Mission Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care

written by Business View Magazine April 3, 2016
Mission Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care

Life defined

Mission Oaks is an assisted living, respite care, and memory care community in Oxford, Florida, licensed by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The facility opened in May, 2010, and is managed by Health Care Managers, Inc., of Fernandina Beach, Florida. Oxford is a small, unincorporated community in Sumter County, west of The Villages, a master-planned, retirement community of over 50,000. Before Mission Oaks was built, there were few facilities available for the elderly family members of The Villages’ many citizens.

According to Shelly Bowman, Mission Oaks’ Director of Marketing, while the facility draws its residents from all over, it also attracts many of them from families in The Villages and similar, nearby retirement communities. “Many times, they’re bringing their parents down from the north because they want them closer,” she says. “But we also pull in from the area. Many potential residents, themselves, used to live in these retirement communities, and now they’re looking for assisted living. So, it’s a real combination of families bringing their loved ones down, and people moving in from the area.”

Mission Oaks has a total capacity of 108 residents. It has 44 assisted living units and 60 units in its memory care division. Currently, there are 36 seniors in memory care, split between two buildings, because only one half of the newer building, which opened in July, 2015, is currently being utilized. “We made a conscious decision to only open half of that building, to start,” says Bowman. “It’s designed so that you can actually shut half of it down if we need to. We do have plans to open that other side soon and we’re in the process of starting to hire for that.”

Bowman stresses that both the Mission Oaks staff, which numbers around 82 employees, as well as the facility’s owners, are cognizant of the need to constantly remain competitive and relevant. “We’re always looking at what’s going on in the industry,” she says. “We do have more property, out here; I don’t know if the owners are looking to continue to build, but that’s certainly a possibility. They’re very progressive, yet they want to make sure that we stay true to our mission and that’s providing excellent care and services to our residents. So, we don’t want to get too big without keeping the core services in mind. However, being competitive is key to remaining relevant in our industry”

Certainly, Mission Oaks’ location makes it very important to respond to the changing needs of its clientele and their relatives. “Because we’re outside The Villages, it’s very, very, competitive in terms of the number of assisted living and memory care providers,” Bowman explains. “So we’re always looking at what we can do or if we should make changes. We’re weighing the pluses and minuses and doing a lot of assessment, right now.”

While contemplating the future, Bowman believes that Mission Oaks currently separates itself from other senior living communities in various ways: “I think that one thing that stands out about us is that we are very home-like,” she says. “When you walk into our facility, I get comment after comment about how lovely it is, and how homey it feels. We have a core staff that has been with us ever since the beginning. We know our people very well. We’re very family-like; when you are in our building, you can feel it. Also, we’re on one level, which is huge. As people age and physical issues start to creep up, or their having some dementia issues, having to travel on multiple levels can be very confusing. The fact that we’re on one level makes it very easy for people.”

And of course, providing the necessary amenities and healthcare services for its residents is Mission Oaks’ most important job, because Bowman and the entire staff believe that aging is a creative and meaningful process which needs to be respected, celebrated, and supported. “The management team that we have in place, here, is very experienced, and we all have a core belief that we’re in this business because we want to make sure that the people that come to us are very well cared for,” Bowman says. “You don’t have to be a special person to be in the business – that’s an old cliché that I don’t think is relevant, anymore – it’s really about the commitment that our staff has in working with this population. We really care. ”

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AT A GLANCE

WHO: Mission Oaks
WHAT: An assisted living and memory care community
WHERE: Oxford, Florida
WEBSITE: www.missionoaksmemorycare.com

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