December Caregiver Newsletter

December Caregiver NewsletterDecember

Hello Team!

Welcome to Winter!?!.  We wanted to give everyone some exciting updates!

Knowledge Corner: There has been some questions about the mileage and clocking out.  When you clock out and are asked about miles, the miles in question are those that you transported clients in your vehicle only.  Related to this,  transporting clients in the caregiver’s vehicle is only allowed if specifically listed in the Plan of Care.  If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact Judy or Josh for clarification.  Every client’s plans are a little different, so we are here to help.

Holiday Party: Align’s holiday party is tentatively scheduled for late January/early February.  Everyone’s holiday season is busy enough so the goal is to set some time aside that we can enjoy ourselves.  For those who have not been, the holiday party is typically a casual, family friendly event.  News to come on this!

Inclement Weather: With the midwest winter weather potentially upon us, our #1 priority is caregiver safety.  The weather is monitored closely and if weather either getting bad or predicted to be bad, provisions will be made to keep everyone safe.  If you have any questions or issues when weather strikes, please contact the office for assistance.

Free CEU’s: As a reminder, all Align Caregivers are required by the State to have at least 8.0 CEU’s per year.  For anyone with any existing CEU’s for 2015 or 2016, please send us copies or take pictures of the certs with your phone and email/text.  For those needing CEU’s, there are great resources online for FREE CEU’s.  We use and recommend http://ce.nurse.com/FreeCE.aspx for all CEU’s.  Registration is fast and free it is creates a cert that you can keep if ever you are audited by the State.

Healthcare Updates: Please visit the health and welfare alerts website.  A new update has been posted.  Remember, for those caregivers working with Special Needs clients, this is STATE REQUIRED READING.

The new article is Priority One and is a short read.  Its a good refresher on emergencies and risks.

Finding Someone Doing It Right:  Again, we want to recognize a few of our team who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with their clients.  With so many wonderful caregivers, it is very hard to pick.  With that said, caregivers for last month that were found “doing something right” are:

  • congratsVeronika F.
  • Elizabeth F.
  • Haley G.
  • Nancy G.
  • Amanda H.
  • Kesha K.W.
  • Amanda M.
  • Annie M.
  • Dee R.
  • Nikki W.

The winner of the $100, “no call off” shifts for last month is:

  • Tiffany T.

Congrats to all the winners.  Please contact the office to make arrangements to receive your gift cards!

Final Thoughts: 2016 has been an exciting year.  Without contributions from our entire team, Align would not be the success that it is.  I urge everyone to carve out a little time each day to recognize how you change and effect people’s lives every day for the better.  Our client’s are better off because you chose to be a caregiver while Align is better off having each of you on the team.  Thanks again for all you do and we look forward to a fruitful 2017!

November Caregiver Newsletter

November Caregiver NewsletterNovember

Hello Team!

Welcome to Fall!.  We wanted to give everyone some exciting updates!

Finding Someone Doing It Right:  Align Home Health continues to be recognized by industry professionals for having the best team in Montgomery, Greene, and Clark counties.  Not a week goes by that a client, social worker, or friend does not go out of their way let us know how good members of our team are.  With that in mind, we would like to recognize these folks.  So starting this month, we will be giving away 10 gas cards every month to individuals who continue to provide great care, communicate well with the office, and go beyond the call of duty.

Also, to those individuals who have had no called off shifts in a given calendar month, they will be entered into a monthly drawing for a $100 gas card.

All contest winners will be published in the newsletter for recognition by the team!

Free CEU’s: As a reminder, all Align Caregivers are required by the State to have at least 8.0 CEU’s per year.  For anyone with any existing CEU’s for 2015 or 2016, please send us copies or take pictures of the certs with your phone and email/text.  For those needing CEU’s, there are great resources online for FREE CEU’s.  We use and recommend http://ce.nurse.com/FreeCE.aspx for all CEU’s.  Registration is fast and free it is creates a cert that you can keep if ever you are audited by the State.

Free Health & Welfare Alerts: We have begun using a website to keep everyone updated on health and welfare alerts.  The articles are short and meant to keep you posted on things effecting our clients on a periodical basis.  If you have a couple minutes, open the link and read the top article.  The most recent article, Preventing the Flu, is particularly important this time of year and is MANDATORY READING for any caregiver who takes care of DODD clients.

In Closing:  Thanks again to the effort of every single caregiver on the team.

June Caregiver Newsletter

June Caregiver NewsletterJune

Hello Team!

Happy Summer!  We wanted to give everyone exciting updates on new items this month!

Pizza Week:  Thanks to all of those folks the week of 6/13 who were able to make time to come by the office for lunch.  There were some great exchanges of ideas as well as lots of yummy pizza.  A lot of the updates this month come directly from feedback from Caregivers just like you.  We hope to continue to have events where we can all come together and exchange ideas and get better as a team.  So, again, thanks for all that participated.

Finding Someone Doing It Right:  Following best practices and being quick with communication is key when situations with clients/traffic/family/illnesses are developing.  Keeping the office up to speed allows them to best support people in the field as well as helping with scheduling of new clients.  A member of our team since November excels in hand’s on care as well as the administrative side of home care.  She always gives us a heads up on field issues, responds quickly even if it is just to say she is not available, and communicates availability updates.  Please help me congratulate Nancy Gon a job well done!!

Mobile Telephony App: As referred to last month, we have a free trial of the new Align Telephony App!  It is available on Iphone and Android and makes the clock in process easier than calling in.  All information is available at your fingertips, has mapping built in, and allows for easier shift sign off at the end of a shift.  The free preview lasts through June with available training on YouTube.  Please install and let us know your feedback.  If you find value in it, we will keep it after the free preview is over.

Policy Changes: Stemming from some great feedback from the team during Pizza Week, we have some policy changes to make our services better and provide caregivers with a better work environment:

  • Uniform Policy: Requested by clients and caregivers, alike, the uniform policy has been opened up to include any and all, non-torn/worn scrubs.  This includes any colors, patterns, or prints.
  • Tardiness: Starting July 1st, paychecks will include a separate line item deduction for any lateness reflected in your clock in time on that check.  We just want to make everyone aware of your missed earning opportunity.  Time made up at the end of the shift will count toward lateness if available.
  • Errand Services: We are now licensed for errand services.  Given feedback from the Caregivers that they would prefer this as an option to provide better service to their clients, we amended our policy.  Using your discretion, the policy is to allow one (1) trip per week of no more than ten (10) miles per trip as these miles are not reimbursable.
  • Referral Bonus: We are implementing a referral bonus for all Caregivers.  Team members will receive a $50 bonus for each candidate that is hired, on-boarded, after the candidate receives their first review.

Employee Benefits: We are in the early stages of putting together a benefits program for all team members.  Because we have such a large team, that represents significant purchasing power that we can leverage to area businesses for discounts for goods and services that you may already be using.  For instance, we have spoken with the fine folks at Scrubs & Beyond and for all current employees of Align Home Health, you can receive a 20% discount on all items.  Please contact Josh with suggestions on area providers that you would like Align to approach for discounts.  More information on this will come as it develops!

In Closing:  Thanks to every member of the team.  We have heard great feedback from clients so please continue the good work!

May Caregiver Newsletter

May Caregiver NewsletterMay

Hello Team!

Happy Spring to all, though mother nature might not agree.  Nonetheless, there are good days ahead.  We wanted to take a couple minutes to keep everyone up to date on this month’s events.

Summer Availability: If you know that your availability is changing over the Summer please let us know as soon as possible.  As part of the Align team, we will do whatever we can to work with you to accommodate any changes.  Communication is key is getting this worked out so let us know how we can help.  This includes any vacations as well!

Finding Someone Doing It Right:  Like I’ve said before, with human beings and healthcare, things change hour to hour.  At times, we have all felt overwhelmed when giving our best.  We recently had a caregiver recognize that she needed some additional lessons with a client’s mechanical lift.  Because she stepped up and asked for help, we were able to get her some extra training on different lifting techniques.  From this, she has received glowing reports from her clients.  Please help me congratulate Ashleigh S. on a job well done!!

Housekeeping: Some light housekeeping on policies.

  • Mileage: Mileage is only reimbursable when you transport a client in your vehicle AND it is approved in their Plan of Care binder under the Transportation Section.  If you have any questions, please ask.
  • Clock In/Out: It is required that you clock in and out of every shift either from your smartphone while at the residence or with the client’s phone at the time of scheduled appointment.  If this does not occur, the insurance company can (and has) rejected the claim in which case you may not be compensated for the shift.  If an issue arises, please contact us immediately.
  • CEU’s: All Align Caregivers are required by the State to have at least 8.0 CEU’s per year.  For anyone with any existing CEU’s for 2015 or 2016, please send us copies or take pictures of the certs with your phone and email/text.  For those needing CEU’s, there are great resources online for FREE CEU’s.  We use and recommend http://ce.nurse.com/FreeCE.aspx for all CEU’s.  Registration is fast and free it is creates a cert that you can keep if ever you are audited by the State.

Coming Soon: We are working with our software company, Axiscare, to bring to you a caregiver App.  This all-in-one software will allow you to view the Plan of Care, make easier the clock in and out process, and allow you to digitally sign off on care notes at the end of your shift.  More on this to come.

In Closing:  For anyone that we did not get to speak with personally, HAPPY NURSES WEEK.  For everything you do, for the many lives you shape, for caring when you do not have, please accept our most humble of congratulations.  Thanks everyone!

Nurse Week

 

January Caregiver Newsletter

January Caregiver NewsletterJanuary

Hello Team!

To the new year!  We wanted to take a couple minutes to keep everyone updated on this month’s events.

Drawing Results: Last month’s drawing was about information that should be added to the Plan of Care binders as well as anything Align as an organization can do to provide better service and value to our caregivers and clients.  We’ve received some great suggestions and will do the drawings at the Holiday Party!

Holiday Party: As you likely know, the Holiday Party is scheduled for Saturday, February 6th from 5pm-8pm.  Please RSVP to reserve seats for you and a guest.  Dinner and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.  Alcohol will be available for purchase.

Client Mileage:  When clocking out, the system asks for your mileage.  This mileage is intended only to be miles you transport clients in your vehicle and not miles you drive to the client’s home.

Available Hours:  For anyone looking for additional hours, please let us know.  We have hours with new clients available.  Also, anyone looking to consolidate from multiple agencies into more availability with Align, we are in a position to make commitments, just let us know.

Finding Someone Doing It Right: As we all know, life happens quick in home health.  If issues present themselves, please continue to let the office know as soon as possible.  This allows us to find replacements.  Recently, a member of the team stepped up at the last minute to take a couple pop up shift to help out.  It was short notice and she stepped in to assist a client in need.  Please help me congratulate Tena M. on a job well done!!

Monthly Drawing:  The drawing is still open to send in any suggestions and thoughts you have about how we could be a better agency.  Not only are you, as an Align caregiver, on the front lines of client care, your experiences with other agencies give you keen insight on the industry.  We valuable what you have to say so please send suggestions in.  After the drawings, we will compile a list and look to implement the items.  Good luck!

December Caregiver Newsletter

December Caregiver NewsletterDecember Caregiver Newsletter

Hello Team!

Happy holidays to all.  We wanted to take a couple minutes to keep everyone updated on this month’s events.

Monthly Drawing: Last month’s drawing was about the holiday party.  Of those who responded about their preferences, Kaytlynn K., was drawn as the winner of the $25 gift card.  Congrats Kaytlynn!

Holiday Party Results: Results from the team indicated by a majority that the team prefer the party to be a family friendly, casual, event after the holidays.  We are finalizing the date and venue for a late January event that we can all attend and enjoy.  Details will be sent in early 2016!

Clock In/Out: As a reminder, in order for Align to be reimbursed and for you to be paid, you MUST clock in and out with every shift as well as sign off on your care notes weekly.  This is mandatory per Medicaid.  Our telephony software recently received an update to make this process easier.  If you have problems at the time you are clocking in or out, while at the client’s home, please call the office and we will help you through the process.

Finding Someone Doing It Right: Starting service with a new client almost always comes with a “getting to know you” period and though AlignMATCH helps reduce this, client expectation management is one of the biggest hurdles.  Recently, with a new client, an Align team member, found herself confronted with this challenge.  After considering changing clients, she instead gave it one last chance.  She engaged the client, sat with them and talked about a strategy that gave the caregiver a clear plan forward that would make the client happy and the client felt as though they were involved in their own care process.  Please help me congratulate Shawnta D. for a job well done!!!

December Drawing: We are working with our software company to update our care plan template and plan of care binder.  As a team member of Align, we would love to know what information you would like to see in the care plan or a recommendation of how to make the binder a more useful tool.  For every suggestion you make, an entry for the December drawing will be entered for a chance to win a gift card.  Please send all suggestions to Judy.  The winner will be revealed in next month’s newsletter.

In Closing: 2015 has been an exciting year.  Without contributions from our entire team, we would not be who we are today.  I urge everyone to carve out a little time each day to recognize how you change and affect people’s lives every day for the better.  Our client’s are better off because you chose to be a caregiver while Align is better off having each of you on the team.  Thanks again for all you do and we look forward to a fruitful 2016!

December Caregiver Newsletter

Align Home Health Featured on Community Focus

Align Home Health was recently featured on WROU’s Community Focus Faith Danielsfeaturing the talented Faith Daniels.  Aside from giving information about Align and how providing care to those in need helps keep our aging loved ones healthy and independent, the duo took a deep look at the impact of AlignMATCH™, a revolutionary personality matching system that pairs caregivers to people in need based on personality.

“AlignMATCH™ permits a deeper level of connection between client and caregiver allowing for care to be received in a much more comfortable and accepting fashion.  With AlignMATCH™, clients do not get the next available caregiver from the roster, but instead a custom matched surrogate family member,” says Align Director, Josh Ison.

The interview can be heard here.

Align Home Health, Dayton’s leader in senior home care, provides honest, professional, and compassionate health services in the comfort of clients’ homes. We offer experts ready to listen to your needs, answer your questions and discuss your personal in-home health care options. We understand that every client has a unique set of home care requests and will always go the extra mile to ensure your wishes are fulfilled. Our mission is to help people live better lives at home.

 

About Faith Daniels:

Faith Daniels is the host of Community Focus.  She is a woman who has found the freedom of loving the sound of her own voice and actually has something to say!

Not only is she the WROU Program Director, but she also is the afternoon drive on-air personality, and your friend from 3pm-7pm on WROU 92.1FM!

About WROU:

WROU-FM is an Urban Adult Contemporary radio station at 92.1 FM licensed to West Carrollton, Ohio serving the Dayton area and owned and operated by Alpha Media.

 

November Caregiver Newsletter

November Caregiver NewsletterNovember

Hello Team!

Before the holiday season begins, I wanted to take a brief moment to give the team some updates.

Waiver Clients: As many of you know, Align has recently been accredited to provide care for PASSPORT, COMCARE, and DODD clients.  This is great news as there are not that many non-medical agencies providing care for these clients.  New clients are coming in daily so it is extremely important for you to communicate with Judy as well as keep her up to speed with schedule changes.

Policy Updates: With the PASSPORT certification, it is CRITICAL that you perform great care in accordance to Align policies.  If you have trouble with clocking in or out, please call the office before you leave the place of care.  Since the care is being funded by Medicaid, Align will not be reimbursed for shifts that do not have both clock in and clock out on the Care Notes.  If you want paid for these shifts, you MUST clock in and out.  Also, Care Notes MUST be done after all visits.  If you need a refresher course on Care Notes, the video is availabe here.

YouTube Channel: For all as a good refresher, Align has created a YouTube channel.  It houses all the videos on skills, safety, and use of the online portal.  For access, search for Align Home Health in YouTube or click here.

Holiday Party: Every year we like to set aside some time to reflect on the year and show our appreciation for all you do.  We are requesting your input on thoughts for a holiday/ end of the year event.  Over the next week or two, please text Judy your thoughts on your preference:

  1. Adult or Family Friendly?
  2. Dressy or Casual?
  3. During or After the holidays?

Everyone that responds will be entered into the holiday raffle, so get your votes in!

Recognition: Congrats to Sharon C. for hitting her first Milestone of 100 hours of service.  Keep up the great work and thanks for providing great care.

Align Home Health Received 2015 Best of Dayton Award

Align Home Health has been selected for the 2015 Best of Dayton Award in the Home Health Care Services category by the Dayton Award Program.

Best of Dayton
Align Home Health Honored By 2015 Best Of Dayton Award

Each year, the Dayton Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Dayton area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Dayton Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Dayton Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Dayton Award Program

The Dayton Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Dayton area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Dayton Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Dayton Award Program

CONTACT:
Dayton Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@local-best.com
URL: http://www.local-best.com

Having the Talk about Home Care

HomecareProfessional in-home care agencies report an uptick in information calls after holidays. The reason? The holidays are the time when out-of-town relatives are most likely to visit their elderly loved ones—and to realize that these seniors need help!

The lights, the special delicacies, beautifully wrapped gifts and traditional music—these are things we love about the holidays. We participate in our family’s treasured traditions and reminisce about holidays of the past. And for the many Americans who live far from loved ones, the most meaningful aspect of the holidays is to reunite with family who live at a distance, whom they may not have seen since the previous holiday season or even longer.

These holiday visits can be the time when family realize that elderly parents or grandparents aren’t coping with getting older as well as they had hoped. There may be red flags like stacks of unopened mail piling up, including unpaid bills. Their loved one may have lost a lot of weight. The home may be dirty and the refrigerator almost empty. It may be apparent that hygiene and grooming are becoming a challenge. When the holidays are over, family members may return home filled with anxiety that their parents are no longer living safely.

This often is the time when families conclude that it’s time for Mom and Dad to get some help. They might suggest a move to an assisted living or other supportive senior living environment, but most seniors resist, wishing to stay in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home. For these seniors, in-home care is a perfect support resource, providing a variety of services that help ensure elders can continue to live safely at home.

These services include:

  • Personal Care. Caregivers assist with various activities of daily living including bathing, dressing and using the bathroom.
  • Medication Management. Caregivers can monitor a senior’s compliance with the doctor’s care instructions and provide reminders for medications, as well as watch for and report side effects.
  • Nutrition Support. This can include assistance with meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking, and help with special diets.
  • Transportation. Whether it’s a trip to the doctor or to a social event, in-home caregivers can ensure your loved one makes it to their destination safely.
  • Light Housekeeping. Arthritis and osteoporosis, visual impairment, memory loss and other health conditions make it hard to perform the usual household tasks. In-home caregivers can vacuum, dust, clean floors, organize drawers and closets, sort mail, and remove hazards that could cause a fall.
  • Companionship. Isolation is a major trigger for depression and mental decline. Having a companion around helps seniors stayed engaged with life, increasing their overall well-being.

But What If Your Loved One Says “No” To In-Home Care?

Seniors may be reluctant to let a “stranger” into their homes. They may be embarrassed that they need this kind of assistance and fear that home care is the first step in losing their independence. Rest assured that if you receive some pushback from your loved one, you are not alone! Home care experts tell us that during “the talk,” many seniors initially express some resistance.

Starting a conversation about including home care in the lives of older loved ones can be awkward. According to a recent Caring Right at Home poll, the need for care is the No. 1 subject families find difficult to discuss! It’s an ironic role reversal—you want the parents whose advice you often ignored to listen to you now. Before you bring up the topic, take a look at tips from seasoned caregivers that might ensure your conversation yields the outcome you’re looking for:

  • Come from a place of compassion. Put yourself in your loved one’s shoes and empathize with their feelings surrounding change. Listen to their concerns and validate them as normal.
  • Choose the right time. Many seniors are calmer and have more energy in the morning. A good time to broach the subject may be after you’ve all had a good breakfast and everyone’s feeling comfortable.
  • Watch for natural conversational starting points. If your mom discusses a neighbor who fell while cleaning and is recuperating, ask her what she would do if she fell and ask, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone come in and clean?”
  • Share your own feelings. Let your loved one know that having someone looking out for them would ease your stress level and enhance your well-being, knowing they are safe.
  • Include your loved one in the decision-making process. If you reach a point where your loved one acknowledges they could use some help, reassure them that they are still in control. If they have any concerns about a specific caregiver, a replacement can be made in very little time.
  • Use independence as motivation. Remind your loved one that with the help of a professional in-home caregiver, they will be able to go out and about, and spend more time doing the things they enjoy—in short, they will enjoy more freedom. And in-home care promotes the best possible future health outcome, another big factor in independence.

If you’ve reached the point where your loved one is willing to consider in-home care, a good place to start is to have an agency provide a needs assessment. During this meeting, everyone can discuss the services that would be of most benefit. It’s best to have your loved one participate in this step if possible. After the assessment, discuss with your loved one how they would like to move forward. You can start small—perhaps just having a caregiver come in once a week to clean, to ensure your loved one is eating properly, and to help with medication reminders.

Finally, it is best to start these conversations early on, before your loved one experiences a health crisis or their condition has deteriorated too far. Thinking about home support services is an important part of healthcare planning! While they’re still healthy, ask your parents what their plans are, should they ever become unable to manage on their own. A series of smaller conversations is always preferable to being forced into having the “big talk.”