How to Choose the Best, Most Qualified Home Care Agency

Choosing someone to provide help at home is one of the most important decisions you will make. Not only are you choosing a care provider, but you are also choosing someone to come into your home or the home of a loved one. Home care services should help provide support and relief, not add to your worries with unexpected costs or unsatisfactory care.  To help you determine which home care agency is best for you, we’ve listed key guidelines to consider.

Access to Care: Many people don’t always realize there are many home care services available to help you or a loved one improve quality of life and stay safe and independent at home. That’s why it is important to choose a home care agency that knows how to access these services and community resources for you. With these resources in front of you, the home care agency can then help pinpoint which services will be beneficial for you or your loved ones.

Range of Services: Since everyone’s health needs are different, it’s important to find an agency that offers a full range of services. This includes help at home with errands just a couple of days a week, to round-the-clock nursing care. A full-service home care provider can help you transition to various types of care, as they are needed, while tailoring services to meet your individual needs. This way you get the services you need, not just what the company offers.

Experience and Quality: Another factor to consider is the agency’s accountability for quality service. Ask if that agency is certified by the ACHC, or other accrediting organizations that also assure quality for hospitals. Ask about the training and support employees receive before they come into your home. Do the supervisors ever evaluate the employees while they are working at your home? Knowing the agency’s high standard for quality can give you peace-of-mind about the services you are receiving.

Qualified, Dependable Employees: Since caregivers will be coming into your home and working independently, it’s critical they have been thoroughly screened and that extensive background checks have been done. This includes a thorough interview, reference checks, Family Safety Care Registry checks, criminal background checks and drug testing. You will also want to ask if the employees are insured and bonded.

Payment Sources: There are many payment sources available for home care, and it is important to select an agency that understands and accepts all of them for your maximum benefit. Some of the sources include Medicare, Medicaid, Missouri Children’s Waiver, Insurance, Veteran’s Administration, Worker’s Compensation and private pay. Some agencies are also aware of free community resources available.

Home care services should help provide support and relief, not add to your worries with unexpected costs or unsatisfactory care. Hopefully with these guidelines, you have more confidence in choosing the best home care agency for you, or your loved ones. To learn about the home care services offered by Oxford HealthCare, call one of our Care Coordinators today at (417) 883-7500 or (800) 749-6555.

Lifeline Instantly Connects You to the Help You Need

Every year, Mary can hardly wait for winter to dissolve into spring so she can get out of the house and into her flowerbeds. However, this past spring, her annual ritual could have been quite dangerous if Mary had been without the Lifeline Personal Emergency Response System from Oxford HealthCare.

“I started at one end of my beds, but by the time I got to the other end, there was nothing to use to pull myself up. I wasn’t hurt, but I was stuck,” she said.

Mary lives alone. No one would know she was behind her house in need of help. Fortunately, Mary’s daughter prepared her mother in case of such an emergency with Lifeline. With Lifeline, help is right at your fingertips with just the push of a button. Because Mary knew she wasn’t hurt, but just needed a hand, she was able to pick who would respond when she pushed her Lifeline button. Rather than an automatic call to 911, her next- door neighbor was called and responded immediately.

When the Lifeline button is pushed a trained professional answers the call and immediately assesses the situation. If necessary, medical information is shared with the emergency responder so they may provide the most informed and beneficial care when they arrive. A Lifeline professional will also follow up to be certain help arrived.

“As with Mary’s case, not all emergency responses are the same,” said Shallina Bowers, Executive Director of HealthCare Services with Oxford HealthCare. “As the only locally operated program in the area, our clients get personal service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also provide professional installations and extensive distance testing so each individual knows the range Lifeline will cover. Assistance and maintenance are provided at no extra charge and we never require a contract.”

More hospitals, doctors, professional caregivers and families across southwest and central Missouri trust Lifeline as the ideal choice for your personal safety, or the safety of a loved one. To schedule an installation and training, or if you just have questions about Lifeline, call an Oxford Care Coordinator at (417) 883-7500 or (800) 749-6555.

Oxford Receives National Award for Workplace Excellence

Oxford HealthCare has received the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. Receiving this national honor ranks Oxford among the top 20% of employers nationally in terms of programs, policies and culture for creating an effective and flexible workplace. Khai’s story is just one example of Oxford’s approach.

“I am a single mother with a young daughter, and because of Oxford’s flexibility, I am so proud to say I am on my last three semesters of nursing school. Being an RN has been my life-long dream, and I can honestly say, I would never have been able to achieve it without Oxford. Between caring for my daughter, and the demands of school, I have had to change my schedule sometimes every month so that I can juggle it all . . . with Oxford, I never have to worry. I can get exactly the number of hours I need, at the times I need them, anytime day or night. Oxford has allowed me to do it all.”

“We are honored to receive this prestigious national recognition for our innovative workplace practices,” said Karen Thomas, president of Oxford HealthCare. “Our employees are very important to us. Allowing them great flexibility to balance lives at work and home while caring for others has been one of our hallmark practices for years. Our workplace is unique in the fact that the majority of our employees can create their own schedule and literally choose the hours, days and times they want to work every week.”

Best of the Ozarks 2013

Oxford HealthCare was named Best Home Health Care Agency for the 12th consecutive year in the Springfield News-Leader’s Best of the Ozarks survey. Oxford is the only home care agency to receive the award since the inception of the poll. Oxford HealthCare Hospice was also named Best Hospice Agency for the fourth year in a row. This is a great honor for Oxford’s young hospice program, which is the only comprehensive hospice and palliative care program in the area. It is a privilege to care for people in their homes, and we thank everyone for their support of Oxford.

Oxford Executive Director Appointed to MCHS Board

Kim Sisk, Executive Director for In Home Services, was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Missouri Council for In-Home Services. This organization provides information, education and legislative representation for in-home services in the state of Missouri. It also promotes leadership in ethical business practices and the highest standards of client care. Oxford is pleased to have Kim represent our industry and the many seniors and disabled individuals who receive care.