5 Tips for Choosing the Best Home Care Agency for Your Family

You and your family have decided that it’s time to bring in external support to help with the care of your family. Of course, you want them to feel comfortable, safe, and independent. You’d like them to live in their own home for as long as possible.

In this case, an in-home caregiver or home care agency is the best option to assist your family in need.

But, choosing the best home care agency is a big job. You’ll want to select a provider that offers the services required by you and your family in a kind, friendly and caring manner.

If you need help choosing the best care for your family, we’re here to help. Here are our five tips for selecting the best home care agency for someone important to you.

1. Get Recommendations

If you’re not sure where to start looking for a home care provider or agency, try to source recommendations. Speak to trusted professionals and community members who may have experience using a home care agency.

Your doctor, financial advisor, attorney, friends, or family members may know some local companies that do a great job.

If your peers don’t have any recommendations, a list of home care providers is usually accessible from your local area agency or hospital. But, these places don’t often make specific recommendations.

2. Determine What Kind of Care Is Needed

You’ll also need to decide what type of care is required. In-home care splits into two categories — skilled nursing care and therapy or non-medical support from a care professional or certified nursing assistant. 

Skilled nursing or therapy relates to medical care and assistance prescribed by a doctor, so this is specific treatment directed towards an underlying health condition or long-term illness, or for people recovering from operations or other injuries that require medical attention.

Non-medical support, from a Care Professional or Certified Nursing Assistant involves help with the day-to-day life of a patient. This could include helping with tasks that your family is unable to do. For example, assisting with mobility, showering household maintenance and other activities of daily living.

Both these types of services can work together as part of an overall solution. Once you determine what home care services are needed, then you can look for agencies that offer this type of care.

Once you have a list of agencies, you should make further research on the services they offer. Ask about the selection of services they provide. You may not need them all, but a great home care provider usually has the versatility to provide many layers of comprehensive health care.

If the health care provider offers customized service, this can be a good indication of their quality.

Be sure to ask about the services they offer that are most important to your specific situation. Lots of services will likely be provided, but are these the ones your family needs? When asking about services, be as specific as you can about your situation.

Be direct when asking questions to home health care providers.

3. Research Home Care Agencies

Once you understand what types of home care services you need, you can decide which agency best suits your needs. Then, it’s time to research the provider to make sure your family receives quality care.

Start by asking the agency how long they’ve been providing care. This helps give you an idea about their experience and success, as home care and home health can be very complex.

Those that have been around for a while will likely have learned to address the most important issues. Keep in mind, the age of the home care agency does not necessarily assure you of quality.

In some cases, the newer home care agencies may have more innovative solutions including use of more advanced home health technology. It is simply an indicator, and you do want to know they have had the requisite amount of experience as somethings can only be learned through practice.

Most providers offer reading materials such as leaflets and catalogs. This literature is a great way to read up on the nature of the care provided.

It may also be helpful to ask for references to learn about other client’s experiences so you can identify the best home care agency based on your specific needs….

4. Ask For References

Collecting references is an integral part of the process when choosing a home care agency. When you have a good idea of the provider you’d like to choose, ask them to supply you with a list of references to review. The list may include doctors, discharge planners, patients or their family members, and other industry leaders who understand the importance of quality when assessing home care.

Get in touch with these references and ask them the following questions, along with any others you may have:

  • Do you often refer clients to this agency?
  • What type of feedback have you received from clients receiving care from this agency?
  • Describe the experience and how it might apply to your situation

References allow you to get a feel for the experience and quality of care home care providers have given in the past, including from relatives and clients themselves.

5. Consider Innovation

You should also research the provider’s current monitoring and communications technology. Internal communication is critical to high quality care, and documentation can be a good indicator that you are dealing with a professional, high quality agency who is focused on the key needs.

How much direct, proactive oversight is involved in the care?  You don’t want to simply be hiring the home care agency simply for their staffing capability.

How will the home care agency communicate with you, to make sure you are aware of everything you need to be, without it placing a burden on the family to feel they need to be managing the situation and the care professionals, instead of the home care agency.

This can be particularly helpful in more clinical cases, where high quality agencies can also help to communicate with your family’s healthcare network so they are aware of pertinent information.

Choosing the Best Home Care Agency

Remember, choosing the best home care agency to suit the needs of your family is crucial so they can receive quality care. Take the time to carefully plan and vet your choices before deciding on a provider.

This is the long-term care for someone close to you, so quality matters. And quality can vary dramatically so you want to make sure you do your research.

To learn how we provide the highest quality home care in Chicago, get in touch with us today. We can discuss your needs and how we can come up with a customized plan to meet your family’s specific needs.

Please contact me with more information

Please contact me with more information


COVID-19 Procedures Update

Broad Street excels in complex situations, and the Coronavirus is no exception. This is due to our highly detailed planning and proactively managed service.
We have intensified our existing procedures on infection prevention, to keep Care Professionals and RN’s healthy, and clients safe. We have bolstered our backup planning to ensure that we have the resources ready to provide essential and uninterrupted support.   
The result is that Broad Street gets stronger during the crisis. 

  • We can adapt to any environment, in a facility or home, and transitioning in between.
  • Our Care Professionals are trained and ready.
  • Our Nurses are proactively managing each and every client situation including clinical needs.

We remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our Clients and Care Professionals safe and comfortable.  As the impact of this virus touches so many aspects of our lives, we have had to transcend the traditional roles of home care.  But as we continue working together, we have grown stronger and our relationships have grown deeper.

Our Care Professionals and Nurses are the backbone of this effort. Their level of communication and collective support is key to assuring the wellbeing of our clients and their families.  There are several things we are doing to support this effort, including:

  • Securing and maintaining a sufficient inventory of Personal Protective Equipment and other supplies
  • Continuing to actively follow up on Care Professionals daily “Symptoms Check”
  • Incorporating technologies which allow us to better communicate and coordinate while maintaining social distancing

100% of our Clients and Care Professionals are virus-free. And with our focus on prevention, we will do everything in our power to keep it that way. 

We continue to help clients transitioning between facilities or making their way home. Moreover, we have not lost sight of our focus on helping our clients manage their underlying health conditions with symptom-specific support. Whether it be Parkinson’s Disease or other Movement Disorders, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Stroke Recovery as well as other physical or cognitive conditions, we are ready, willing, and able to provide the support needed.

To view our Additional Procedures to Support Clients through Coronavirus, please click HERE.
Call us on 847-728-0134 with any situation, we can help with solutions.

All Dementias are not Alike Presentation

For those who were able to attend, we hope you found our All Dementias are not Alike presentation valuable. This program is part of our ongoing education series, providing clinical perspective and insights related to supporting conditions impacting individuals and their families.

As many of you requested, a downloadable copy of Diane Breslow’s presentation can be found here: All Dementias are not Alike: Parkinsonism.

Why do we provide these education events?

-Incorporating the expertise of clinical consultants enhances our service – This knowledge is shared internally with our Care Professionals through our ongoing internal training program.  
-We develop best practices and techniques to best support our clients with these conditions. We want professionals and family members to benefit from this knowledge, so they can help others. 
-We want to increase awareness of resources that can help you understand and manage the conditions that are impacting individuals you are supporting.

More about Diane Breslow and her role at Broad Street:
Diane Breslow, MSW, LCSW has worked as an educator, support group leader, consultant, program development specialist, and clinician counseling individuals and families With Parkinson’s Disease and other Movement Disorders.

As a clinical consultant to Broad Street, Diane provides the following internal and external support:

-Education and Training – Applied expertise in movement disorders from her work at Northwestern Medicine’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center of Excellence, as well as in-home care, retirement, assisted living, and skilled nursing. 

-Direct Client Support – 1) Initial consultation and coordination with Nurse Supervisors and Care Professionals and 2) specific Parkinson’s Disease training that is personalized for the individual client and family and 3) Ongoing collaboration with RN and Care Professionals. 

-Communication and coordination with other healthcare providers and specialists providing a seamless healthcare solution for clients. 

-Ongoing consultation and family support. 

Other Clinical Resources
In addition to our work with Parkinson’s Disease and other Movement Disorders, we also focus on other complex conditions including Alzheimer’s Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body and other dementias. To further enhance our care we continually partner with;

• Social Workers
• Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapist
• Neurologists, Movement Disorder Specialists, Neuropsychologists
• Exercise Physiologists and Physical Trainers
• Support Groups

At Broad Street, we believe that caring for individuals with complex conditions requires clinical, interdisciplinary communication. Our Nurses play a pivotal role integrating the expertise of our clinical consultants into the support of individuals in our care.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care Educational Event

Broad Street Educational Series Presents

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

January 21, 2020, 5-7 PM 
(Dinner will be served)
Northbrook Inn Memory Care Community
99 Pointe Drive, Northbrook, IL 60062 

When is palliative care more appropriate than hospice? How do you know? Who is eligible? How do you enroll?  What are the most common misperceptions?

At the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between the various levels of hospice care
  • Enhance sensitivity toward Hospice and Palliative Care patients
  • Understand the criteria for Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Be able to develop three personal end-of-life goals

Debra Torres, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Debra Torres has been a licensed clinical social worker for 36 years.  She believes that through practical support, encouragement and proper coaching individuals have the potential to overcome barriers that hinder us. Her educational and clinical training deals with mood and psychiatric disorders, and end-of-life and palliative issues.

Janet Katz, MSN, Broad Street Nurse Supervisor
Mary Scott, MSN, Broad Street Nurse Supervisor

As Nurse Supervisors at Broad Street, Janet and Mary bring over 40 years of hospice, palliative and direct patient care experience from working with NorthShore Health System. Both Janet and Mary provide Care Professional instruction and direct oversight in support of Broad Street’s clients and their families.

About Broad Street Home Care
Broad Street Home Care provides premium, customized care services for seniors who want to remain in their homes. Through trained Care Professionals and experienced Nurse Oversight, Broad Street offers specialized support for individuals with underlying health conditions.  This includes Hospice Care focused on dignity and respect, and support of family.

Social Workers and Registered Nurses will receive 1 CEU at the completion of this program.

Please RSVP to Ruthie Wilson at Broad Street Home Care at 847-728-0134 or rwilson@broadstreethomecare.com.

All Dementias are not Alike: Dementia in Cognitive and Movement Disorders Educational Event

Broad Street Home Care Presents: 

All Dementias are not Alike: Dementia in Cognitive and Movement Disorders

January 16, 2020, 5-7 PM
(Dinner will be served)
Waverly Inn
515 W Rand Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60004

The presentation will address the spectrum from normal cognition through mild cognitive impairment and dementia, why it’s important to diagnose the condition causing cognitive impairment, how to encourage someone to seek diagnosis, and what is involved in dementia evaluation. We will learn about the cognitive issues in 4 types of Movement Disorders: Parkinson’s, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and multiple system atrophy. Additionally, we discuss ways to identify key differences between common types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Vascular, Frontotemporal Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia.


  • Diane Breslow, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Consultant with Broad Street
  • Danielle Dodson, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker, Advocate Memory Center

Please RSVP to Ruthie Wilson at Broad Street Home Care at 847-728-0134 or rwilson@broadstreethomecare.com.

Social Workers and Registered Nurses will receive 1.5 CEUs at the completion of this program.

For more information about Broad Street’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program visit our Comprehensive Parkinson’s page or call us at 847.728.0134

BIG Improvements with LSVT BIG

Sherri was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease over fifteen years ago. She can be found working in her garden, going for walks, taking pictures, or reading books to her three favorite grandkids. Taking life somewhat slower, and perhaps with guarded steps, but she’s not giving in. Read about her experience with LSVT BIG Therapy.

Broad Street can help. We provide Care Professionals who can assist with the activities of daily living, help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network we can help you find the right resources like advocates and care managers. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

Broad Street Educational Series Presents: How to Manage Parkinson’s

How to Manage Parkinson’s So It Doesn’t Manage You

OCTOBER 22, 2019 • 5-7 PM (Refreshments Included)
Artis Senior Living Lakeview
3535 N Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657

Join us for this informative presentation on the psychological and physical importance of exercise and physical activity in treating and maintaining Parkinson’s disease. Learn to understand the link between exercise and the social aspects of Parkinson’s.


  • Diane Breslow, MSW, LCSW is a clinical consultant with Broad Street.
  • Corey Emberton, M.S. Health and Human Performance, Movement Revolution

Please RSVP by calling 877-290-7783 or visit www.turntoartis.com/booster

Physical Therapists, Social Workers and Registered Nurses will receive 1 CEU at the completion of this program.

For more information about Broad Street’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program visit our Comprehensive Parkinson’s page or call us at 847.728.0134

Parkinson’s Foundation Moving Day!

We are honored to be a sponsor of the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Annual Moving Day. Come join Team Broad Street at Soldier Field’s south tailgating lot Sunday, October 6 at 9:00 am.

Moving Day is your chance to speak up about Parkinson’s Disease and move others to take action. It is a movement for change—towards more awareness, more funding, and more understanding of a disease that affects so many of our family and friends. Sign up to participate in the walk or donate directly to the event.

See the Chicago Moving Day website for details and more information! 

For more information about Broad Street’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program please visit our Comprehensive Parkinson’s page or call us at 847.728.0134.

Bill Bucklew and Broad Street at Belmont Village in Glenview, September 18th!

Looking for Inspiration? Come see Bill Bucklew and Broad Street’s Diane Breslow and Brian Lebens as Bill discusses his personal journey through Parkinson’s. This is part of the Parkinson’s Educational series at Belmont Village Senior Living in Glenview, IL.

Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012, Bill has been dedicated to bettering the lives of those with the disease. In 2017, Bill began a journey to walk 2,500 miles from coast to coast in 67 days. He sits on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and is the founder of UnCorked Adventures, an organization with the mission of helping people with Parkinson’s make the most out of life.

This presentation is September 18th from 5-7pm and will include dinner. Please RSVP to jpaterno@belmontvillage.com.

Social workers and registered nurses will receive 1 CEU at the completion of this program. CEUs provided by Silver Connections.

Broad Street provides Care Professionals who can assist with the activities of daily living, help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Our Comprehensive Parkinson’s Program is especially designed or those with Parkinson’s. Through our Professional Network, we can help you find the right resources like advocates and care managers. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.

Lake Shore Shuffle for Parkinson’s

Broad Street Home Care is proud to sponsor the Lake Shore Shuffle for Parkinson’s, led by Bill Bucklew and Uncorked Adventures. We are aligned in the mission of helping people with Parkinson’s Disease to make the most out of life. Our specific role is Home Care in supporting our clients to live their life to the fullest.

Please join us September 8th at 9 am at the Lakefront Campus @ Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Broad Street provides Care Professionals who can assist with the activities of daily living, help manage medication, doctor visits and overall health care and awareness. Through our Professional Network, we can help you find the right resources like advocates and care managers. We provide home care in Wilmette, Illinois, the North Shore area of Chicago. For more information, please call 847.728.0134.