What follows is a day in the life of Ingrid Rushing, Imelda Madrid and Adam. My goal is to let others better understand how family agencies and family home providers work together in hopes of inspiring others to become caregivers and to show how important this type of work is. What our average day looks like:
The people you will meet in this day in the life piece! Myself (pictured left), Imelda and Adam (pictured above).
Did you miss Part 1 of this series? You can read it by clicking HERE.
Imelda 2:30 PM
Luckily my husband and I have hours of work that is conducive to making the whole working from home thing work. While I am working, my husband provides support to Alex around any home or self-care items that need attention. Example: He’ll remind Adam to wipe the countertop and Adam will do it because my husband has a gentle way and is not intimidating. Adam doesn’t seem to mind when most of us would. He used to get upset, but not now. It’s almost like he likes it like it’s a comfort thing for him.
One of the things Adam needs support with is taking things at ease and minimizing agitation and an occasional outburst. I could be in a meeting and all of a sudden the door’s pounding. There’s something really wrong going on. A challenging reality that comes with Covid and working from home There is a chance as an educator/administrator that I may be running a faculty meeting or having a staff development meeting, that could be really tricky. What do you do? Put it on pause and tell 48 teachers to wait? What do I do? How do I silence my computer while somebody’s pounding in the background? It is very challenging. What I like to do before I go into an important meeting is, I like to check in on him and make sure that he’s in a good place. Then I let him know, I’m going to be going to a very important meeting. If there’s a package delivered by Amazon, you help me out and get it for me but leave it off to the side as I can not be disturbed for a bit. That would be helpful and it is. A subtle way so that I won’t be disturbed while working from home.
It’s time for insurance renewals. We got open enrollment for health care plans, I am reviewing all of our benefit plans for all of our employees, and meeting with our insurance agent to review to make sure people have all the plans and see if there’s any gaps or any embellishments for this next year that are an of benefit to our employees.
So that’s another important thing. I got a call from a couple family home providers to see how they’re doing, some who’ve lost their family due to COVID, a couple of our families that are mourning kind of hard after Susie’s recent passing this year. (a former case manager and loved friend). I am sad and miss her so much. She was a part of the fabric of COIS and always will be. So just want to check on some folks and see how they’re doing. And some of the clients that got the news as well. So I’ll always have a little checklist of people that I just need to call and check and say, “Hello, and how are you doing?” I chip away at it whenever I can even from the road. The other day we had to buy a stack of bereavement cards. I could not keep up with buying one at a time at CVS. And this past couple of weeks, I think I’ve sent out probably about six or seven bereavement messages to people that are affiliated with our agency. Ughhh.
Imelda 3:30 PM
It’s happened to me before where it is literally five minutes before a meeting and I cannot de-escalate Adam. He is just in a situation where I am unable to calm him down. So I pick up the phone and I call Anita our social worker at COIS. Adam will take this phone, go downstairs, talk with him and assist in helping him to relax and calm down. It is times like these that when I am torn between work and Adam that I really feel supported by Community Options. Anytime, if I call, if she doesn’t answer the first ring? She’s sure to call back in five minutes. She’s probably with someone else. I kid you not, one time I was on a meeting and I was on a meeting for an hour and a half and when I got out of my meeting, she was still on the phone with him.
She’s like, okay, let me see what I could do. And then she starts talking with him and next thing you know, he’s calmed him down. They’re laughing, they’re talking. Now it’s just a conversation where he’s having a good time. So supportive like that. Very, very supportive. I know that it is important to be proactive, but times like these…
Later tonight doing prevention of abuse, crisis communication training with one of our family home providers that don’t handle situations just right. It wasn’t abusive. No mal intentions, but has to be addressed. Not something that happens often, but as any administrator will attest, when things are alleged, they have to be addressed and dealt with to the fullest extent possible. So here goes.
It is not always a good idea to physically prompt someone when they’re already agitated. It’s just a good idea not to touch people at all for so many reasons or potential reasons. So we’re going to talk about how communication, assisting people to regain control and relaxation, proactive mitigation, etc.. … Just having a good balance between assertive communication and passive communication and not tipping over to over passive or over-aggressive measures or what could be perceived as such.
It’s part of the action that we’ve to take to mitigate these things from happening in the future. So risk management. Reviewing incident reports, documentation, training, and notification are a part of the loop in managing an incident and circumstance such as this. I will pull up data and reports on our cloud-based system to see what Marci and Robin (Program Manager/Case Manager) have entered about this incident to assure I have covered all bases of training. Marci is awesome at assuring all is accounted for and Robin will be awesome at following up with checks and balances.
Imelda 5:30 PM
Then either my husband will start dinner or I’ll start dinner and we encourage Adam to sit down and eat with us for dinner. Most of the time he likes to have his dinner in the front yard in the rocking chair. He likes to watch people go by. He likes to count the cars to see how many people go through the stop sign. He likes to talk to the people that are going by. They know him. He’s friendly, talkative, and well known in the community. One time he had a really bad situation where he was out there and he was very upset. Our neighbors have developed a relationship with Adam and look out for his best interest as well. If they feel he is not having a great day, they will put in a call so that we know and can be supportive. It takes a community.
Are you ready for Part 3? You can read it HERE.