Safety: Security, Environment, Health
- Maintain a safe and clean environment that meets the physical, emotional, and personal needs of the Individual(s). Knowledge of crisis interventions, mental health diagnosis, and therapeutic relationships processes.
*Administers medication in accordance with medical provider directions and Casmir Cares Services /State of Pennsylvania policies (Medication Certified Residential Program only)
- Assist with and work to strengthen the individual’s many daily living needs including but not limited to: communication and socialization skills, nutrition, preparing proper meals, proper hygiene. Teach the Individual the importance of making his/her bed each morning, the importance of exercise by leading Individual in exercise routines when needed and weight control
- Assist in maintaining Individual’s well-being by keeping his/her home clean, safe and orderly.
- Gain and maintain knowledge of health and medical issues for all assigned individual(s) supported
- Assist individual(s) with healthcare visits, (*Medication-Certified Staff-Residential Program only) and behavior support plans (BSP)
- Assure Individual’s safety by observing and reporting any risk and notifying appropriate Supervisor/ Service Coordinator of any health concerns or needs for the individual(s)
- Follow all policies and procedures regarding the safety of the individual(s) in all environments
- Be a personal companion to the individual(s) and act as a helping hand serving his/her needs and working to build his/her independence
- While performing the duties of this job, employee are occasionally required to stand; sit, walk, use hands to finger, handle, reach with arms and hands, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, talk or hear, taste or smell.
- Must be able to lift and/or move at least 50-75 pounds
Programmatic: Choice, Active treatment, Community Resources
- Implement, demonstrate and teach specific skills as outlined in the individual support plans as written (ISP), Behavior Support Plan (BSP) and any other clinical aspect for the Individual.
- Obtain knowledge of individual(s) supported desired outcomes and works to ensure they are integrated into daily activities
- Provide assistance and support to individual(s) in activities of daily living
- Teach appropriate skills and involve individual(s) in meaningful and valued activities
- Provide and seek out opportunities for individual(s) to make choices
Rights, Dignity and Respect:
- Incorporate time, space, and opportunity for privacy in the life of individual(s) supported
- Maintain strict confidentiality of all personal information concerning individual(s) supported
- Understand, advocates and respects the rights of individual(s) supported
- Treat individual(s) supported, his/her family, coworkers and Supervisor/Service Coordinator with dignity and respect
- Demonstrate the importance of community involvement, social interactions, and maintaining relationships by engaging Individual in community activities and active treatment when in the home or community.
- Develop and facilitate community connections and relationships
- Assist individual(s) in developing and following a person centered schedule
- Aid individual(s) to participate in activities of their choosing
- Provides opportunities for activities in various settings and transportation as needed
- Encourage individual(s) supported to give back to the community
Customer Service and Excellence:
- Exhibit professional behavior towards the individual(s) supported, families, coworkers, and Supervisor/Service Coordinator
- Network with coworkers, the community and other professionals to find better ways to include individual(s) in routine life activities and community activities
- Participate in treatment meetings in keeping with the goals and practices of the Individual
- Willingly assist individual in activities of daily living including bathing, toileting and other self help skills
- Willingly support individuals with challenging behavior(s)
- While on shift staff must stay on site, any outings must be approved by Supervisor/Service Coordinator and documented properly
- Communicate with Supervisor/Service Coordinator, Individual’s Team and (*Individual’s family- HCBS Program only)
- Handle and maintain individual/agency finances ethically, honestly and accurately with appropriate documentation and receipts
- Provide clear, accurate and timely records and documentation
- Follow all agency policies and procedures
- Provide emergency coverage when requested by management
- Take initiative in performing additional tasks as needed or as assigned
- All Casmir Care Services staff are required to maintain a professional appearance that contributes to the image of the Individual, his/her family, visitor(s), co-worker(s) and stakeholders
- Provide positive and appropriate feedback to coworkers, team members, Supervisor/Service Coordinators and agency representatives
- Participate in and complete all periodic training(s) and certification(s) as required
- Keep personnel records up-to-date by providing updated ID, phone numbers and home address
- Report all concerns to the appropriate Supervisor/Service Coordinator in a timely manner
Mentor and train new staff to ensure that the workplace is a positive and productive environment (*Residential Staff Only)
- Attend and participate in all assigned meetings, sharing ideas, discussing issues openly and honestly
- Maintain confidentiality of records/information according to HIPAA, State, Federal laws and guidelines
- Report any instance of abuse, neglect, mistreatment and exploitation immediately to the appropriate Supervisor/Service Coordinator
- Display positive conduct in the community that enhances the image of individual(s) supported and the agency
- Be a compassionate, patient and encouraging support professional at all times; you are a caregiver and advocate for the individuals we serve
For Philadelphia resident Sharon Smith, working for Casmir Care Services is a family affair.
As a social service aide, she cares for her first cousin, Gerard, 44, and her brother, Eddie, who is 58. Casmir Care Services provides professional in-home and community care that helps enrich the lives of people with disabilities, individuals recovering from illness or injury, and adults with special needs.
Gerard recently received a Casmir Champion Award in recognition of his 10-year relationship with Casmir Care Services Inc.
Sharon is one of about 40 people who are both Casmir staff and family members.
“Working with Casmir Care has been very pleasant,” Sharon says, citing staff support and the community. When her brother lands in the hospital, they reach out to check up on him and her. “They’ve almost become like a family,” she says.
Gerard accepts an award from Chetachi Dunkley-Ecton, CEO of Casmir Care (left) and Godwin Nwoga, Dir. of Operations (right).
Structure improves quality of life
Casmir started caring for her cousin 10 years ago. A few years later, Sharon joined as a staff member. Before coming to Casmir, she had worked in the mental health field for more than 20 years, but helping her cousin was her first experience working with a family member. Casmir has cared for her brother for 7 or 8 years.
These days, Sharon helps both her cousin and brother with day-to-day needs, including bathing, laundry, groceries, and getting them out into the community. Since her brother wants to learn to read and write, she’s helping him on that front too.
Gerard is a bit more independent, although he still has the mindset of a child. And while people may have trouble understanding her brother, Sharon notes that his main problem is health problems like heart issues.
Before coming to live with Sharon, her cousin lived with his mother. Gerard was used to coming and going as he pleased and “doing his own thing,” she recalls. He would go to bed when he wanted. After his mother got sick and left, he came to live with Sharon, who provided structure that he wasn’t used to. For instance, she makes sure he bathes regularly.
These days, another clear improvement, she says, is that he doesn’t elope as often.
In the old days, he wandered off almost daily, sometimes getting beat up.
Sharon credits the structure and hands-on support from staff for making a difference. Gerard sees the same faces over and over. Three times a week, he goes to a day program that gives him a chance to be among peers, doing little jobs. And he sees a behavioral specialist once a week.
Really listen to what they have to say
When you’re a caregiver for someone with intellectual disabilities, Sharon says, really listening to what they have to say can be helpful. Treating people with disabilities as a person who has a point to make can help you serve them better, she says.
For example, Gerard dreams of driving tractor trailers. But because of his intellectual disability, this dream isn’t likely to become a reality. But there are ways to support and encourage his interest, says Sharon. She and others take him to go see trucks. Two of her older brothers are truck drivers who let Gerard sit in their trucks and mess with stuff in there, she said. And sometimes when they go to work, they take him along.
Listening closely to his desires and his wants, says Sharon, is a way to support his interests, because getting that input helps others support him in tangible ways.