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What are minimum hours for in-home care?

Why does in-home care have minimums?

How to find the right low-hour home care provider

Many families approach senior care agencies for low-hour home care cases for several reasons:

  1. Cost savings
  2. Testing the waters
  3. Lack of need

It makes sense – why pay for hours you don’t need?

However, when it comes to in-home health care, a lot of first assumptions aren’t accurate.

There are advantages and disadvantages to low-hour cases. We’re happy to explore every prospective customer’s option, but you should be aware of the limitations if you’re considering these types of cases. Keep reading for more details.

What Are Minimum Hours For In-Home Care?

Minimum hours are the blocks of time you can request from a home care company. Many in New England have minimums between three and five hours at a time. 

Generally, blocks cannot be split. If you need five hours of care and request two three-hour blocks of time, that should add up to six hours. Not quite. The minimum is the blocks of time you can purchase. So you would have to buy a five-hour block for sufficient coverage.

Why Does In-Home Care Have Minimums?

At Minute Women Home Care, we try and staff every case regardless of size. We have provided care to families who only need one hour of care. That said, we evaluate these types of situations individually for long-term recurrence.

The reason why many agencies have minimums is twofold: scheduling and staffing.


Since caregivers earn their income through blocks, it can be challenging to accept low blocks of time. It’s all about return on investment. Caregivers need to get ready, drive to the case address, resolve any issues, and then drive back home. They may spend more time going to the patient than actually working on it.

What would be the minimum amount of time you would want to get ready and drive into work each day? Same with a caregiver.

Additionally, they have now blocked off time that could be available for a longer-shifts. If these caregivers reported to the same agency in the short-hour case, they would be available.

As a result, the agency can have a revolving door of caregivers willing to accept the case, even if it’s just for the day.


Scheduling a low-hour home care case takes more time and effort because of the above reasons. 

The home care company’s scheduler might even spend more time trying to staff the case than the block permits.

So we’ve established that schedulers are less productive on a low-hour home care case, so why accept them at all? Agency owners often decline low-hour cases because, in their eyes, it isn’t worth the time. That’s why you need to find a home care provider that can accommodate your schedule.

Finding the Right Provider for Low-Hour Home Care

We look at low-hour home care as an opportunity. While everything we described is accurate – they aren’t big revenue generators and do take time to schedule and implement – we still appreciate them. Not all families are immediately willing to sign up for full-time care.

Home care is a word-of-mouth business, and the more happy clients we service, the more referrals we receive. 

We always try and staff a case but will be upfront with the challenges you may experience. At Minute Women Home Care, we’re committed to being transparent and direct about your care needs.

Do you need low-hour in-home care? Minute Women Home Care has services that are perfect for your needs and scheduling

Explore our services below or contact us right away!

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