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Author Archives: CareHelps

What’s in a Behaviour?

Do you remember learning Newton’s Third Law of Physics? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Well, that theory can be loosely used to describe behaviour: for every behaviour, there is a reason or cause, though it may be very difficult to find.

That is where Care comes in. Care supports Individuals with Complex Needs and at times, complex behaviours of concern (behaviours that can be harmful to the Individual and others around that person).

So how exactly do we support? With a highly trained Behavioural Supports team. They are the finders of “the why.”

The team is led by Behavioural Specialist, Jen Drummond, who is responsible for the assessment of the function of behaviours – the why. Each behaviour has a function, a need that person has that is being met through an action. When that need is met, the behaviour stops.

What our Behavioural Supports team does is isolate the behaviour/s of concern and implement an applicable behaviour supports plan and/or strategies. That means reading over documentation and reports, looking for any clues, patterns or anything else that gives insight as to the what and the why. Our Behavioural Specialist then takes all that information and designs and implements a person-centred, quality positive behavioural plan/s.

What does that mean? That means a negative behaviour is being replaced with a positive or appropriately functional behaviour. That can take many forms; learning a new skill that eliminates the need for the behaviour, teaching coping skills, or expanding the Individual’s communication abilities. 

But teaching a new skill is only part of the equation. Care’s frontline support staff play a HUGE role in the success or failure of a positive behavioural support plan. Support workers willing to learn new strategies and implement them in a compassionate, consistent manner are an Individual’s greatest means of support. Change will be slow and often rough but with a willing team behind them, it will happen! 

What’s New in HR?

May was a quieter month for Care but still busy!

There were two full-time Health Care Aides hired at Stone Brook and one Support Worker hired in the Peace River region.

We also welcomed the new Manager at Stonebrook, Heidi French, to Team Care.

Let’s get to know Heidi:

Heidi is originally from Calgary, is married and will be celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in August. She is a mother of two, grandmother of two and has a chihuahua that has a torn ligament right now.

I am so excited to be part of the Care Team here at Stone Brook! I came into healthcare as a nurse, wanting to care for people. Then I moved  into healthcare management wanting to be able to make a difference. 

Especially during this time of COVID-19, I see each and everyone of us as being vital to making a difference in someone’s life. Whether it is smiling at the clerk at the gas station, or thanking the shelf-stocker for coming to work today, every step we take is making a difference. 

The residents and staff here have already started making a difference in my life, and I look forward to getting to know everyone better.

What is one of your fondest memories so far? When one of the residents
that I was introduced to on my second day informed me that I would regret
coming here! 🙂

What do you tell yourself when it has been a stressful day? How do you self-care?
Today is just one day. Tomorrow will be better. I go home and connect with
my family to remember the important things in life.

What are you most surprised about working at Stone Brook? How welcoming everyone has been.

What would you say to the founding parents if they were here right now?
Great Job and thank you!

What do you do in your spare time? Try to learn new things (learning
Calligraphy right now) and reading.

If you could not work here, where would you work? As a food taster in a
fancy restaurant where I would get paid to try all the new recipes.

If you could have lunch with anyone anywhere who and where would that be and why? All of my family at my house celebrating being together post COVID.

Welcome to the team Heidi!

Memorable Moment: Food for Thought

This Memorable Moment comes to us from Peace River where an Individual Care supports continues to build their independence skills.

One way they are doing that is by preparing meals for themselves as well as their housemates on their assigned cooking/baking day. Not only do they prepare the meal, they add their artistic flare when carefully placing the vegetables on each plate.

The meals are enjoyed by all, both visually and physically and the Individual looks forward to putting together healthy meals every week.

What’s New in HR?

April was another busy month for Care as we welcomed 12 new team members!

Here is the breakdown:

Full-time in Grimshaw & Peace River – 4

Casual in Grimshaw & Peace River – 1

Full-time in Grande Prairie and Wembley – 2

Full-time at Stone Brook – 4

Support Services – 1

A congratulations goes out to Brittany Mason who has been promoted to Team Lead in Grimshaw! Let’s get to know Brittany.

Brittany is from Barrie, Ontario, is the second oldest of seven children and the proud cat mom to two cats Mila and Morocco.

Why did you apply? 

I applied to Care because I was looking to work in a community based position and I saw a great opportunity to work everyday with the Individuals in our residences. I was originally hired as a Residence Coordinator for PR.

Why do you stay?

I stay because I am happy with what I do and because everyday is a new chance to learn something and grow.

Why did you want to take on the challenge?

It was always my goal to work in the community helping people to reach their goals, whether that be in a facility, or residential setting, so when I was hired, the challenge was what I had been waiting for. I worked in other positions in the community, but after completing college I wanted to get into my career, so this company gave me that opportunity.

What is one of your fondest memories so far?

I have so many fond memories! Every day the Individuals in Care put a smile on my face, whether it be from a morning greeting, a smile throughout the day, a conversation, seeing individuals working towards their goals and happy, it is all moments I look back on with a smile.

What do you tell yourself when it is a stressful day? 

When I have a stressful day, I try to remind myself it is just a day and I will go home and de-stress with a nice dinner, a walk along the river, maybe a good TV show to end the night and just wake up and start fresh the next day!

How has the company changed/evolved since you started?

I have not been here too long, just under a year, but in the past year we have had a name change from ASLS to Care Human Services which I really like, the name speaks for itself, We Care!

If you could have lunch with anyone anywhere who and where would that be and why?

Honestly, this may sound cliché but Mother Teresa. I really think that there is so much to learn from someone who gave up her own life to care for others and did it so tirelessly her entire life. The knowledge, patience, understanding and compassion she had for the world astounds me. I would love to sit with her and just talk for a day and learn from her.

What is your hidden talent?

I can literally make the best meal with minimal ingredients last minute, just ask my family lol! I don’t even know how I do it. If at the last minute I run out of everything and did not go to the store – no problem, I got this!

Memorable Moment: Celebrating Easter

This Memorable Moment(s) comes to us from Stone Brook.

Easter celebrations looked a little different this year as we could not share the holiday with family and friends but thanks to some CAREing employees, Easter was enjoyed at the facility.

There was still the traditional hunt for Easter eggs.

Thank you to a Team Care member and her family for decorating the eggs for Individuals to find! There were smiles a plenty when eggs were spotted hiding throughout the cottages.

Some residents took part in holiday baking and craft making as well.

We look forward to spending the holiday with friends and family next year!

What’s New in HR?

March came in like a lamb and left like a lion. COVID-19 arrived and Team Care set in motion practices to ensure everyone’s safety while maintaining the same excellent level of care we pride ourselves on. Thank you to all who continue to adjust to this new normal. 

We would like to welcome three new hires in the Grande Prairie area, two in Grimshaw/Peace River, one at Stone Brook and we also hired a part-time Scheduling Assistant and a casual in our Food Program. Welcome to the team everyone!

We also send our best wishes out to Lydia Levers as she begins a new chapter in her life.

This month we are saying thank you to a long-time Team Care member.  Cleofe Villaflor is a Support Worker and is celebrating her 10-year work anniversary this year! 

Why did I apply:

Finances aside, I stayed and will continue to stay, because to me, I found myself feeling at home and at peace with my working environment. Also because I see the value of the work we’re doing, and the change, no matter how little, that we are creating for the individuals we’re looking after.

What I do when I’m stressed:

I ask myself: For whom do we toil?

How do I practice self-care:

I just sleep, cook for my daughter or listen to folk and country songs and go for a month-long vacation to the Philippines.

What I would say to founding parents:

I would tell them that their vision has come to fruition and CONGRATULATIONS! I would also tell them not to stop improving and thinking of better ways to help and support our individuals.

PERSONAL:

Where I’m from:

I’m from a small town in the island-province of Catanduanes in the Philippines. I’m a single mom of a 23-year-old daughter, who now is pursuing an after-degree course in the medical field at the University of Alberta.

What I do on my spare time:

I read books and if I am feeling a bit under the weather, I would just ring my family back in the Philippines. We would chat until the wee hours. “Family time is always a good time.

If I could have lunch with anyone:

I would have lunch with my mom and dad, and my 2 brothers. They’re all gone. But I still would want to have lunch with them even in my dreams.

My hidden talent:

I can sing and play the guitar.

What people don’t know about me:

I have an accounting degree and a 2-year Masters in Business Administration.

My message:

Love as if there’s no tomorrow!

What’s New in HR?

Even with an extra day, the month of February seemed to zoom by.

Our Health Care Aide team at Stone Brook in Grimshaw welcomed three new members and the accounting department grew by one.

Care said good-bye to our Residential Program Manager for Grande Prairie. We extend our best wishes to her and express our thanks for her service with Care. 

With that departure and other organizational changes, we took the opportunity and restructured the management of the Residential Program. So what does that mean and look like?

Care’s Residential Program Manager for Peace River and Grimshaw will now also be the Residential Program Manager for residences in the City of Grande Prairie. Our rural property in the County of Grande Prairie will have a stand alone Program Manager. We look forward to letting you know who that will be in the next monthly blog post!

Memorable Moment: Princess for a (birth)Day

An Individual’s dream of becoming a princess came true on her birthday.

Earlier last month Team Care at Stone Brook came together to make this dream a reality. The recreation room was decorated in her favorite colors purple, pink and red; streamers, balloons, disco balls, flowers, and “Happy Birthday” Banners.

Staff that had grad dresses and princess attire became princesses themselves and Individuals attending the party also came dressed for the occasion.

The birthday girl was also wearing a beautiful tan gown decorated with rhinestones, donated to Stone Brook a few years ago.

When she entered the party that was attended by over a dozen people, she was handed a rose from each Team Care member.

Her favourite supper was prepared – hotdogs, different kinds of salads, chips and snacks and of course there was a birthday cake fit for a princess! 

Everyone had an awesome time and the birthday girl loved being a princess for her special day.

What’s New in HR?

January was a busy month at Care with multiple hires and a couple promotions as well.

Peace River region – two residential hires

DSL/Stone Brook – 5 hires

Grande Prairie region – one residential hire

A few congratulations are in order!
Both Courtney Freese and Jade Christian have been promoted from Support Worker to Residential Coordinator while Dawnie Felix has gone from a casual position to working full-time in the Stone Brook kitchen.

Get to know: Nona Ives, Accounting Assistant at Care

I am new to Care Human Services.  I was approached to work in the Accounting department. I have followed Care, formerly ASLS, for many years.  I know its history. I witnessed the birth of Stone Brook from idea to conception. I am amazed at the fruition a dream can produce if pursued and fully believe in what this company stands for. It was an easy decision to make when asked if I’d like to be a part of the Care Team. A bonus is the happy, friendly environment I get to work in now.  I enjoy working with my teammates and love the office pets. A stressful moment can be easily relieved with a moment spent cuddling a cat 😊

I have been married for 30 years. I have three grown boys, two of which are married. I have a two-year-old granddaughter who is the apple of my eye and I’m eagerly awaiting grandchild number two in early March.  Being a grandmother is the best gig I have ever had! I have three cats and a dog right now. My husband has banned me from the local animal rescue and the SPCA. Apparently, we have enough animals. I just think of all the poor animals without homes and we have space.

As for any hidden talents I might have, according to my grandchild I am the best storyteller.  I wear that title with pride.

Thank you Nona!

Memorable Moments: The Bad Dream Lottery

This Memorable Moment comes from an Individual Care has been supporting for a few years.

This Individual has a witty personality and often cracks a joke or two. One afternoon they were talking with their Support Worker about dreams, in particular bad ones.

The Individual said they had a nightmare. In it they had won a million dollars. Surprised, the Support Worker asked why that was a nightmare, isn’t winning a million dollars what people dream of?

The Individual replied, with a straight face, “it was a bad dream because I woke up and didn’t have a million dollars!”

Now you can’t argue with that logic! 

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