Email confirmations and reference numbers are latest improvements to COA's online referral form

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

COA Website

Professionals who make referrals to Council on Aging will now receive an email confirmation and reference number for each referral they submit via COA's online referral form.  The email confirmation will arrive in addition to the the thank you message that appears on screen after each referral. 

Council on Aging launched an online referral form in March 2015. The form allows professionals to make secure referrals to COA’s in-home care programs from any internet-connected device, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Despite a growing number of online referrals (more than 800 since January 1), many professionals continue to submit referrals via fax or phone because the fax form or conversation serves as a confirmation that a referral has been made. To improve customer service and the behind-the-scenes process through which referrals are managed, COA changed its online referral and contact forms so that individuals who use the forms will receive an email confirmation and reference number. 

For referrals, the secure email confirmation will include the date and time the referral was made, as well as the name of the individual referred for services.  A reference number will also be included in the email message and can be referenced when contacting Council on Aging's call center about a particular referral. 

People who use COA's general Contact Us form will also receive an email confirmation, including a reference number. 

Fire departments, health care providers and social service agencies play an important role in identifying vulnerable older adults and people with disabilities who need help with basic daily activities (personal care, housekeeping, meals and transportation) if they want to live independently.  These professionals make referrals to Council on Aging via phone, fax and COA’s website. Improvements to the website should provide reassurance to these professionals that their referral has been received and will be acted upon in timely manner.  They now also have a convienent reference number should they need to contact COA about a particular referral. 

In July, COA released a new outreach tool for organizations that frequently make referrals.  The referral “RX pad” is available for fire departments, hospital social workers, doctor’s offices, skilled care providers and others to use if they are working with individuals or families that may benefit from Council on Aging’s in-home care programs.  The RX pad was developed with input from area fire departments and hospital staff. 

The RX pad is not an actual prescription for COA services but is designed to be used in conjunction with other COA fact sheets and brochures and aims to bring a sense of urgency or authority to discussions around accepting in-home care services. 

Copies of the RX pad – and other COA materials – can be requested for free by contacting Paula Smith at or (513) 345-3315.