Home Healthcare

When Is It Time for Home Care?

It can be difficult to know when your aging parent requires home healthcare. Sometimes, a loved one’s needs occur suddenly, while other times, it can be less obvious. How will you know when it’s time for home care? These tips can help you decide if your aging parent needs home healthcare services.

“Starting a conversation early with your loved one is a proactive approach to maintaining their health for years to come,” says Steve Goforth, president of
Oxford Home Healthcare.

Tulsa Oklahoma Home Care Services: Oxford Home HealthCare

Tulsa Oklahoma Home Care Services: Oxford Home HealthCare

Look for these five signs that may indicate an elderly family member needs home healthcare. 

  1. Forgetfulness or mood changes

    If your relative usually enjoys activities and suddenly starts to isolate, this may be a sign of memory problems, depression or another mood disorder. Your family member may be hesitant to tell you about memory loss or feelings of sadness because they don't want to burden you. If your loved one acts withdrawn, sad or anxious, these are additional cues that home care may be a good option. Depression may be especially hard to identify if you do not see your loved one regularly. Contact your relative’s healthcare provider to rule out mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or grief. 

    “Elderly family members often won't admit they are depressed, because they fear losing their independence. But the reality is that home care can actually help them maintain their current living situation,” says Goforth...

    2) Weight loss or poor appetite

    Does your parent have an empty refrigerator or one that contains only spoiled food? Perhaps your loved one doesn't eat at regular intervals or skips meals altogether. These are early signs that your family member may need assistance with food shopping, meal preparation and reminders to eat at mealtime. A home health aide can help cook meals and ensure that your relative is eating nutritious and healthy meals. If your parent is losing weight, this is another sign that help is needed.

    3) Lack of personal hygiene

    If your parent looks disheveled, unwashed or isn’t combing their hair, it’s time to look carefully at home care options. Sometimes mobility issues are to blame, especially if your relative has trouble standing, walking or accessing medication that's stored out of reach. Your loved one may simply feel too depressed or withdrawn to be concerned about their appearance and hygiene. A home aide can provide a variety of services including bathing, cooking and other daily living activities that your family member can no longer perform on their own.

    4) Unexplained falls or bruises

    Is your loved one having dizzy spells or problems with their overall balance? Falls are one of the worst problems for elderly people because they can result in broken bones or joint injuries. What’s more, complications from a broken hip can lead to death. In some situations, balance issues may indicate early signs of dementia. In severe cases, falls can even be deadly. That’s why it’s so important to contact your loved one’s healthcare provider and schedule an appointment for a medical exam. 

    5) Refusing to take medication

    Part of an elderly person’s good health depends on taking their medications as prescribed by their healthcare provider. If your loved one forgets to take medication, throws out their medicine or denies needing it, it’s likely your relative isn't taking the medication regularly. This is another warning sign that home care may be desperately needed. Many home care organizations offer medication assistance programs to help your loved one get the care they need. 

    Sometimes, elderly family members are hesitant to share that they are having trouble caring for themselves because they don’t want nursing home care. That’s why it is critical for caregivers to know about home care options and how their relative can benefit from just a few hours of care and assistance each week. 

    Having a conversation with your family member doesn’t have to be difficult. When it’s time to talk with your elderly parent about home care, be sure to explain your concerns about their health and well-being. It’s also a good idea to allow them time and space to discuss how they feel about their situation, too. 

Oxford HealthCare is committed to excellence in providing home care services to the elderly and disabled in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas. We invite you to contact us for the best possible plan for your family. Give us a call!

(918) 258-1111

(800) 316-2222

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Home Healthcare Agency

Oxford HealthCare Home Health in Tulsa Oklahoma.png

Although there are many trustworthy home-care agencies, families are frequently caught off-guard by trending stories of in-home caregivers who are undertrained, abusive, or entirely unsupervised. Thus, researching home care providers and taking the steps to employ an agency, and a caregiver, that best meet your requirements can help ensure that your loved ones are well-cared-for and safe in the hands of an in-home caregiver. The following will assist with things to consider when choosing the right Tulsa, Oklahoma home healthcare agency to assist your loved one.

 Assess your requirements for assistance

The availability of in-home help extends from platonic companionship to assistance with light housekeeping chores or errands, to all the way to skilled nursing for individuals with debilitating and disabling health conditions. If you’re uncertain of the best fit for your loved one, your physician, or an initial assessment visit from a home care provider, can help determine what sort of care is appropriate for your particular situation.

Inquire about caregiver’s basic training

Ask what certification and training requirements caregivers are obligated to meet for employment if any. Basic certifications like First Aid and CPR may offer peace of mind that basic aid is available in case of an emergency while the caregiver is on duty, as well as give you an idea about the appointment standards of the company. Cultural capacity or special language skills such as training to work with Holocaust survivors may be crucial for your needs.

Ask about background checks on your caregiver 

There’s nothing wrong when you are extremely picky and cautious about who you permit to provide care for your loved one. Be sure to inquire agencies if they run background checks on their caregivers and if so, what methods are used. If you feel skeptical about a home care agency’s procedure for screening employees, you need to trust your gut and use a different agency.

Ask whether the agency fulfills local certification requirements

Home care agency certifications requirements differ from state to state. However, probing about an agency’s State Certification status can help you measure their legitimacy and warrant monitoring from regulatory organizations. For information about particular agency certification requirements, contact your local Area Agency on Aging (FCA's Family Care Navigator can assist with this matter), or your regional department for senior services.

Analyze the supervision process

With caregivers employed in the home, a common apprehension of family caregivers is a lack of supervisory oversight. However, families have a right to ask about how the agency manages and oversees the quality of care delivered in the home. Inquire about drop-in supervisor visits, and tools like home care software used to assess caregiver clock-ins and care schedules during a shift.

Set up a meeting with potential caregivers 

You probably want to validate that the caregiver that you pick is not only well-trained but that they are also compatible with your loved one. Ask the home care organization about their process for assigning caregivers to clients and ensure that both you and your loved one can personally engage with the caregiver before the first official encounter. Only this way you can ensure that the match is a good fit.

Ask for references

For assurance about the expertise of a home care agency that you have engaged with, asking for references remains crucial. Most trustworthy home care agencies will be able to offer you referrals of existing clients or referral partners that can attest to their involvement with the agency.

Line out billing ahead of time

Based on the types of services delivered by the agency, as well as the particular condition of your loved one, some in-home care services may be partially covered by insurances. Don’t hesitate to engage with the home care agency’s intake coordinator about the rate for services, as well as billing practices, ahead of time to help prevent unforeseen charges.

Chalk out a care plan

When you’re paying for someone to deliver in-home care, you’ll probably want to be sure that they’re addressing the responsibilities they’ve been employed for. Discourse a plan of care with the home care agency intake personnel and caregivers prior to the first encounter, and ask about how the agency detects the progress and accomplishment of care plans.

Engage with a reputable agency

"Whether it's a matter of helping a patient recover from a stroke, managing an ongoing condition like dementia or Alzheimer's disease or even just providing day-to-day living assistance, you should be focused on two major factors: skill and compassion," said Goforth, Oxford HealthCare CEO. "Of course, you want well-trained professionals providing needed services for your loved one. But genuine concern elevates competent care to truly outstanding care."

Oxford HealthCare is committed to excellence in providing home healthcare services to the elderly and disabled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the surrounding areas. We invite you to contact us for the best possible plan for your family. Give us a call!