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All in the Family: Casmir Staffer Cares for Cousin and Brother

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.

Casmir Care Services partners with local non-profit and Medical Device companies to keep individuals with autism safe

April, 2014

Philadelphia, PA.

Casmir Care services assists adults who have disabilities. The company is committed to enriching lives of people with autism, disabilities, individuals recovering from illness or injury, and mentally challenged, as well as adults with special needs. In addition, Casmir Care Services is making significant efforts in educating the community on ways to keep wanderers safe, quickly locate them and speedily return them to their families. According to the CEO of the company, Chetachi Dunkley Ecton, Casmir Cares is partnering with local non profits, device technology companies, city, state, federal agencies including law enforcement agencies to make sure wandering patients are safely cared for and returned back speedily to their loved ones.

Casmir Care Services Annual Turkey Give-Away

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and support of families, Casmir Care Services Inc partnered with the When In Need foundation (WIN) and Browns Shoprite to give away hundreds of vouchers to families of Individuals supported by Casmir Care Services as well as other families in need. This annual tradition, held at the Casmir Care Services headquarters on 11/20/2018 brought smiles to the faces of the recipients. Special thanks to all Casmir Cares staff who participated to ensure that the giveaway was fun and touching.  Visit our Facebook page to learn more about the event. 

 

 

Casmir Care Services staff and individuals they support honored by Philadelphia IDS at 2014 Brighter Future Award Ceremony

On March 7, 2014, The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHids) hosted the 22nd Annual My City, My Place Brighter Future Awards & Wellness Expo. The event honored individuals who make a difference in the lives of others and create impact in their community. In attendance were hundreds of guests at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel. The event showcased individuals utilizing intellectual disability supports and their support team which includes friends and neighbors, providers, businesses, or organizations.

Casmir Celebrates 10th Year Anniversary

On Sept 14th, 2018 Casmir Care Services celebrated its 10th anniversary celebrations honoring families and staff at The Arts Ballroom in downtown Philadelphia. It was a memorable event which clients and staff members will remember for a long time to come.

Enjoy the Video at 

Enjoy a few highlights from the event!

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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

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

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) – Per Diem 

Direct Support Professionals (DSP)