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Staff Trainings….UGH turning into WOOHOO by Kali Rose

I have to say that when we first started Therap I wish we had given consideration to how much continuous training we would be doing. Unfortunately we jumped in as if competing for best cannon-ball in a national competition, so almost 2 years later we still have staff who are not trained appropriately.  All in all this causes an unwanted headache for many people within the organization.

So….. a year ago (1 year into Therap) we developed a Therap Committee…. thank goodness!!  There are approximately 10 staff that volunteered their time to assist.  What I enjoy most is having varying positions within the agency represented.  The difference between our DSPs, Leads, Directors and Executive positions is nice to have reflected in the committee.  It’s an opportunity to discuss the documentation that is taking place and how others view it, etc.  It has also started ‘Therap talk’ which was not occurring prior to developing this group.  What do we want Therap to do for us, how can we manipulate and use it differently to satisfy state requirements.  Of course always trying to move in a ‘paper-light’ direction.

And now…. another year later, we are finally developing a computer training lab.  When I say we are developing it, literally we started moving furniture out of the space this morning…… I don’t think Christmas will be as exciting as this lab is for me this year!!!  Wooohooooo….. I feel like I could shout it.  I believe this will make the biggest difference for us since starting with Therap.  This will give us an ultimate training tool to provide staff with up-to-date information in an all-inclusive learning environment.  How exciting is that!!?  So, at this point if you are reading my post and can take a moment to share any of your experiences or give me feedback on what may have or may not have worked for you… I would greatly appreciate it.

On that note… hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and doesn’t get injured during Black Friday shopping!!

Enjoy -

Kali

Historical Storm by Lori Sojka

Hello all,
Didn’t know if I was going to be able to come in today to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving as we have been buried under 6 ft of snow here at Southeast Works in Depew, NY! Strangest storm I have ever seen. We have been shut down for a week but everyone came out of it in one piece. Some of our staff couldn’t believe that we were closed as they did not even have an inch of the white stuff! Very bizarre. We had a band of snow that sat in one place for 5 days. The weather people at first named it Storm Knife because it cut out just a section of WNY but nobody liked the name so it was changed to Snowvember! I am just glad everyone here is OK and hope the rest of you are faring well. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Baby it’s cold outside by Tonya Klein

Hello All!

With the weather in Nebraska getting colder and colder this makes me appreciate Therap even more. As the wind is blowing we are not having to transport books in and out  taking the risk of papers  blowing away.  Yet again everything is at our finger tips :) Life continues to change for services and individuals we serve.  The more information everyone is putting on Therap the easier it is to find things when something does change in someones life and things just don’t blow away never to be seen again. I would really suggest that while exploring all of the things Therap has to offer you really think about good places to store important information. Keeping things consistent on everyone page will be a time saver in the end!

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tonya

That Escalated Quickly by Misty Maroon

Dang it’s cold….Winter….That escalated quickly. Yes, it is time for my annual “it’s too cold in the south” blog. Thirty two degrees before Thanksgiving is not our way of life. Yes, I can hear all of you in the north snickering. Fall and winter bring on many things here at ROC. Our annual Fall Ball, where our individuals are honored for their individual achievements throughout the year and the holidays that are so much fun.

The most important thing that it brings on is the spirit of giving. Whether giving thanks at Thanksgiving or giving gifts at Christmas, Hanukkah, or your choice of holidays. Our wallets get a little looser this time of year, so I challenge you, while those purse strings aren’t so tight to consider giving to a cause, something that will make a difference. In our field, there is a lot of need in a lot of areas. Whether it is an individual that we serve who has the need, or a program as a whole. Many of us are non-profit organizations, so I challenge you, spend five less dollars on each person you are planning to buy for, whether it is one person or twenty, and donate that money to an organization who serves individuals with needs.

That being said, enjoy this time and season…laugh a lot, hug a lot, be thankful for all that you have in your life, smile at strangers, call a family member or friend you haven’t talked to in a while. I wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons.

Family/Guardian Satisfaction Surveys – examples anyone? by Lorelei Glenn

I thought I would reach out to everyone out in the Therap world, to see if anyone has any Family Satisfaction Surveys example that they would be willing to share. I am also looking for some additional information on response rates, implemented online or paper (or both), do you have a company create & tabulate the survey or do that in-house, and how you use the results you receive. Any information would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Happy Halloween! by Lori Sojka

Hope you have a SPOOKTACULAR day! Remember Therap is not scary, not even on Halloween!

Caregiver Pay Rule Enforcement Delayed by Kristy Dominy

The Obama administration is expected to delay the enforcement of the new FLSA rule until July 2015. Of course the law will still take effect January 1, 2015. The new law will effect many host homes in our state and across the nation if the host home provider is currently being contracted to provide the service. It is a great step forward for caregivers who are not currently receiving basic labor protection, but it is also scary to think that people with disabilities may lose longtime caregivers due to the the funding sources not being enough to cover a 24/7 employee with benefits. It will be interesting to see how providers work through this dramatic change.

User guides by Scott Barnette

Hello Therapers. I always had the privilege of working with another CT Kristen who was paid to play with Therap. Insert Jealousy here. Any time I had questions out of the scope of my knowledge I just hollered at her and got a quick answer. Now Kristen has transitioned from this place…. may she work in peace in South Florida, And I am finding my answers in the user guides. They are invaluable. I mean I’m a dude, I rarely read instructions but I must admit the user guides are a fav on my desktop. So if you haven’t yet explored them, type user guides in the search box, and learn away.

The Wearables! by Lorelei Glenn

Several months ago, I was able to use earned points on a card I had to purchase an activity tracker. I decided to get the Jawbone UP24, after looking at several reviews. For months I have been faithfully wearing my UP and love it! Now we are looking at piloting activity trackers with individuals we serve and the staff that support them. Last week I bought 3 additional activity trackers to see how they compare. Here are my results after only a few days using 2 of them:

Jawbone UP24

  • Still love this one, but doesn’t like to talk to my phone when I have other activity trackers on that are also using Bluetooth for connection
  • Easy to put and take off
  • Silent wake alarm (only happens when you are sleeping lightly)
  • Activity (lack of) and time silent alarms can be set throughout the day
  • Best view of stats for both sleeping and walking (in my opinion)
  • Only lasts about 7 days before needing charged
  • No progress throughout the day – have to look at phone
  • Bracelet charges by removing small cap

Fitbit Flex

  • I can’t put it on myself – maybe due to the arthritis in my finger joints! (The worst thing about it so far)
  • Can track a lot of things – water, food, calories, weight
  • Has a nice feature that helps you lose weight
  • Sleep stats are very difficult to look at compared to UP24
  • Best Dashboard view for everything
  • Progress info available on device
  • Have to take out the little device from the bracelet to charge
  • Wake alarm – but goes off at specific time, not based on sleep

Misfit Shine

  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t need charging – simple watch battery lasts up to 6 months
  • Comes with watch band and magnetic clip (note, reviews said that sleep tracking isn’t as good when worn as clip)
  • Easier to put on as a watch than the Fitbit Flex – Magnetic clip is VERY easy to put on
  • Fairly easy to remove Shine from watch and clip bands
  • Waterproof to 50m (don’t have to take it off!)
  • Also functions as a watch – takes a little bit of thought to read the watch though
  • Not sure how to read the Sleep graph (I like to try things without reading the instructions)
  • Provides progress info
  • Walking is by points – not steps (I don’t like this – have to View More to see steps)

My favorite is still up in the air between Jawbone UP24 and Misfit Shine. I love the look of the Shine and that it is super lightweight (and doesn’t have to be charged or taken off). I think the stats are better on the UP24, but wish they were more like the Fitbit Flex. The big downfall with the Fitbit Flex is putting it on – I don’t want to struggle with something I can’t put on.

It has been a WILD Ride! by Lorelei Glenn

The time has come to transition Therap from a project to Operations for Mosaic.

We are quickly approaching our destination!

November 1st will mark the end of the initial planned implementation of Therap

(that started over 3 years ago) at Mosaic.

It is exciting to think about the progress that has been made

and the success that has been achieved.

Congratulations, Mosaic!

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