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Day Services Spirit Week and Open House

Support, Inc. is so excited to share the good news-We are reopening at full capacity!

After more than a year of hosting smaller groups in the midst of the pandemic, we are thrilled to announce that we are back to providing services to our clients for our Specialized Habilitation and Supported Community Connections at FULL CAPACITY!

We’ve been busy in the last 16 months, expanding our program both in terms of space and activities. We now occupy the entire first floor of our building at 15591 E Centretech Pkwy. (located in Aurora) and have also added lots of fun and engaging groups for all our participants!

Join us the week of July 26th for our Spirit Week Events!

SCHEDULE:

Monday July 26th: Sports Day/Olympics- 

12:15-1:00 — LIFE Club We’ll be making fruit sushi and exploring the culture of Japan where the 2021 Olympics are taking place!

1:00-2:00 Outdoor Sports — Join us for Basketball, football, and a water ballon toss! (For those who would prefer to remian inside, we’ll be making our own baseball cards with all the “stats” about what makes us special)

2:00-3:00 — Indoor miniature Golf!

Tuesday July 27th: Crazy Hair Day!-

Indulge your inner Einstein with some crazy hair!

12:00-1:00 The Crazy Hair Salon — some to us with your own crazy hair or let our stylists do’ you up good! (Adult Recess Activities will be happening outside for those who prefer that “wind-blown” look!)

1:15-2:00 — Chill Club — Explore music and its powers to chill us out when times get tough

2:15-3:00 — Mad Science Club.  Ok, Einsteins, let’s do some Science!  Today we’ll be making volcanoes and bottle rockets!

Wednesday July 28th: Wear Your Pajamas Day!-

12:15-1:00 — Moving and Grooving — Come enjoy a dance party with us!

1:15-2:00 — Cookless Cooking — Learn how to make and enjoy a breakfast treat in the afternoon!

2:15-3:00 — Table Top Toons! Get into your best Saturday morning cartoon vibes be creating your very own cartoon character in the premiere preview of our up and coming Table Top Role Playing Game Group! 

Thursday July 29th: Dress like a Pirate Day! Pirate Hats provided!-

12:00-1:00 Snacks 

12:30-1:30 — Board Games Group

1:30-2:00 — Outdoor Treasure Hunt

2:00-3:00 — Make your own treasure map!

Friday July 30th: Superhero Day!-

12:00-1:00 — Choose your superpower and draw your own superhero

1:00-2:00 — Pop Culture Club — join us to talk about the super athletic powers of Plympians!

2:00-3:00 — Make your own super cape and/or mask! 

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Welcome Back to Day Services!

As Support, Inc. Day Services has recently opened back up to full capacity, we have taken some time to reflect on the last 12-14 months and how we have operated in the midst of a pandemic. A lot has changed since March of 2020, and Day Services has gone above and beyond protecting the health and safety of the people we serve while also delivering high-quality services.

Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of these services.

To start, Support, Inc. closed it’s Day Services on March 17th, 2020 for three days. This was shortly after the NBA halted in-person games or as we like to say, “This is when things were starting to get real”. Internally, staff believed this lockdown would be short; little did we know, things were just getting started. At any rate, we closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to determine next steps for our employees and PRS. Support, Inc. ultimately decided to safely reopen, to prevent disruptions to people’s schedules, including HHPs, FCGs, and those that enjoyed participating in our services.

During this three-day closure, Day Services staff started making PPE kits for internal use. These kits included gloves, sanitizer and masks, protected and distributed by our receptionist whom we lovingly referred to as Lord of the PPE kits. Outbound DSPs would come in and receive their kits and get back on the road. Employees on-site had access whenever they needed it.

In the beginning, our Day Program staff disinfected things constantly. Curt and Day Program Supervisors searched stores for disinfectant. One employee found a distillery to purchase a 5-gallon bucket of sanitizer. At the time, no one knew how the illness spread. As a result, we joined the nation-wide sanitizer manhunt to wipe down surfaces as often as we could.  That’s when Miles (Day Services Supervisor) knew we were in it for the long-haul. The severity of the situation was beginning to settle in as we frantically developed safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus in our Day Program and Aurora office.

Curt had a friend making masks and made us dozens of masks for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and other employees. Pressure began to mount as we pushed forward to make and collect as much PPE as possible. By mid-March, the grocery stores dried up with limited food and supplies. Day Program Supervisors took it upon themselves to begin counting masks, gloves and gowns everyday, to ensure staff had the supplies they needed to operate safely in the building.  The first 2-3 months felt like an endless search for PPE, navigating a new world full of uncertainty while trying to keep staff and PRS as safe as possible.

While all of this was happening, Support, Inc. was trying to ramp up it’s Community Access Program. Our Day Services and Clinical Team learned the art of flying plane as we’re building it. Soon after things began shutting down, these two teams came together to assess immediate needs-who needs a DSP now, who needs a session online and how can we manage these needs in a safe and efficient manner. Daily meetings took place everyday for months to meet the needs of the people we serve and their families.

Our Clinical Team prioritized social and emotional needs, taking into consideration the boredom and isolation that would slowly settle in overtime. Given the evidence-based articles and research we reviewed, the team focused on preventative tactics to help our PRS manage their emotions.

Another action step we took on the front-end was securing tablets for PRS. Miles set these up with Zoom and distributed close to 50. DSPs tranposrted the tablets to consumer homes for individual therapy sessions and also for our folks to join online groups. DSP would take it there. One clinician reflects on this period as being “very creative despite the circumstances. It’s hard to be creative when you’re freaked out, but nonetheless we forged forward”.

The beginning of the pandemic is marked with Zoom and learning how to use this technology that was so new to so many people. A lot of the education we offered centered around the use of technology and how to maximize these opportunities for socialization. Soon enough, we were able to offer these group and private sessions from the comfort of your own home, without worry or fear of catching the virus. Day Services staff and Clinical Team members got creative together by sharing ideas to develop new groups online. These fun opportunities led to an influx of participation online, so we could continue the good work we do on the internet instead. Moving and Grooving was born during this period, along with a few of our other hallmark groups. In addition, Chris made a PowerPoint on germs, health and safety. Plain Language was utilized often to ensure everyone understood new protocols and procedures.

As we learned to navigate Zoom, the weather was beginning to warm up. Outside, it was easier to practice social distancing and to make games with these lessons. We also taught mask-wearing, hand-washing and other basic hygiene skills. LIFE Club began with the idea of practice around social distancing, wearing masks, etc. It is worth noting that all of our online programming was as a result of the pandemic. Nothing was online before then. The attitude went from being “This is impossible-it can’t be done online” to “Yes, this can be done and we will make it work”. Touching Stories serves as a great example of our efforts to adapt a group from in-person to online. *explain touching stories?* Ultimately, we practiced the necessary skills to stay safe during the pandemic along with preventative measures for curtailing mood instability, irritability and boredom.

The groups Support, Inc. as developed have turned out to be very successful. For instacnce, one PRS was stranded in another state for a few weeks. Thanks to Zoom, she was able to access our online programs.. Another client was traveling and reported feeling as if she stayed connected even when they were out of state. All PRS were welcome to join our groups and they enjoyed the positive benefit of staying in touch.

We received mixed reactions as PRS learned to adapt to our new reality. Some individuals still wanted services in person while others chose to interact online. Clinicians and Day Service staff related to PRS fears of catching the virus and wanting to stay as safe as possible. Luckily we can share that (spoiler alert!) in the last 14 months, there’s never been a single outbreak in our Day Program or any satellite locations at Support, Inc. Still, so much was unknown at this time, and safety remained a top priority.

In the first quarter of the pandemic, we ramped up our training program for DSPs. Support, Inc. as an agency decided early on to stay open and to not lay anyone off. Shelby drafted a training program online for new DSPs and this implemented almost as quickly as it was developed. For any trainings required in-person, we reduced these class sizes from 20 to 3. We also trained on the psychological effects of the pandemic and how to embody a DSP during the pandemic. We sensed the hesitancy of applicants to join Support, Inc. in such a tumultuous and unprecedented time. Supervisors and managers of Day Services learned how to support new employees by being transparent about their efforts to keep everyone safe.  From gathering PPE and social distancing to teaching our PRS basic hygiene skills, we offered multiple ways to stay safe despite the circumstances.

 Additional measures such as hand-outs for in-person visits proved to be useful, too. Our Associate Director of Quality Assurance developed a new form called What to Expect from a DSP Visit for clients, providers and FCGs. This document set the groundwork for expectations and boundaries. We also used a screening tool “Questions to ask before you go into a home”. Clinicians reported feeling like the company as a whole supported them with these materials. Screening cards were implemented and a supervisor created a Formstack screening tool for DSPs to use on their phones. If all symptoms were no, you’re good. If someone answered yes to one or more symptoms, the results were sent to the supervisor to be researched further.

One final cultural change we worked on was encouraging people to stay home when they didn’t feel well. An extra bank of sick time was created to support our staff, so if they went to get tested, we would pay them for this. We would mitigate the financial strain of having to take time off. From our Day Services staff to Clinical Team and beyond, everyone internally has stepped up to ask “What can I do to help operate safely”. Support, Inc. as a whole has taken the virus and this pandemic very seriously since Day One. We remain proud to report zero outbreaks at the organization and continue to work as safely and efficiently as possible.  

For more information on the fun and engaging activities we host, please visit our website at www.supportinc.com

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Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our recent Host Home Providers of the Month, Rashinda and Mike Barnes!!

The following write-up was produced by the Denver Metro One Team: The Denver Metro One Team (with an assist from Rich and DM3) is nominating Eva (AKA Rashinda) and Mike Barnes for HHP of the Month.

Eva and Mike Barnes are being nominated for the HHP of the month award. Eva and Mike have displayed professionalism, integrity, and they are great team players. The super duo of Eva and Mike are always using person-centered and trauma informed care techniques when working with individuals in their home. Eva and Mike are willing to take on difficult individuals with significant medical and behavioral needs, often at a moment’s notice. They are easy to reach and are always willing to help out with respite needs. Eva and Mike are currently a 3 bed home. SW has made exceptional progress with her mobility after an unexpected hip surgery. Eva has been diligent in facilitating PT as she recovers. KH it is new to the home, but in the short time he has been there Eva and Mike have already started working with him on finding a new day program, helping him figure out his work schedule, money management skills, and they are also encouraging KH to make healthy food choices. Their third individual has a challenging history of finding the right fit of a home for himself. He’s been in the home for over two years now.

There have been some difficulties along the way but also a lot of success and growth. Eva and Mike didn’t give up during the rough times and have put a lot of effort and energy into making things as stable as possible and have given the right amount of support to meet this individual’s needs. At this point in time, this individual and his team report that he has made personal growth and he says he likes living with his Providers and other individuals living in the home.

Teri Leiker (Photo courtesy of Lexi Knutson)

Reflecting on the Legacy of Teri Leiker

As we continue to mourn the lives lost in the tragic Boulder shooting, we reflect on the impact that Teri Leiker had on her community.

Teri Leiker worked at the King Sooper’s in Boulder for over 30 years. When she wasn’t busy at work, serving the community, her family reports that

Teri was the most joyful person to be around. Everyone loved her and she loved them back. Teri was a very empathetic individual that cared deeply for those around her and cared about those affected by past floods and wildfires. Teri, like so many of us, was a multifaceted person with her own individual needs and wants and hopes and dreams. With help from Imagine, Boulder County CCB, Teri was able to live on her own at age 21. She maintained her independence and lived a full of dignity and pride. From starting her first and only job at King Sooper’s in 1989 to becoming a homeowner, Teri found her place in the world, becoming a steadfast staple of her local community.

To say that this loss has been significant and absolutely heartbreaking for the IDD community and those that knew her would be an understatement. As the last few weeks have passed, we’ve heard stories in the field relaying what a tremendous individual Teri was. We send our most heartfelt thoughts and well-wishes to Teri’s family and the IDD community in Boulder, including those that knew her at Imagine. We pray that the memories of her life provide comfort and solace to those that loved her.

These photos posted below were from a recent memorial service. As you can see, Teri’s impact on the community remains unmatched and she will be sorely missed.

For more information, you can read about Teri here: https://www.9news.com/…/73-012b4313-ecd7-46d8-a988…

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Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our recent Host Home Providers of the Month, Berthy Pondaag!

The following write-up was produced by the Denver Metro Three Team: 

Denver Metro 3 (Team Hypernova) would like to nominate Berthy Pondaag and co-provider Jacqueline Lompolium for the HHP of the month award!  They have continued to provide consistent and exemplary care to two of our most vulnerable individuals.  Their patience while the team worked on methods to ensure the health and safety of one of their individuals to provide them with the least restrictive, most inclusive environment is admirable.

Time and time again, they’ve shown their ability to go above and beyond to ensure documentation is completed accurately and in a timely manner, come up with solutions to ensure goals are being worked on and that the services being provided are carried out in the proper setting.  Berthy and Jacqueline have worked hard to make sure their individuals live their best lives while still following all protocols and doctor’s orders. The last few months have not been easy but one thing is for certain, their quality of care for their individuals has never wavered. We want to thank you both for the work you do and let you know we appreciate you!  

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Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our recent Host Home Providers of the Month, Linda and Scotty Cummins!

The following write-up was produced by Team SoCo: We would like to recognize Linda and Scotty Cummins as Support, Inc’s Host Home Provider of the Month. Linda and Scotty are dream providers! They routinely and regularly keep the daily documentation current for their individuals in service, as well as always keeping their own compliance requirements up to date. However, paperwork is not their only superpower! They also have fabulous, healthy relationships with the gentlemen in their care. Their folks love that they are part of the family, and all enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and generally being in the outdoors. Linda and Scotty encourage their independence and help them to speak up for themselves.

Recently, Scotty and Linda were approached to take a new gentleman into their home. He preferred to have a bedroom on the same floor as everyone else, so Scotty and Linda took on the effort and expense of hiring contractors to transform their open-sided office into a new private bedroom. Talk about going the extra mile! While the remodeling was taking place, Linda and Scotty had Zoom visits with him and his mother so that everyone felt more comfortable about the impending move. The atmosphere of their home is friendly and happy, and obvious to all who visit (virtually or in person!) Please join the Colorado Springs team in congratulating this wonderful couple on their well-deserved recognition!

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Events on the Calendar

A friendly reminder for those looking for our weekly events- This information has transitioned to the calendar on our website.

The calendar includes information for our Day Program Events, LIFE Events and BACPAC events. To learn more information, simply click on the date and click on the event for further details.

Many of our events are hosted online due to COVID-19. To join, select the event on the calendar and be sure to download Zoom ahead of time.

If you have any further questions regarding our events or how to use Zoom, please contact Cathy at Cathy.Kellogg@supportinc.com and she will point you in the right direction.

Moving and Grooving

Moving and Grooving: A Glimpse into our Exercise Group

As a member of the Intake Team, I’ve often wondered how it is to join the groups I frequently promote. From our LIFE Club to Moving and Grooving and beyond, we offer quite the lineup of activities for people to join online. Our Day Program offers the opportunity to participate in person with peers in a safe environment. But for those that choose to stay home, I would highly recommend Moving and Grooving as a means for light and fun exercise.

To start, you’ll want to wear some comfortable clothing and shoes. I was honestly a little too excited for this group and got ready an hour early. Meredith and Ashley will normally start with stretches and then we move on to the festivities!

I had been meaning to join this group for quite some time. So, to login for this Heartthrob Dance Party was pretty good timing if you ask me. From N’SYNC and Backstreet Boys to Britney Spears and One Direction, the majority of the requests were 90’s favorites. As a true millennial at heart, this made me very happy.

Ready to move and groove in my new workout headband!

My favorite part of this group was just how casual it is. I must’ve had this preconceived notion that the meetings were structured with “group fitness expectations” such as everyone curling their arms together or involving some sort of synchronized group moves. This was not the case. Participants are literally encouraged to “move and groove”, whether that be head-bopping, foot-tapping or full-blown dancing with great enthusiasm. I also loved how comfortable the group felt for people joining it. Everyone was accepting of each other’s dancing, and no one seemed to care how someone else was choosing to move and groove.

Lastly, our clinicians leading the effort are a cut above the rest. Meredith and Ashley are both thoughtful and considerate when guiding these group activities. For instance, we have Moving and Grooving happening again today. The group focuses on strength this week and takes a look at inner and outer strength, so not just the physical elements. The way our Clinicians focus on the whole person, including the emotional needs of our individuals, remains a cutting-edge approach to care. In addition, these activities allow the people we serve the chance to connect with other individuals in the program for socialization opportunities. With deliberate planning and creative ideas, Meredith and Ashley go above and beyond for every session they host. Every theme they develop for Moving and Grooving is safe, fun and ultimately, engaging.

In short, I had a blast joining Moving and Grooving last week! I highly recommend that those on the fence give it a try. Moving and Grooving convenes every Wednesday from 12:15-1:00 p.m. For more information, please visit our calendar at www.Supportinc.com. You will also find other groups happening online that you’re welcome to join, as well.

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Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our recent Host Home Provider of the Month, Shaunti Kelley!!!

The following write-up was produced by RPC Sonny Everett:

“We are happy to recognize Shaunti Kelley as HHP of the month. From the start of her HHP role with Support, Inc. she has demonstrated so much love and care for her consumer. Shaunti has gone above and beyond to make Heather’s days creative and fun with all the arts and crafts, baking, playing games, community outings, keeping close communication with Heather’s family, but most importantly, just making Heather happy. We are very lucky to have Shaunti be a part of our Support team. Thank you Shaunti for all that you do!”

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Support, Inc. Welcomes Two New Employees

Please join us in welcoming two employees to the organization. First, we have Faith Wilkins who joined the agency in January and produced this write-up a few weeks ago:

Hello, Support Inc.! I look forward to meeting you! Until then, here is a little about me (Faith Wilkins). I grew up in Cherokee Nation (NE corner of Oklahoma). I attended graduate school for Occupational Therapy in Las Vegas, Nevada. I moved to Colorado in 2016 to work at a center (K-12 school, outpatient, employment and transition services) for persons with I/DD.

As a clinician, I help people establish mindful routines to support engagement in meaningful life activities through a trauma informed lens. I have also practiced OT on a therapy farm with the help of horses, chickens and donkeys! Before I was an OT, I was a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Fayetteville, AR. In my spare time I enjoy taking Bosco to the park, taking photos of Bosco, playing chess, doing yoga, and cooking.

In addition, we welcome our new receptionist, Tammy Burton. Tammy joined Support, Inc. in early February and shares the following information:

Tammy started on Monday, February 1st, out of the Aurora Office.

She will be taking over the administrative responsibilities, in addition to some other ones that Carole has managed.

Tammy comes to us with significant experience, having worked as an Administrative Assistant for Elbert County Health and Human Services.  Among her many talents, Tammy has great skillset that includes customer service, accounting support, office management, and Purchasing and sales administration.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Tammy if you have any questions.

Welcome to the team Faith and Tammy!  We are super excited and look forward to working more closely with both of you!