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Author Archives: CareHelps

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! 

Care Sensory Experience Rooms

Care is embarking on a new adventure, creating a Sensory Experience Room. 

Care’s first Sensory Experience Room is located in Grimshaw at Stone Brook, a DSL facility, with the goal of opening it to the community in the future.

A sensory room is a therapeutic space that’s typically furnished with a variety of interactive equipment that provides the individual with an engaging and personalized sensory experience. From equipment that provides deep pressure, like the steam roller, to projected lights and sounds. Each person that enters the room chooses how they’d like to interact with that environment.

The benefits are significant for individuals with ASD and sensory processing difficulties and include: improved social interactions,  reduced perseveration (i.e., repetitive stereotypical movements), reduced somatosensory disturbances (i.e., frequent and repeated movements or rocking),  decreased mood disturbances (i.e., over-reactivity, lack of responsiveness), and greater ability to focus.

Similar benefits are proving valuable for those with memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s, offering a safe place to stimulate or relax the brain and explore.

Needless to say, we’re excited! Fingers crossed we’ll be able to bring a Care Sensory Experience Room to Grande Prairie next!

  • Thank you to Care’s Behaviour Specialist for contributing to the article

Memorable Moments: An Alligator

We are introducing a new feature as a way for the public to get a better understanding of what Care does and how we support Individuals with complex needs. Most of these Memorable Moments will be written in a way as to NOT identify the Individual(s) and support workers involved due to confidentiality.

This first Memorable Moment started as a regular interaction between an Individual and Support Worker.

The nonverbal Individual was looking out a window in their home when the SW asked what they saw/were looking at. “A rabbit? A bird?” After several guesses with no response, the SW thought of the most out of ordinary animal “An alligator?” The Individual turned to the SW in shock and perfectly repeated ”alligator”. Not only repeated the word, but said it in a strong loud voice, loud enough for fellow housemates and SWs to hear! 

Sometimes thinking out of the box is where you will find the greatest rewards. Truly a Memorable Moment we want to celebrate! 

Supporting Individuals living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

During this Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we would like to share with you a bit about the Individuals we support.

Care supports approximately 25 Individuals diagnosed with Dementia. A few of those Individuals have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Care’s Designated Supportive Living facility in Grimshaw, Stone Brook, provides DLS3, DSL4 and DSL4D care. 

What does that mean?
DSL4D supports are for Individuals “with moderate to severe dementia, who may have a high risk of wandering and unpredictable behaviours but who are not a safety risk to themselves or others.” (AlbertaHealthServices.ca)

Research has shown that Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of Dementia.

Stone Brook has 76 supportive living suites within six furnished cottages: Poppy Lane, Wilcox, Memory Lane, Mackenzie Cottage, Heritage Way and Lac Cardinal Cottage. 

Poppy Lane is a locked unit and resident’s room are equipped with door alarms to ensure the safety of the Individuals.

This past fall, Stone Brook developed a Dementia Awareness campaign, creating posters explaining behaviours visitors might see when visiting the facility. 

Learning about other people’s journey helps us come together as a community and care for those in need.

What’s New in HR?

The Holiday Season came and went in what feels like a blink of an eye.

As we mentioned last month, a number of applications were received in November and we are happy to announce that there were two new hires at Stone Brook, three new hires in the Grande Prairie region and five in the Peace River/Grimshaw region. 

Congratulations to Shae-Lynne Lepensee-Bryant who was promoted from Support Worker to Residential Coordinator in Peace River!

Get to know: Whitney, an Accounting Assistant at Care

My name is Whitney McCain, mother of 2 and married to the most amazing man I’ve ever met. I have a cat whose name is “M.” 6 years ago, my family moved to Grande Prairie from southeastern Ontario. I have always enjoyed providing care to others, and numbers (I love math.)

When I’m not knee deep in numbers, I’m playing with my kids or reading with a tea in hand. My goal since becoming a mother has been to raise kids that can show compassion towards others. I am so fortunate to have a place of employment where I get to see that same compassion every day.

I formerly worked in medical administrative positions before applying to work with Care Human Services. I was looking for a change in work environment, that would allow me to continue providing support to the public. I was hired as an accounting assistant, and given the opportunity to grow and learn, while still providing support to individuals in our community who are in need. Care Human Services has provided me with everything I was looking for and so much more. I am truly blessed to be a part of this amazing organization.   

I was introduced to the accounting department at time of change, I have embraced the challenge and have worked very hard over the past few months.

If I were able to speak with the founding parents, I would say thank you. This organization is wonderful in all aspects. I feel energized when I come to work because I have the opportunity to share my day with my amazing colleagues and the individuals we care for.

Thank you for sharing with us Whitney!