As we work through the COVID-19 pandemic to care for our individuals, we are celebrating the staff members working in the houses, making a real difference in their lives. They are our sasi Superheroes!
When so many of the individuals we care for rely on a daily routine and schedule, it can be a real challenge for staff members to keep them engaged when all of our lives have been turned upside down. That’s why we are celebrating the staffers who make a true difference in the lives of our individuals.
For instance, Deanne Carrow from our Derby Day Hab has been working with individuals in our Rosslare residence, using her creativity to come up with new crafts for everyone to do. Today they are creating beads out of strips of strips of paper so they can string together bracelets for their friends when they can return to the day hab. #sasiSuperheroes
In what can only be described as a baptism by hand sanitizer, Crystal Dawe started at sasi on March 9 as a Habilitation Instructor at the Elma Day Hab. That was the day we started requiring anyone who entered our buildings to use hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. One week later, the days closed, and Crystal was sent into the home of one of our individuals to provide day hab care.
Crystal has made an immediate impact, embracing her new role with enthusiasm. Her supervisor, Ashly Place, said: “For being so new, her response to this state of emergency makes me very excited for her future with sasi and what she is adding to our team there.” #sasiSuperheroes
Since the closure of our day hab facilities, many of our day hab staff have transitioned into our residences to care for our individuals. And they’re doing so with tremendous enthusiasm.
For instance, Carley Heimburg from Derby Day Hab has been working in the Kilkenny residence. Angel Miniszewski said Carley “is bringing her compassion and creativity to Kilkenny while allowing the residents to drive the curriculum based on their interests, including learning more about COVID-19. #sasiSuperheroes
One of the most important and effective ways to keep our individuals calm during a stressful time is to use a positive attitude at work. If you’re smiling, people around you will smile, too.
That’s why Michelle Kelley has been so effective at our Claire residence after transferring over from the Angola Day Hab. She was assigned to provide day program services to one individual, but she has drawn in others with her crafts, worksheets, and lots of card games. And she does it all with a smile.
Habilitation Specialist Ashly Place said of MIchelle: “In the midst of a sometimes chaotic time, she has maintained a positive presence in the house.” #sasiSuperheroes
The work of Direct Support Professionals requires a great deal of creativity and energy to keep the individuals engaged and learning.
Jeremy Schlierf is a tremendous example of responding the new demands of self quarantine with interactive crafts. Since the Elma Day Hab suspended all programs, he has transitioned into one of the houses to work with the Quinns. He keeps everyone busy with music, cooking, crafts, and sensory groups.
We are proud of the job Jeremy is doing. #sasiSuperheroes
The challenge all of us face during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine is having to adapt to a new lifestyle. Whether that means working from home, teaching your children, or wearing masks and gloves when going to the grocery store, everyone’s life has changed.
For our DSPs, it means working in a different environment, caring for different individuals. Sean McLaughlin has done just that, transitioning from the Derby Day Hab to our Donegal residence. And he’s putting the needs of the individuals first.
Briana Clark, a residential team leader, said this about Sean: “He has this nice calm about him when talking to the individuals. He engages their interest really well. He has adapted to the guys who he is not used to seeing in day hab. He is super friendly and always very positive with his approach. All of my individuals here at Donegal just love him! He has such a good work ethic; he doesn’t have to be “told” what to do, he just jumps in and does it with a smile on his face.” #sasiSuperheroes
Being a Direct Service Professional is a job that keeps you on the go. So it requires a lot of energy, a positive attitude, and the ability to adapt. Angel Maund is the personification of those traits.
A Habilitation Instructor at Elma Day Hab, Angel has transitioned into the residences during the COVID-19 pandemic. She immediately made herself useful by sewing masks for all of the staffers. She has also forged strong bonds with the individuals.
“Her endless energy and unique ideas have brought sheer joy to the gentlemen at Heiler, as well as everyone at day hab,” said Residential Supervisor Holly Misztal. “Angel comes in and goes above and beyond her job and has a great unique connection with the gentlemen. Angel is up for any task assigned to her and usually knocks it out with the park. She is constantly bringing new ideas that are fun for the house.”
Way to go, Angel! #sasiSuperheroes
Peggy Gabel may not be one of the “California Girls,” but “God Only Knows” that she has been bringing the “Good Vibrations” to the individuals at our Ransom Road and Shirley Road residences. Gabel, a Habilitation instructor previously assigned to the East Aurora Day Hab, has been shining in her role in the residence during the quarantine. She has been picking up extra shifts whenever she can to help alleviate the strain on other staffers and keeping the individuals engaged and entertained.
“She is extremely flexible with her hours and is willing to help out the houses on most shifts,” said Bridgette Zittel, Gabel’s Team Leader at East Aurora. “I stopped in to deliver supplies to her at Ransom Road, and she was running an incredible music group specific to the individuals preferred music — the Beach Boys.”
Great job, Peggy! #sasiSuperheroes