Health and Safety


angel-shepherdsThat night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:

“Give glory to God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God” (Luke 2:8-14).

storm cloudAs often as we quote these amazing promises, the signs of our times proclaim that “there is no peace on earth.”  This year, we must bow our head in wonder at the gross event that happened in the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut on December 14.  While others are calling for gun control and more security in schools, parents of children who experience  psychotic episodes are pleading that our nation will begin real reform in our mental health system regarding children and young adults who are prone to violent behavior.

Ministers and pastors within the disability community are filling Internet blogs and social networks with information and warnings that our health care system regarding psychotic young men is not broken but non-existent.

President ObamaI am not an expert in this area.  In fact, in my ministry, our members who are mentally challenged, are remarkably healthy in the area of mental health considering the rejection and ill-treatment they receive on an almost daily basis.  Therefore, I do not speak as one who lives with the effects or desires to bring a measure of peace and health to this population.  Yet, I do have a small voice and there is great need to speak.

The concern for many in the area of mental illness is that nationalized health care will not mean better care but less care.  History speaks a prophetic work of more neglect as the government takes more and more power in the area of public health.  As other populations have benefited, this segment of our nation has been overlooked more and more.  This must not be.  It has become clear that the lives and well-being of our most vulnerable populations are at risk.

Our prayers are extended to the families of the young ones who were killed.  We also extended our prayers to the parents and children–who like this young shooter–suffer every day the torment and cruel effects of mental illness and psychotic behavior.

We pray that the peace of God will reign in the hearts and minds of all who seek the Lord.

Yesterday, as I was getting in my van to go to our DeLand program, I noticed the flat on the rear, driver-side tire.  I’d been working all morning in and around the vehicle; but somehow I had not seen the offending tire.  Fortunately, I have another car I can use.  However, I saw again the necessity of back-up plans when you are faced with an emergency situation.

I have AAA roadside assistance.  Yet, that would do me no good in this case.  I was ready to leave for my program.  By the time the mechanic arrived and replaced the tire, I would be much too late.  (My vehicle’s spare is located under the front of the car and it takes a certified mechanical genius to even get it out from its obscure, hiding place.)

Because of the 4th of July holiday, all of our SpG staff are out-of-town.  I reloaded my other car with the necessities for an indoor picnic planned in DeLand and left within my alloted time.

Here are some hints that may make this type of situation easier when you are faced with it.

1.  Allow time for the worst to happen.

2.  Therefore, begin early.

3.  Plan to arrive at your destination early.  People who are constantly late, plan to arrive on time.  People who are almost never late, plan to arrive early.

4.  I usually plan to be at a program 90 minutes early. If there is nothing that goes wrong, you have time to breathe and reflect.  If there is a program bletch, you have time to fix it.

5.  Be willing to accept the “quick fix.”  Not everything will be settled to your satisfaction in a time of mishaps and misadventures.

6.  “OK” is better than nothing.  At times, I’ve been accused of being a perfectionist, until something goes wrong.  Then people realize that I don’t strive for “perfect” at all.  When the fat catches on fire, I revert back to my “normal mode.”  I strongly believe that it’s important to use what you have and do the best you can with what you got.

5.  Rely on your past experiences and preparation.  Each time there is an emergency make a mental note of what worked and what didn’t work.

6.  Learn from the past problems.  Dissect the past and examine how you can do things better.

7.  Learn who you can rely on and who won’t be there when someone is needed.  In every emergency situation, you need people who are dependable.

One day I realized that I’m a widow who spends a great deal of time on the road.  Even though I have many people in our community who treat me as though I’m their family, I knew how unfair it would be to totally depend on the goodwill of my friends and colleagues.  When I got an offer in the mail for AAA, I sat down and filled out the application.  I’ve used the service three times in the past 9 months.  It is a great relief to know that there is a back up plan.

This week as I’ve been listening to the personal letters of Paul to his good friends, Timothy and Titus, I was struck by the mundane preparations they contain.  “Bring my books and Scriptures.  I need a coat,” Paul said.  Not very spiritual or is God interested in every single part of our lives?

The flat tire was fixed early this morning.  Like it or not, these awkward situations are part of the business of ministry.  They can destroy your day forcing you to close your program or they can become part of your learning process.

California farm from which diseased cow came

There is another case of Mad Cow disease found in the US.  The medical name for the disease is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.  As predicted, we have been told that the United States beef supply is more than safe and there is absolutely no danger to the public.

Yet, I understand from some folks from England that they were also assured that their meat was all right until the government officials could not longer ignore the people who were suffering with this maddening disease. The human form is known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).  The beginning stage is largely one of anxiety, depression and other psychiatric symptoms.

You may be questioning what causes this dread cattle malady.  It has been proven that the disease is caused from feeding cattle meat and body waste.  Some years ago, it was found that chicken by-products and manure could be added to cattle feed and the cow would eat it.  It also seemed to be good for them because they were able to gain more weight faster.  Then the dreaded disease began to appear in the herds.  In an article no longer available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, this excerpt was published as “Information for Consumers Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine entitled, The Use of Chicken Manure/Litter in Animal Feed.”  The sub-title of the article states “The following consumer information is provided by Daryl Fleming, Communications Staff, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.”  This is a small excerpt from the article.  

Recycled animal waste, such as processed chicken manure and litter, has been used as a feed ingredient for almost 40 years. This animal waste contains large amounts of protein, fiber, and minerals, and has been deliberately mixed into animal feed for these nutrients. Generally, animal waste is used within the State where it is produced because the bulk and weight of the product makes interstate shipment uneconomical. Normally, this animal waste is used by small farmers and owners of beef and dairy herds as a winter supplement for mother cows and weaned calves.

We have been assured that this deadly practice has been eliminated but how much oversight is given over the production of this cattle feed?  The FDA in the paper “Framework for the FDA Animal Feed Safety System” admits, “Animal feed ingredients and mixed feeds produced and used in the US have a good safety record.  However, because oversight of this industry is limited and focused on a few known safety issues, potential human and animal health problems remain hidden. ”

There are often concerns regarding the foods we eat.  It is a fact that cows fed only grain will never have contract Mad Cow Disease. The Bible prescribed for us clean and unclean foods.  In simple words, scavenger animals, birds and sea foods should not be eaten.  Fruit and vegetables are all right.  However, the animal kingdom is divided clearly in the Old Testament.  Clean animals do not eat animal flesh or other by products, including manure.

I understand as Christians, we no longer live under the law of Moses.  Yet, the Old Testament prescribes stern warning regarding the foods we eat.  Of course, there is the vision given to Peter regarding the sheet that came from heaven.  God clearly said to him that everything that He had made was clean.  Christians have taken this as a proclamation to allow us to eat those unclean foods.  Never the less, there are reasons for God’s prohibition.  The Lord’s reasons weren’t arbitrary or even legalistic. We are finding that these laws contain clear concerns for our health.

There may never be a need to teach the clean/unclean foods in your special needs program or ministry.  However, you may want to begin to consider the foods you are eating out of concern for your own health.

When Sally met Matthew, she said she loved him from the first.  Of course, Sally had never had a man give her any attention all of her 30 years.  A petite blonde, she had lived in a small town in North Carolina.  Her parents had protected her to the point that she wasn’t even able to go to a sheltered workshop to work.  Then tragic events brought her to our county to live with a distant relative that she had only met one time.

After several years, the relative was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of a young woman with Downs Syndrome.  She turned to a local agency for help.  Sally was able to obtain a placement in a group home.  Within a few months, Sally was moved into an apartment.  Matthew lived in the apartment across the hall from Sally.  He was an experienced young man who understood how to win Sally’s heart.

Unfortunately, Matthew was the victim of abuse in his family.  Therefore, he proceeded to abuse Sally, beating her badly after their sexual encounters.  Because Matthew was also a mentally challenged individual and Sally refused to press charges against the man she loved, Matthew was never arrested or paid any price for his brutal beatings.

It is a well-known psychological fact that victims of abuse become abusers.  While we hate to admit it, this fact is true within the mentally challenged community, also.  While the story of Sally and Matthew is ugly and rare, it is true.  Perhaps the blame rests on the professional community, who believed that the indisputable principle of choice was more important than safety.  Perhaps it was the fault of APD who encourages the placement of people into apartments, whether they are ready for that move or not.

It would seem obvious that Sally wasn’t prepared to handle Matthew’s advances.  Yet, she wasn’t moved from the apartment complex or given the kind of protection that she needed.  Perhaps, it is the fault of politicians, who can’t seem to find the money to provide funding for our most vulnerable citizen.  Perhaps it is the fault of an entire society who discount the value of mentally challenged people.

Perhaps, there are too many people who cling to a faulty and unsafe philosophy to point fingers to any one set of people.  Could it be that there are so many problems involved in the system that there is no good solution?  This is why we at The Special Gathering, a ministry within the mentally challenged community, must advocate for the community we serve.  Richard Stimson, the Executive Director of Special Gathering, has said, “A shepherd protects his sheep.  Therefore, advocacy must be a part of pastoral care.”

What do you think is the responsibility of a specialized ministry in regard to advocacy?  Even though Sally wasn’t a member of Special Gathering, did we still have an obligation to advocate for her?  What could be done for Sally, since she didn’t want any help?

Today began the myriad of e-mails that Special Gathering staff will exchange in preparation for Camp Agape that will be held May 25 to 28 in Vero Beach, Florida.  Actually, the e-mails, faxes and memos began in January but they were mostly to other businesses or organizations: transit operators, business owners, and professionals that we need to contract with to start our preparations.

I know camp is well on the way when we begin the MANY decisions regarding health and safely.  Each year should we hit a snag, we methodically endeavor to fix that error by the next year.  The one thing that Richard Stimson, Special Gathering Executive Director, tries to drill into each new employee’s head is that the safety of our members, especially at camp, is the paramount thing.

Those of us who consider ourselves deeply spiritual try to discount his concerns.  After all, “The Lord will provide.  He keeps watch and guards over the weak,”  we mumble to ourselves as we walk away from our less spiritual mentor.   It is the spiritual well-being that we must be concerned about and let the Lord take care of the mundane things like health and safety.

Then one day the truth of his assertions slams us square in the face.  Usually it about noon time the first day, we have total responsibility for a person, group or activity.  It could be something small, like Joanie who stumbles over a shoe lace getting up one step leading to her position where she will sing with the choir.  And you suddenly realize that in her fragile physical condition, she could have fallen and seriously hurt herself.  Checking shoe laces becomes a priority from that day forward.

Or it could be a large rock that bops you in the forehead.  My least favorite shocker was the day that someone dropped off a new person at the front door of the building where we were meeting and then drove off.  I had no information, no phone number, no way to reach anyone should there be an emergency.   You didn’t know the person’s name and he was non-verbal.  I didn’t have to be told again that the safely of our members becomes the hippopotamus in middle the room that can rip the heart of your program into shreds.

You see, in this ministry to people with special needs, we cannot continue to survive unless we take care of our members in a safe and professional manner.  When we come into a new community, we intend to be there forever.  We aren’t there for a year or two but for decades.  However, we must build the trust of parents before they will entrust their children into our care.  That means sweating the little details, like proper shoe care and getting up-to-date information about each of our members.

After a time, you realize that God will methodically take care of the spiritual needs of his children.  Of course, we prepare for the spiritual needs, also; but it is ultimately, his work and his work alone.  Only a supernatural power of the Holy Spirit can open and change a heart. allowing us to understand his love and grace.   But we are his hands and feet making sure that the shoe laces are tied and the information sheets are up to date.

Is there one thing that you have found is vital in the operation of your program?  What safety factors have you put in place?

This is the current newsletter sent by WaiverProvider.com. I am unable to format this correctly. To see the entire newsletter, go to the websight.

WaiverProvider.Com September 30, 2011

Is Your Support Plan Current And Correct?

All cost plans are being reviewed between now and November 15, 2011. If your need for services are not well documented, they could be eliminated or reduced. It’s very important that all documentation be sent up at the time of review. If your services are reduced or eliminated, you will have a chance for due process, but the judge will only be looking at what was actually submitted. You will not be allowed to give the judge more documentation during your hearing. Contact your support coordinator to learn more.

Minor Differences, That Are Not So Minor

Is Justification For Your Residential Habitation Rate Documented?

Minimal

$2195.48 Month

Moderate

$3294.48 Month

Self care/daily living tasks:

including physical assistance and mealtime intervention to eat safely, may require mealtime interventions and/or devices.

May require consistent verbal and physical help to complete self care/daily living tasks,

Requires substantial prompting and/or physical assistance to perform self-care/daily living activities.

May be totally dependent on staff for dressing/bathing. May require mealtime interventions and/or devices OR receives all nutrition through a gastrostomy or jejunostomy tube.

Toileting

May require scheduled toileting or use of incontinent briefs.

Incontinent of bowel or bladder. May require scheduled toileting or use of incontinent briefs.

Walking

Walks independently or independently uses a manual or power wheelchair.

Independently uses a powered wheelchair, may need assistance with a manual chair.

Transfer / Change Positions

· May require assistance to change positions.

· Needs physical assistance of one person to transfer or to change positions.

· May require assistance to change positions.

· Needs physical assistance of one person to transfer or to change position.

· Disability prevents sitting in an upright position, has limited positioning options.

Behavioral

· May exhibit behaviors that require formal and informal intervention;

· requires frequent prompts, instruction or redirection, some environmental modifications or restrictions on movement may be necessary.

· May exhibit behaviors that require frequent planned, informal and formal interventions.

· Assistance from others may be necessary to redirect the recipient. May require psychotropic medication for control of behavior. Self-injury or aggression towards others or property results in broken skin, major bruising/swelling or significant tissue damage requiring physician/nurse attention. May have threatened suicide in past 12 months. May have required use of reactive strategies 5 or more times per month in last 12 months. May routinely wear protective equipment to prevent injury from self-abusive behavior.

Physical

· Seizures: If has seizures, no interference with functional activities;

· May require medication for bowel elimination.

· May require a special diet. May require staff supervision to self-administer medications.

· Seizures: May have seizures that interfere with functional activities; receives 2 or more medications to control seizures.

· May require medication and daily management, including enemas, for bowel elimination.

· May be nutritionally at risk and require a physician/dietitian prescribed special diet.

· May have experienced a pressure sore requiring medical attention in the past 6 months.

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APD Conference for employers

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 23, 2011

8 a.m.— 6:15 p.m.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

9 a.m.—12 noon

Online conference registration at

 

http://apdcares.org/training-registration/ecr.htm

Conference registrations accepted through
September 16

ACCESS to a pool of people interested in working, who have a history of low absenteeism

NETWORK with other employers who believe in hiring people with disabilities

MEET staff from state agencies and local organizations that can help you hire and train people with disabilities

DISCOVER new resources to help you diversify your workforce

CONNECT with factual information about employing people with disability and bust old myths

Hotel Reservations

 Contact Buena Vista Palace Hotel Reservations by phone at:  1-866-246-6563

-or- use the link below to directly make reservations online:

https://reservations.ihotelier.com/crs/g_reservation.cfm?groupID=647089&hotelID=6579 

Request the “APD Conference” group rate:  $90.00

 

Deadline for Group Rate Reservation:  September 1, 2011

Date of conference: September 23-24, 2011

Hotel: Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa

1900 East Buena Vista Drive

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Increased workforce diversity

Dependable employees

Partnering agencies:

Consider coming to the session at 5:15p.m. on Friday if you live in the area. DirectEmployers Association will speak on their human resources consortium of global employers formed to improve labor market efficiency through the sharing of best practices, research and the development of technology.

APD Employment Conference

Are you a business person looking for good employees?

 

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