News and Events
When parents or families helped a family member with IDD connect to larger social networks beyond the family, some were surprised to discover that others were open to being asked for support. When one son wanted to know his father’s friends, the dad asked his friends and was surprised by the positive responses. One friend said he was “humbled and honored” that the father had asked him to support his son. When asked, another potential friend of an individual with IDD said that she would love to spend time with her. Often parents do not realize that their child could have friends in their lives that are neither family members […]
You may have heard that a new virus is spreading around the world. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (aka COVID-19) has infected more than 105,000 people around the world. Most (80,000+) are in China, where the disease first turned up. More than 3,500 people globally have died of the virus. As of Monday, March 9, 545 people have been treated for coronavirus in the United States. But the possible public health threat posed by COVID-19 is very high both globally and here in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization. And from day to day, the numbers keep changing. The good news is that 4 in 5 cases (or more than […]
Many people tend to think that Valentine’s Day is relevant only for the red rose and candlelit dinner crowd. But it’s not just about cupids, flowers, and chocolates. This holiday isn’t just for people in romantic relationships. Valentine’s Day can be far more inclusive than that. And it can still be quite meaningful even if you take a simpler approach to the day. Whether you are someone who cares for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities or you are someone who receives care, Valentine’s Day can be a good time to show the most important people in your life that you care for them. Show that you appreciate what […]
Faith guides Chetachi Dunkley’s approach to advocacy As we pause to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, his message of inclusion, equality, and love for all reminds me of many of the ideas that led to the creation of Casmir Care Services, which aims to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities through care, comfort, and compassion. Long before Chetachi Dunkley founded this agency in 2008, she worked as a dialysis technician and saw social workers dealing with clients with kidney disease. She would ask questions. And she had a lot of empathy for those who were receiving dialysis treatment. Along the way, she learned that some […]
Although the weather outside may be frightful, there are plenty of reasons not to stay hunkered down inside this December and beyond. A lot of hot spots in Philly become hubs of activity in the winter. You’ll find lots of places to stroll, gawk at the sights, be inspired, and take pictures. And most of the ones listed below are free and accessible. Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert Nov. 29 – Dec. 31 (Closed Christmas Day) Enjoy a longtime Philadelphia tradition. Since 1956, locals have flocked to the Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert, which is wheelchair accessible. Now at Macy’s Center City store in […]
Most people who work as family caregivers work for free. It’s a way to ensure a loved one gets attentive and sympathetic care. And you don’t have to worry about whether your family member will get along with and be safe in the care of a stranger. But it comes at a price. Time spent caring for a family member for free often equals time away from a paid job. But family caregiving doesn’t have to be a financial drain. Here at Casmir Care Services, family caregivers are paid staff. As November is National Family Caregiver Month, I took a moment to talk with Chinyere Dunkley, our Director of […]
Emergencies can strike at any moment. And if a disaster occurs, whether it’s a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or power outage, you can maximize your peace of mind if you plan ahead. That way, you won’t have to figure out what to do on the fly, when conditions are at their most chaotic. Emergency planning is essentially contingency planning. Who might you need to contact in the event of an emergency? Where might you need to evacuate to? And what would you need to bring with you to maintain a semblance of normalcy even under unusual circumstances? What information would be helpful to convey to others you may come […]
The Director of Programs at Casmir Care Services will develop, implement and monitor procedures to meet agency policies and contract management including the preparation of comprehensive reports for funding sources. This professional shall embrace and embody the mission, vision, guiding principles and the organizational goals of Casmir Care Services. The programs that will come under the supervision of the Director of Programs include the Home and Community Based Services Programs as well as the Chapter 6400 Community Homes Residential Program of the agency. Responsibilities Include: Oversee the Home and Community Based Services Program and Chapter 6400 Community Homes for Indidivudlas with Intellectual Disabilities. Provide input for budget development; manage and […]
[This is Part 3 of a three-part series that explores dementia in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Part 1 focuses on how to recognize signs of dementia. Part 2 focuses on communication tips for caregivers who work with adults living with IDD and dementia. This part focuses on how to deal with behavioral symptoms of dementia.] When it comes to caring for adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) plus dementia, the importance of maintaining a daily routine cannot be underestimated. A guide from the Administration for Community Living tells the story of a respite worker who was helping care for a 58-year-old man with Down syndrome and […]
[This is Part 2 of a three-part series that explores dementia in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Part 1 focuses on how to recognize signs of dementia. Part 3 will explore how caregivers can respond to behavioral symptoms.] When an individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities develops dementia, it’s important to reinforce the remaining communication abilities. Mental activity may help people keep some forms of dementia at bay. Below are techniques caregivers can use to facilitate daily communications: Relax. Before interacting with a person living with IDD and dementia, caregivers and family members should let go of their own emotions by using physical relaxation techniques like deep breathing. […]
[This is part of a three-part series that explores dementia in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Part 1 focuses on how to recognize signs of dementia. Part 2 focuses on caregiving tips for dealing with adults with ID who have dementia.] The population of older adults with intellectual disabilities is growing. And so is the number with dementia. While for the broader non-ID population, memory and cognitive changes may be among the most noticeable or early signs of dementia, for adults with ID, personality and behavior changes may signal the early stages of the disease. One study found that early symptoms of dementia in people with intellectual disabilities included […]
Casmir Care Services Employment Open House Direct Care Professionals and Caregivers for Individuals with Disabilities What: An opportunity to learn about Casmir Care Services and the individuals we serve. Dates and Times: September 6 and September 13 @ 11 am, September 17 @ 1pm Where: 4950 Parkside Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19131 RSVP: Call (267) 292-3116 to sign up Come prepared with: Resume Two forms of ID PA State Criminal record (or $22 in cash to obtain the report) Proof of First aid and CPR Physical and PPD A willingness to help and to grow Educational requirement: High School Diploma (or GED) Click here […]
A job can be a great way to make meaningful community connections and build one’s independence. Nothing reinforces one’s sense of self-worth and pride like a regular paycheck. A job can also give a person new skills, a place to make new friends, and interact with a mix of different people. While it can be trickier to find a job for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, there are resources in the Philly area—if you know where to look. Here’s a sampling of organizations that offer employment services and resources for people with IDD who want to work or gain new skills. The level of support varies, with some […]
Many people may not realize how important exercise can be to living a fuller, better life. But exercise offers many benefits to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It can help them rev up their energy. It can build stamina. Getting moving can help people feel more alert and could even make them happier. If adults with IDD get into the habit of doing just a few exercises a day, they can improve their coordination, be more flexible, improve balance, and fall down less. Stronger muscles and a clearer mind will help them be more independent. As a caregiver, don’t let individuals with IDD stay parked in front of […]
If travel is stressful for most of us, it can be even more traumatic for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). Often travel involves dealing with new things—something that can be nerve-wracking for people who tend to avoid deviations from their routine. And it virtually always involves more sensory stimulation than an individual might be used to. Yet travel offers many benefits to individuals with IDD. Besides offering a break from the daily routine and a new way to rest and relax, it can get them outdoors being more physically active. Travelers immerse themselves in new experiences, widening horizons and creating memories they can revisit for years to come. […]
Did you know that a horse could help individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities achieve cognitive, physical, social, educational, and behavioral goals? As it turns out, horseback riding and even just interacting with a horse can be a form of physical and mental therapy. PATH International, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, defines “therapeutic riding” as an equine-assisted activity that contributes positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Its benefits are many, including in health, education, and recreation and leisure. Around the globe, thousands of individuals with special needs are experiencing the rewards of horseback riding. Experiencing the motion of a horse […]
Part of our mission here at Casmir Care Services involves helping improve the quality of life for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Where possible, we help individuals we care for enter the mainstream and contribute to the community in different ways. One of the more independent individuals in our care at Casmir Community Residential Homes holds a job. To protect her privacy, I’ll call her Gwendolyn. For her, besides the paycheck, the job offers a sense of purpose and helps connect her socially. It’s a justifiable source of pride. Her role in Philly’s community Since 2017, Gwendolyn has worked at Acme, the grocery store, as a bagger. When asked […]
For a change of pace, here are a few Philly-based recreation options that caregivers of intellectually disabled individuals should keep in mind. Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Carousel House is dedicated to people with disabilities. Its year-round programming includes: Trips Dances Bingo parties Nature walks Arts & crafts Carousel House, located at Belmont Avenue and Avenue of the Republic, gives people with disabilities a chance to socialize, learn, and play. This summer, Carousel House will offer a summer sports camp for people (ages 16+) with disabilities. National Park Service’s Access Pass is a free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. The pass is your ticket […]
Besides the ability to creatively solve problems and defuse tension before it escalates, caregivers who work with individuals with intellectual disabilities need a certain amount of resilience to get through their work day. Because individuals with intellectual disabilities may not have strong reasoning or social skills, they may not know how to filter out some of the thoughts that pop to mind. And that makes them fairly uninhibited about expressing their feelings when they get worked up about something or frustrated when something doesn’t go their way. In these situations, a certain amount of resilience, patience, and flexibility can make a caregiver’s job easier. Caregivers who are able to stay […]
A caregiver’s job at Casmir Care Services involves creative problem-solving. Being responsible for individuals with intellectual disabilities often may involve being attentive to certain behaviors or defusing situations before they escalate. One individual in the residential community likes collecting bags. Not just any plastic store bag, but the complimentary bags that are fancier than normal. Every time she goes somewhere, she’ll collect more bags and bring them home. The downside, said Daisy Williams, a direct care professional with Casmir Care’s Residential Homes, is that individual has hoarding tendencies. So there’s a fine line between recognizing what brings a person joy and trying to keep a living space uncluttered. That means […]
Working with people who have intellectual disabilities or behavioral issues can be challenging, Daisy Williams takes steps to minimize stressors in the lives of those she cares for. She has been a direct care professional who provides care for individuals who live in Casmir Care’s Community Residential homes for eight years and counting. Her work involves direct caregiving. The individuals she works with have cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder. She helps them with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing, continence and instrumental activities of daily living such as cooking, caring for pets, completing housework, and using the phone. When caring for individuals in Casmir […]
You might have noticed last week that the Special Olympics was at the center of a brouhaha after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos confirmed there were plans to cut its $17.6 million in government funding. The public outcry was so fierce that President Trump quickly reversed his education secretary’s decision and authorized the funding. Maybe he realized that cutting the funding made it look like his administration was cruel, cutting access to inclusive programs for people with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics has roots in an innovative summer camp that Eunice Kennedy Shriver started for young people with intellectual disabilities in 1962 in her backyard in a Washington, D.C. suburb. She […]
To help applicants get a better idea of what Casmir Care Services Inc. looks for when evaluating job applicants, we asked Chinyere Dunkley, our assistant director of Human Resources, to share what qualities and abilities we look for. Q: What basic skills, qualities, and abilities do you look for in every strong caregiver applicant? A: Every strong caregiver applicant is someone who is patient, flexible, compassionate, innovative, creative, honest, and empathetic. Strong applicants are good at communicating and can advocate for our individuals effectively. This is someone who is attentive, dependable trustworthy, encouraging, and supportive with good problem-solving skills. Most importantly, we look for someone who is passionate about […]
To celebrate National Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month this March, let’s take a look at the nonprofit, Best Buddies International. It is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Some of its programs empower people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers. Cultivating Relationships Because young adults with IDD are often isolated at home or in work environments, Best Buddies offers several options for one-to-one friendships. Typically, a person with a disability is paired with another person without a disability. Best Buddies College Program The college program fosters one-to-one friendships between […]
It’s every caregiver’s nightmare: Someone goes wandering off. Then a search is mounted. For caregivers of autistic kids and adults, their tendency to wander can be worrisome. Nearly one-third of reported Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) missing person cases related to wandering/elopement from 2011 to 2016 in the United States ended in death or required medical attention, according to a 2017 National Autism Association study. The study was based on more than 800 media-reported missing person cases in the U.S. involving people with ASD. An attraction to water seems to pose a high risk. Accidental drowning was responsible for more than 70 percent of lethal outcomes, followed by fatal traffic injury […]
In the depths of winter, more people say they feel tired or depressed. For some, it’s a normal response to less sunlight. Just the winter blues. For others, it can be a deeper, clinical form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that’s a regular pattern of mood changes that leaves people feeling gloomy during the fall and winter months, when there’s less natural sunlight each day. If someone you’re caring for is suffering from SAD, it might seem like they’re hibernating. They tend to lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. Symptoms may include sadness, feeling hopeless, worthless, or irritable, low energy, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, carbohydrate […]
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 […]
Site Supervisor-Residential Program Direct supervision of Direct Support Professionals working with Adults with Intellectual Disability/Autism in a Chapter 6400 regulated Home. Supervision includes staff schedules, disciplines, Individuals appointments, Community activities as well as the overall well-being, health and safety of the Individuals (Adults with Intellectual Disability/Autism) living in the home. Must have a working knowledge of the 6400 regulations. Ability to complete and confirm required documentation to verify service delivery, and performance of the assigned staff as required. Assist with staff training and monitoring the daily activities of the Individuals’ homes. General Responsibilities: • Abide by established policies and procedures of the Agency, County, and State. • Offers direction […]
Companies are beginning to actively recruit neurodiverse people, according to Here & Now. “There’s just a lot of talent out there,” said Neil Barnett, director of Inclusive Hiring and Accessibility at Microsoft. “More and more companies are seeing that.” As we pause to honor civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s take a look at a small trend but long-awaited trend. Companies are finally beginning to welcome neurodiverse people to the workplace. Different human wiring in neurodiverse populations translates into neurological differences that show up in dyspraxia, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, Tourette Syndrome, and others, according to the National Symposium on Neurodiversity at Syracuse University. According to […]
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 […]
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.
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!
Casmir Care Services supports Autism Awareness Month. On April 18, 2015, Casmir Care Services attended Church of Redeemer Baptist’s Autism community awareness weekend event. This was second time being invited and attending this event.
Event details are now available for the Casmir Care Services’ 6th Annual Luncheon!
Casmir Care Services shares resources about helping to raise awareness on autism and keeping loved ones safe.
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.