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Allicia Travels to Costa Maya for her Birthday!

Allicia loves celebrating her birthday and usually starts planning her celebration, with the help of her Mom (and Family Care Giver) one year in advance! Allicia will be celebrating her 41st birthday on January 31st. To celebrate, Allicia and her family are taking a cruise to Mexico to swim with dolphins. Jean reported they are having a lovely time in Costa Maya. Allicia’s sister and brother-in-law were able to join, as well!

Jean reports that Allicia and family traveled to Costa Maya to see the Mayan ruins. “It was so fascinating.”, she relayed. They also got to see lots of spider monkeys in the jungle. In addition, Allicia did really well and overcame her fear of allowing the dolphin to take her to shore by having her ride on his belly. Allicia did it and was so glad!  It was wonderful moment.

We love how adventurous Allicia is! Happy birthday from your team at Support, Inc.!

FCG month

Family Caregiver of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our most recent Family Caregiver of the Month, Craig! This nomination was submitted by Stephanie with the Denver/Colorado Springs Team.

We would like to nominate Craig Sullivan for Family Caregiver (FCG) of the Month. Since taking over as the full-time FCG, Craig’s passion has been nothing short of amazing. He is very mindful with person-centered-thinking, and not only keeps RS engaged with her community, but rather immerses her in it. For example, Craig and RS have attended tribute band’s concerts frequently. RS has established a relationship with the band and has her own set of drumsticks that were gifted to her from them. Craig and RS also like to celebrate Halloween and find much joy in creating a one-of-a-kind costume that takes months to plan. RS even won best costume at the Support Inc. Halloween party! As a Residential Coordinator, it is fun checking in with them because you know they will have a fun story to share of what they’ve been up to. Thank you for being a phenomenal advocate and caregiver. Congratulations, Craig!

 

Clinical

Clinical Services- News & Information

New Leadership: The Clinical Team at Support Inc. has a new leader! Chris Sharkey recently took over the department as the new Associate Director of Clinical Services. Chris has been a well-respected Clinician at Support Inc. for numerous years now and we’re excited to see how the department flourishes under his leadership. If you see Chris, please send him a big congratulations!

What You Need to Know about Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder

The Support, Inc. Clinical Team Provides the Facts, Care Options and Coping Strategies

Winter is officially here – bringing colder weather, shorter days and a shift in mood for many people. According to Christopher Sharkey, the director of clinical services for Support, Inc. – a leading provider of community-based solutions for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities – depression symptoms are similar to the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can occur more often during the winter months.

“Many people will experience depression at some point in their lives. This is no different for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, depression can be easily missed in people who have social and communication disabilities,” explains Sharkey. “While there may be a difference in the diagnosis, the coping strategies are very much the same. This reinforces the fact that we are truly all more alike than we are different.”

The Support, Inc. clinical team is proud to provide the following important information and facts about depression and SAD and offer coping strategies.

What is depression?

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness that persist.
  • Loss of interest in activities you would typically enjoy.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Issues concentrating.
  • Changes to your sleep.

What is seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) shares many of the same symptoms as depression. The shorter days in winter can make it hard to get enough sunlight which can cause a drop in serotonin, affecting our mood. Serotonin is a chemical that sends signals between nerve cells and is thought to play a role in regulating your mood.

The reduction of daylight can also affect our sleep, also resulting in changes to our mood. There are a few ways to help determine the difference between depression and SAD.

  • Have you felt depressed at the start of winter over the past two years?
  • Do you feel better when winter ends?
  • Are there any relatives you know who experience SAD?

What to do?

Whether you are experiencing depression or SAD, seeing a therapist can be very helpful. There are also a number of coping strategies you can try using on your own, including the following.

  • Mindfulness
  • Adjust your daily routines to maximize sunshine (feel the sunshine on a walk).
  • Consider what leisure activities can happen in the darker hours such as connecting with a friend by phone, mindfully cooking, writing a letter or drawing.
  • Create a healthy sleep routine – avoid screens too close to bedtime; keep a consistent bedtime; and avoid caffeine later in the day.
  • Connect to your body through movement.
  • Exercise.

“If you are experiencing symptoms that are disrupting life, it is important to talk to your doctor and care providers,” says Sharkey. “Your doctor and care providers can work together to help determine what care options might be best for you.”

HR Corner

HR News- A Digital Win

The Support Inc. HR team is excited to have completed our first benefit enrollment entirely electronically through ADP. This made the enrollment process much easier for all employees. We are looking forward to continuing to migrate over to this system with self-serve options for contractors and employees, making life easier for our stakeholders! More details to come!

Thank you

January Anniversaries

Please join us in congratulating the below employees with a January anniversary!

Anna Anderson, 6 years on 1/17/2023

Elizabeth Hildebrand, 5 years on 1/15/2023

Ricki Eckdahl, 4 years on 1/1/2023

Elizabeth Lane, 4 years on 1/14/2023

Seth Boniface, 3 years on 1/12/2023

Gail Peters Hill, 2 years on 1/13/2023

Susan Salyards, 1 year on 1/1/2023

Brandon Thibodeau, 1 year on 1/3/2023

Paulyn Matibag, 1 year on 1/3/2023

Mary Beth Roth, 1 year on 1/6/2023

Nathan Algien, 1 year on 1/17/2023

Lisa Carrillo, 1 year on 1/21/2023

 

 

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Quality Assurance- Federal Final Settings Rule Series

In 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a rule requiring home- and community-based services (HCBS) to be provided in settings that meet certain criteria. The criteria ensure that HCBS participants have access to the benefits of community living and live and receive services in integrated, non-institutional settings. Colorado has been working towards this transition for several years as CMS extended the transition period. The final transition period is March 2023 when all providers need to demonstrate full compliance with this rule.

Part One of our communication series will focus on person-centered practices.

Person-centered practices puts the person receiving HCBS services at the center, focusing on that person’s goals, values and the life they want to live. Through person-centered service planning, the team listens to what the person wants and tailors services and supports to meet that person’s goal. This is a change in how service planning often was in the past, when paid supports would voice what they felt the person should be doing. Through person-centered practices we give voice back to the person receiving services, recognize them as being the director of their lives and use services offered to them through paid support to meet their life goals.

 

 

For more information from CMS about person-centered planning, follow this link to a slide deck presentation.

HHP of the Month

Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our most recent Host Home Provider of the Month, Rosie! This nomination was submitted by Malika with the Denver Metro 2 Team.

I would like to nominate Raj (Rosie) Shrestha for December HHP of the Month. I have been working with Rosie since February and it’s been such a pleasure! She has a huge heart and is very patient, two things that are extremely important working in this field. Rosie has one of my PRS in her home who was really looking forward to having independence in a basement apartment. Many times, this individual would get frustrated that they didn’t have their own space, but Rosie made sure to be a listening ear and reassure them their goal would happen it would just take some time.  With open communication and a bit of problem solving the PRS was able to move down to the basement and accomplish their goal of more independence! The move was very important to the PRS and is helping prepare for their end goal of living in their own apartment, a goal Rosie continues to encourage and support.

Rosie truly treats everyone in her home like family, and it’s felt when walking in her home. She’s always offering everyone tea, food, etc.  On many occasions the PRS has voiced they’ve had the best food at Rosie’s home and loves trying authentic Nepali food. The PRS has even helped on their Nepali/Indian food truck up in Loveland and enjoys being able to earn extra money to help with their goal of independence as well. The PRS has said “Rosie feels a lot more like a friend/roommate because she allows me to have my independence”. Rosie is a great asset to the team, and I’m very appreciate of all the hard work she does!

Welcome New hire

Support, Inc. Welcomes New Medical Coordinator

Please join us in welcoming our New Medical Coordinator, Jamie Weidman!

Hi everyone! My name is Jamie and I recently moved to Denver from Salt Lake City, Utah. I went to the University of Utah where I studied Pre-Pharmacy, got a B.S in Human Development, and a minor in Psychology. During my time in school, I always wanted to play a part in helping the community and volunteered at the Southern Utah Veterans Home and the Utah Naloxone Clinic.

Once I graduated, a big goal of mine was to aim for something that would allow me to use my education to make a positive impact in healthcare. I was fortunate enough to move to Colorado and get an opportunity to work in SEP Intake at Rocky Mountain Human Services.  My time there solidified my desire to pursue this type of work long-term. I am excited to be a new addition to the team and can’t wait to learn the ropes of such a wonderful and meaningful organization!