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Archive for 2021

PTSD Awareness Month

When some people hear about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they often think of members of the military who return from war zones and react to loud noises. However, while veterans can get PTSD, it is a mental health problem that can happen to anyone. June is PTSD Awareness Month, so here is some information about this disorder and how health care workers and family members can assist those who suffer from it. 

Approximately 3.5% of American adults have PTSD. But, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, anyone of any age and occupation can develop PTSD, including children. PTSD begins when someone is exposed to shocking, frightening, or dangerous experiences such as abuse, national disasters, combat, and accidents. While traumatic incidents do cause hesitation or fearfulness, some people eventually recover. It’s when that recovery process doesn’t begin after a certain amount of time that someone could have PTSD. 

Brief History 

While PTSD has been around since the beginning of time, it hasn’t always been acknowledged as a disorder. In fact, it was often mocked or thought to be a cause of weakness. There is documentation of soldiers in the Civil War having anxiety and trouble breathing. Writers such as Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, and F. Scott Fitzgerald have included characters in their works that today would be determined to have PTSD. After World War I, some soldiers were diagnosed with what was then called ‘shell shock.’ However, shell shock was not a medical term, so treatments, if they happened at all, were often crude and harsh. Then the American Psychiatric Association (APA) included Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in its manual for mental disorders in 1980. This helped distinguish PTSD from being considered a failing to it being acknowledged as something that affected people and that they did not have control over. And, as a medical diagnosis, opened the way for those who have it to begin receiving care and treatment.

Warning Signs of PTSD

While PTSD affects everyone differently, some signs that may indicate someone is having problems adjusting to a traumatic situation include: 

  • Being easily startled 
  • Avoiding areas that remind them of the event 
  • Flashbacks 
  • Irritability 
  • Nightmares or night terrors 
  • Irrational behavior 
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities 
  • Depression 

These symptoms aren’t inclusive, and everyone reacts differently to trauma. However, when the incident continues to impact someone after more than a few months and begins to interfere with their daily lives, they may have PTSD. 

How To Treat PTSD

While people who have PTSD may feel it’s something that they have to live with, the good news is that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is treatable. Treatment may be through therapy, medication, or combining the two based on what the patient and their doctor decide will work best for them. To get started in finding help, the PTSD Alliance suggests speaking with a family doctor, finding support groups, or for military veterans, contact the Veterans Crisis Line for assistance. 

When Someone You Know Has PTSD

Dealing with someone who is affected by PTSD can be very hard on friends, co-workers, and family members. The National Center for PTSD states that living with someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be traumatic in itself. That’s because the avoidance mechanism that occurs with someone who has the disorder affects how they interact with those around them. For example, the symptoms can significantly affect children whose parents have PTSD and can cause them to feel as if it’s their fault or hinder their ability to learn how to interact with others. 

What can someone do to help someone they know with PTSD? First and foremost, be patient with them. Their symptoms aren’t controllable and might be as frustrating to them as the symptoms to you. Being patient might not be easy, but it is helpful to the person who has the disorder. Also, make sure to educate yourself about the condition. In addition to the National Institute of National Health and the National Center for PTSD, many national and local groups work diligently to providing assistance and help. Also, it may be necessary for family members to enter therapy independently to work through their feelings. 

Casmir Care Services is a leading agency that provides quality, effective, person-center services in the individual’s home. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through care, comfort, and compassion. Our Direct Care Professionals treat all individuals and their families with respect and trained specifically to work with those with developmental issues. If you are looking to find in-home support for your family member, contact us to see how we can help.

A Family Business Built on Principles of Family-Centered Care

Improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through care, comfort and compassion is Casmir Care Services’ mission. Fostering that mission is Director of Operations, Godwin Nwoga. Godwin has been with Casmir for the past ten years and while his educational background wasn’t in-home care, showing compassion is a family tradition.

Casmir, a family business built on principles of family-centered care needed Godwin to bring his finance and project management skills to the team. While this may be a stretch for some, it wasn’t for Godwin because his mother raised him to care for others.

“Right from a very young age, my parents, especially my mom, taught us a lot about compassion and being compassionate to people who you don’t stand to get anything from. Especially people who are in need,” he said. “It’s like an in-bred thing for us all in my family.”

In addition to his mother ingraining caring into him, Godwin says that growing to care for the individuals and families that the Casmir Care team supports wasn’t hard for him.

“It wasn’t difficult adjusting. True, my background was in operations, management and finance. But I grew to love the population and with the compassion I already had, it wasn’t difficult. It’s all based on family values, which is what our company embraces and champions on a day-to-day basis.”

And while Godwin is in charge of the day-to-day operations at Casmir Care, that doesn’t mean that he’s behind a desk all day doing administrative work. He’s often visiting homes, helping with, and getting to know the Direct Support Professionals and the individuals that Casmir Care serves.

Godwin acknowledges that the industry has changed over the past year and that Casmir Care has had to adjust. In addition to having purchased additional PPE and other safety equipment to protect those in their care and employment, temporary satellite locations were created so that staff could have a place to stay without putting their own families at risk.

There has also been a planned effort to ensure that staff, individuals and their families are up to date on the latest information, including providing CDC research on the vaccine. Casmir Care Services knows that engaging everyone about the need for immunity and getting the vaccine will bring the country through the pandemic.

Godwin praised the Casmir Care staff for the work they’ve done over the past year. “We had to dig deep to be flexible and do things differently, in line with the unprecedented changes due to the pandemic. But we’ve had exceptional staff who have gone the extra mile to make sure that our individuals are taken care of. We have staff that have gone above and beyond,” he said. “But the changes we experienced did not alter our philosophy for caring for our individuals. We’ve tried to stay strong on our vision – providing quality, effective, person-centered, flexible and innovative services.”

Speaking of the community, Godwin wants Casmir Care Services to remain a bridge in their community, in addition to providing in-home care. Finding employment for those with intellectual disabilities, helping with transportation to their jobs, and coming together with community partners becomes a powerful resource to the individuals. “The families can’t do it alone,” said Godwin.

Having staff who are going the extra mile during hard times isn’t luck. Casmir Care Services takes great efforts to make sure that everyone who works for them understands that compassion for others is key to success at Casmir. Godwin says that from the start of the employment process, the agency preaches compassion. And there’s also continuous training taking place.

But having compassion isn’t the only skill that Casmir Care Services is looking for in quality employees, said Godwin. Casmir is also looking for patience, flexibility, honesty, creativity, and empathy. Attention to detail is essential as well. A lot is going on with individuals, and going that extra mile is imperative in keeping individuals happy and safe. Also, engaging individuals and working towards their goals and milestones is a skill Casmir Care expects of their caregivers. 

“Over time we hope that they (the employees) understand it’s not about financial gains – it’s about being able to add value to the lives of other people,” he said. “I want employees to look beyond this being just a job, it’s a profession. We’re coming to interact as a family. To bring about a change.”

And the family atmosphere is what Godwin enjoys so much about working at Casmir Care Services. There’s no red tape, and he has an open door and phone policy where employees can speak with management without fear of persecution. That open door allows for innovation and conversations that help make Casmir Care a better company.

When not spending time with his work family, Godwin enjoys spending time with his wife and children. Relaxing isn’t hard for him because he knows that he and his Casmir Care team have done their best for individuals and their families.

“I am able to relax at home with my family, with the understanding that in our capacity and to the best of our ability, we have done our best to ensure the health and safety of our individuals,” Godwin said.

Nurse at Casmir Care Services

Nurse 

We are looking for a talented individual who shares our dedication to the people we serve and support, to bring on board as a Nurse. We are dedicated to supporting people as they strive for increasing independence, personal growth, and opportunities in their communities. We believe that every person is unique and, therefore, everyone’s path and needs are unique. Our approach to care puts the needs of the people and communities we serve at the center of every decision. If you are a positive and personable individual looking for a satisfying and flexible opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people with intellectual/ developmental disabilities, join our team!

Responsibilities and duties:

  • Monitor healthcare needs of individuals receiving services.
  • delivering nursing care and coordinating nursing activities as a member of the management team
  • Contact and communicate with Primary care Physicians, Dentists, and other healthcare specialists as needed.
  • Complete all necessary documentation and miscellaneous reports as requested.
  • Conduct training for administrative and direct support staff on health-related topics that supports the overall health and well-being of the individuals we support.
  • Review medication administration records to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Administers prescribed medications and treatments in accordance with approved nursing standards.
  • Takes temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and other vital signs to detect deviations from the norm. Assesses condition of individuals supported monthly and/or per physician order.
  • Help develop protocols, policies, and procedures (including training materials) to assist in supporting the healthcare needs of the individuals we support  
  • Maintain individual’s confidentiality per company policy and HIPAA privacy rule regulations.
  • Attend recognized training to successfully maintain professional license
  • Attend training and conferences as directed by supervisors, in accordance with company policy and regulation as needed.
  • Attend required supervision sessions and staff meetings in accordance with program/company requirements.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with individuals, families, and staff from a variety of cultures and social backgrounds.
  • Conducts nursing and quality assurance assessments to monitor health, treatment, and sanitary conditions of residential homes.

Requirements

  • Registered Nurse with a current valid nursing license in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Must have a strong knowledge of medical procedures, terminology, and equipment.
  • Two-year nursing experience or one year working with individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD).
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing preferred.
  • Knowledge of intellectual disability and mental health system.
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written.
  • The ability to lift and position patients of various weights to and from assorted patient equipment while maintaining patient comfort and safety.
  • The ability to carry, fold, kneel, reach, stack, stoop and bend which may include direct intervention with clients.
  • Possess manual dexterity and fine motor skills.
  • May require crisis intervention in emergency situations.
  • May be required to report to work during emergencies including inclement weather

Autism Awareness Month

Children and adults who have autism face many challenges in their lifetime. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 5 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. And while physically, those with autism don’t look different, the way they interact is different. To help teach others about autism, how it affects those diagnosed and the impact on their families, April has been designated National Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month.

Originally called National Autism Awareness Month, some autism groups have begun to transition to calling it National Autism Acceptance Month. Autism Society President and CEO Christopher Banks said in a statement that they’ll always be working to spread awareness. Still, acceptance is a significant barrier “to finding and developing a strong support system.”

To help foster both awareness and acceptance, here is some more information about autism, how it affects individuals and their families, and how Casmir Care Services can provide assistance to those diagnosed with autism.

What Is Autism?

Also referred to as autism spectrum disorder, autism is a developmental disability. People who have autism have problems with communicating, interacting, and engaging. They sometimes also have repetitive and obsessive habits that can impact them and their families. Autism can’t be cured, does not have one standard set of symptoms and there is no known cause. But there are behavioral and educational treatments used by therapists and doctors, to help with development.  

How It Affects The Family

Having a family member who has autism can be hard on parents, siblings, and grandparents. Autism Speaks reports that 1 in 54 children was diagnosed with autism in 2020, affecting many family members who need to develop skills to help with their child’s success. Some with autism are nonverbal, engage in harmful behaviors such as head banging, have emotional breakdowns or even experience sleep issues. All of the challenges involved with autism impact individual’s families on multiple levels. Parents want their children to be happy and safe, but if your child can’t communicate their needs clearly, it can be frustrating and disappointing. Siblings of autistic children may feel neglected or ignored. And even short trips to the store can be different with an autistic child.

Autism Doesn’t Limit You

Being diagnosed with autism doesn’t automatically mean that there will be no successes in the individual’s life. No matter how small, celebrating achievements can be a way to help the family see the progress their autistic family member is making. It’s also important to remember that every autistic person doesn’t have the same symptoms or react in the same ways. Autistic individuals are just that – individuals. They experience life in their way, just like every other human being. When you think of autism, be open-minded to what people who have autism can achieve. Many famous autistic people, including Apple founder Steve Jobs, animal scientist and professor Temple Grandin, artist Andy Warhol and chess champion Bobby Fisher have had great careers. Being diagnosed with autism doesn’t mean an individual won’t be able to function in society or not have a job.

Support For The Entire Family

Having support for families of individuals with autism is very important for many reasons. Individuals may need medical, physical, and mental health treatment. Some parents and families need professional counseling to help with the emotions involved in living with an autistic child. There are also autism support groups that can help by providing a sounding board for questions and also help individuals learn social skills.

One important form of support, no matter the autistic individual’s age, is having someone who is a trained professional on hand to help when parents or siblings need to take a step back. Being able to take a break, run errands or go on a short trip is important for a care taker’s own well-being. Knowing that a trained professional is with the autistic individual during those times can help family members breathe and return refreshed.

Casmir Care Services is a leading agency that provides quality, effective, person-center services in the individual’s home.  Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through care, comfort, and compassion. Our Direct Care Professionals treat all individuals and their families with respect and are trained specifically to work with those with developmental issues. If you are looking to find in-home support for your family member with autism, contact us to see how we can help.

Image by karelinlestrange from Pixabay

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Our Vision

A leading agency providing quality, effective, person-centered, flexible and innovative services in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

Contact Us

4950 Parkside Ave, Suite 400,
Philadelphia, Pa 19131
Phone: 267-292-3116
Fax: 267-292-4879
support@casmircares.com

We Are Hiring!

Find a purposeful career by joining our staff! Casmir Care Services is currently hiring:

Nurse 

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) – Per Diem 

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) 

Office Manager / Front Desk Receptionist 

Van Driver