
  • Step 3: Case start
    • Timeliness. As mentioned above, it can take anywhere from within a few hours to a few days, depending on multiple factors. Typically, clients on the Upper Cape area may need to wait a bit longer to be matched with the right caregiver. South Shore clients may be able to begin service within just a few hours after completing their assessment.
    • Service needs. Patients who require basic home care can typically begin service sooner than those who have more acute dementia or hospice needs because that may require more collaborative work between caregiving entities.

How long have you been in business?

North River Home Care has been in business as a professionally senior home care provider since 2007. We now have more than 250 caregivers on our roster, providing expert care to seniors and their families around the South Shore and Upper Cape areas.

What is your policy for communicating with a client and their family members?

Communicating with families is a foundation of high-quality senior care. In addition to regular visits from our Client Service Managers, which always generate communication via phone and/or email with the designated contact(s).

Perhaps more importantly, family members can call their client service manager at any time with questions or to check in on the care plan. We also offer secure, online Family Portal that allows family members to log in to a private website and check on the care notes.

Will my loved one have the same caregiver every time?

Because each client has different needs, we assign a small team of caregivers to each client. That way, the client can create familiarity and rapport with just a few people, maintaining caregiver consistency as much as possible.

Who oversees the caregivers?

The Client Service Manager is a key caregiver leader in our model of operations. Our caregivers and the Client Service Manager all check-in with our Human Resource Manager – who also checks in on patient/caregiver visits from time to time.

What happens if the caregiver doesn’t show up on time or at all?

We are very proud of our caregivers’ track records, and are happy to say that tardies and no-shows are a rarity. Even so, emergencies happen, and we are prepared to take over if one of our caregivers needs extra support.

Each caregiver must use the client’s home phone to clock-in. If a caregiver is late a message is sent out to the management staff as an alert and we immediately reach out to the caregiver.

If a caregiver does not arrive for their shift we have on-call caregivers that are called in to work the shift.  In some cases, the Client Case Manager or others in management positions will arrive to provide care, as all of our office managers are also trained senior care providers.

Who will we meet at the initial in-home assessment?

The Client Service Manager does the initial in-home assessment and creates the personalized care plan. S/he also makes specific caregiver recommendations to our office if s/he feels there is an ideal match for a particular client

About Our Caregivers

How do you match caregivers to clients?

The in-home assessment comprises multiple components that include the immediate needs of the client, as well as social-emotional needs, and explores the client’s interests and personality traits. This is done using a list of specific questions. Afterwards, the Client Service Manager takes a look at our caregivers to see who would best match these traits.

How many caregivers will be providing care to my loved one?

It would depend on how often you require services. We encourage using more than one caregiver as part of a team. A caregiving team means that in case of an emergency or to honor caregiver holiday and vacations, the client will feel comfortably connected to the caregiver who takes over, and the assigned caregiver will be fluent with the client’s personalized care plan.

Are your caregivers bonded and insured through your agency?

Yes, all caregivers and employees at North River Home Care are bonded and insured.

What is the hiring process for your caregivers?

We prefer to hire caregivers with experience, but we also understand the invaluable asset that a fresh, inspired, and easy-to-train prospect is when trained to our high-standards of caregiving (see more below).

We conduct extensive reference and background checks on every applicant who gets a green light after our multi-phase interview process.

What is the background of your caregivers?  What is their training?

Each caregiver has their own unique background. Some are home health aides, some are certified nursing assistants who are better able to assist home health care providers. Several of our dearest caregivers have cared for their loved ones and found their calling as a caregiver, while others have watched what a difference it made to have a caregiver support a loved one, and then became professional caregivers to give back to their communities.

The area Red Cross offices hold certified nursing assistant training, which are also resources from which we’ve found some of our best caregivers.

Do your caregivers provide transportation?

Yes, caregivers can provide transportation during care. Some common types of transportation needs include medical appointments and grocery shopping. To this end, we pull regular DMV background checks to ensure caregivers have a clean, safe driving history. Visit our Senior Transportation page to learn more specifically about those options.

Do you have a nurse on staff? Social Worker?

We do have both nurses and social workers on staff to provide more comprehensive, expert, and attentive senior care services.

Services Locations

Where do you provide services?

We provide the entirety of our senior care services throughout the South Shore and Upper Cape areas. Click Here to view our comprehensive map.

Do you provide services in a nursing home or assisted living facility?  Is it different from a home setting?

We do provide services in nursing homes or assisted living services. For some, this is to provide comfort and personalized companions. For other clients, our adjunct services are more affordable than paying the assisted living facilities “add-on” service fees.

Supporting clients in assisted living is different from a home setting because our caregivers must honor the rules and regulations of the specific setting. This may not allow as much freedom as we have when working in client homes. Also, our services may be limited in response to current health advisories or pandemic restrictions.

Financial Information

How much does home care cost?

The average range for home care is $35-45/hour with a minimum of four hours per shift. The price fluctuation depends on the level of services provided.

Visit, How to Pay for Homecare, for ideas on how to make these costs more affordable and to minimize out-of-pocket spending.

Do you charge different rates for nights, weekends, and holidays?

Our weekday rates are the same Monday through Friday. Weekends and holidays have different rates. One of the reasons why you pay more for home care services through a licensed agency, as opposed to hiring someone who advertises as a freelancer is that our employees enjoy benefits packages, including paid holidays as well as differential pay for weekends and holidays. Better pay and benefits directly correlate to higher-quality, experienced, and consistent care for our senior clients and families. If you have any questions about our rates, please call us.

Are there any upfront costs? Do you charge an initial assessment fee or require a deposit?

No, not with the North River Home Care family. We are completely transparent with all of our pricing and there are absolutely no hidden costs or surprise fees.