Visiting Angels Vs. Home Instead: Choosing In-Home Care

When looking for in-home care for an aging loved one, two of the biggest national providers are Visiting Angels and Home Instead. But with different services, costs, and offerings, how do you know which is the right fit?

This comprehensive guide examines the key differences and similarities between Visiting Angels and Home Instead when it comes to services, costs, training, locations, and more.

A Brief Comparison Table

AspectsVisiting AngelsHome Instead
ServicesNon-medical and skilled home health services like nursing care and physical therapyNon-medical home care only
Minimum HoursTypically lower minimums, often less than 4 hoursMinimum 4 hour shift
Caregiver ScreeningThorough background checks and interviews. No personality matching.Personality evaluations to match caregivers and clients.
TrainingVaries by franchiseProprietary training program to maintain certification
Hourly RatesAverage $20-25/hourAverage $22-25/hour
ContractsNo long-term contractsLong-term contracts may offer lower rates
CommunicationFamily portal with notes, informal email/phone updatesStructured supervisor updates and care management software
Locations600+ franchises in metro and some rural areas1,200+ franchises in metro and wider rural coverage

Overview Of Visiting Angels And Home Instead

Both Visiting Angels and Home Instead provide non-medical in-home care services for seniors, such as companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and transportation, and assistance with activities of daily living like bathing and dressing. As national franchised chains, both companies have local offices across the U.S. to serve local communities. Both emphasize their rigorous caregiver screening and training.

Visiting Angels
Visiting Angels

However, there are some key differences between the two companies:

  • Services: Home Instead focuses exclusively on non-medical senior care. Visiting Angels offers medical care services in addition to non-medical services.
  • Minimum hours: Most Home Instead franchises have a minimum 4 hour shift. Visiting Angels typically has a lower minimum hour requirement.
  • Caregiver matching: Home Instead emphasizes their rigorous personality-based matching system. Visiting Angels does not use a formal matching system.
  • Cost: Average national hourly rates are similar, but local costs can vary significantly. Contracts and minimums affect overall costs.

When choosing between the two, consider the types of services needed, flexibility on hours/schedules, how caregiver matching and communication works, and total costs.

Services And Offerings

Visiting Angels and Home Instead offer many similar non-medical services, with some key differences.

Visiting Angels Services

Visiting Angels provides both non-medical and medical home care services:

Non-medical services

  • Companionship and conversation
  • Meal preparation and light housekeeping
  • Medication reminders
  • Errands/transportation
  • Assistance with bathing, dressing, hygiene
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia care

Medical services

  • Skilled nursing services like wound care, injections
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy
  • Discretionary medical care and oversight

Home Instead Services

Home Instead
Home Instead

Home Instead focuses on non-medical services only:

  • Companionship and conversation
  • Meal preparation and light housekeeping
  • Medication reminders
  • Errands/transportation
  • Personal care like bathing and hygiene
  • Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory care
  • Respite care for family caregivers

So, while both provide similar non-medical services, only Visiting Angels offers medical home health services. This includes nursing services, physical/occupational therapy, and discretionary medical tasks delegated by a doctor or nurse.

Caregiver Screening And Training

Thorough caregiver screening and training is crucial when inviting someone into a home. Both Visiting Angels and Home Instead highlight their rigorous processes.

Visiting Angels Caregiver Screening

Visiting Angels caregivers go through:

  • Multi-point interview and reference checks
  • Criminal background checks
  • Licensing/credential verification
  • Drug testing

Visiting Angels does not use personality or compatibility matching. Instead, clients meet with caregivers for in-person interviews before hiring.

Home Instead Caregiver Screening

Home Instead also thoroughly vets caregivers:

  • In-person interviews
  • Reference checks
  • Criminal background checks
  • Verification of licensing/immunizations

In addition, Home Instead uses:

  • Rigorous personality testing to match caregivers and clients
  • Proprietary training program covering caregiving skills, safety, and dealing with medical conditions
  • Ongoing training to maintain certification

So, while both thoroughly screen applicants, Home Instead emphasizes their personality matching and training programs. But in-person client interviews are still recommended when possible.

Hourly Rates And Contracts

Home Instead and Visiting Angels both set local hourly rates based on local staff wages, but national averages are similar. Expect rates around $20-$25/hour for non-medical care. Skilled nursing and therapy services are higher.

However, minimum hour requirements and contracts affect overall costs.

Visiting Angels Rates and Contracts

  • Hourly rates average $20-$25/hour
  • Minimum hour requirements often less than 4 hours
  • No long-term contracts

Home Instead Rates and Contracts

  • Hourly rates average $22-$25/hour
  • Minimum 4 hour shift required
  • Longer-term contracts may give better rates

While local prices vary, the overall costs differences mainly come down to minimum hours and contracts. Home Instead has a higher minimum requirement, while Visiting Angels offers more flexibility.

Locations And Service Areas

Both companies have national reach, but local availability varies.

Visiting Angels has over 600 independently owned and operated franchises covering most metro areas, but with gaps in rural coverage. Franchise territories vary greatly in size.

Meanwhile, Home Instead has over 1200 locally owned and operated franchises. Their locations cover metro and more rural areas across all 50 states. Their franchises are smaller and more spread out for wider coverage.

So, while both have extensive coverage, Home Instead locations are often more spread out and may serve more rural locations. Visiting Angels franchises operate independently so offerings and reliability can vary more.

Communication And Coordination

Great communication and coordination tools make caregiving easier on both families and clients.

Visiting Angels Communication

  • Family portal provides schedule updates, caregiver check-ins, visit notes etc.
  • Emails and phone calls coordinate schedules and share updates.
  • Frequency of informal updates may vary by franchise.

Home Instead Communication

  • Proprietary software tracks schedules, care notes, ADL reminders, etc.
  • Families can view notes and add info from an app.
  • Regular email and phone updates from supervisors.

Home Instead uses extensive software and structured supervisor communication. Visiting Angels relies more on caregiver notes and informal, franchise-dependent updates. More robust communication tools can help coordinate care.

Watch the video to know more about Visiting Angels!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who are Visiting Angels competitors?

The main competitors to Visiting Angels are other national home care chains like Home Instead, Right at Home, Home Helpers/Direct Link, and Comfort Keepers. Regional home care agencies also compete.

What is it called when a nurse takes care of you at home?

When a licensed nurse provides medical care and services in the home, it is called home health care or skilled home health care. Nurses providing these services could work for home health agencies or visiting nurse associations.

Does Home Instead offer 401k?

Home Instead does not offer 401k retirement benefits directly since caregivers are hired locally by individually owned franchises. Benefits like health insurance and 401k vary by franchise. Some may choose to offer 401k plans.

How many locations does Visiting Angels have?

Visiting Angels has over 600 independently owned franchise locations in the United States and Canada. The number of locations varies by state, ranging from just a few to over 50 locations in some larger states.

Also Read: Comparison Between Kiddie Academy And KinderCare.


When deciding between Visiting Angels and Home Instead for home care services, consider:

  • Services needed – Do you only require non-medical care, or are nursing/therapy services needed?
  • Flexibility – How important is having lower minimum hours and no long-term contract?
  • Screening and training – Do personality matching or robust training give more confidence in caregivers?
  • Communication – Will regular email/updates from supervisors and detailed software provide more oversight?
  • Availability – Which franchises cover your area, especially in rural locations?
  • Total cost – Factor in minimums, contracts, insurance acceptance.

While both companies aim to provide compassionate caregivers, your priorities around services, costs, and communication may make one a better fit over the other.

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