January Newsletter - Journaling
Thank you again to all for your continued support on keeping everyone safe and doing your part not to spread the virus!!!
Covid-19 as we know is back on the rise. Maximum Care is here for our workers and clients. If there is any need for PPE (supplies such as gloves, mask, hand sanitizers, thermometers and more) do not hesitate to call into the office. Our goal is to keep everyone as safe as possible.
All direct care worker is mandated to wear mask and shields while servicing clients.
If you need PPE please do not hesitate to contact the office.
Continue to use social distance (6ft), from clients when possible, and the public.
Increase sanitation methods.
Monitor yourself and client. Keep an I eye on family members that come in contact with client and yourself. It does affect the client, as it can affect you.
Clients must wear mask. If they are in need of mask call the office and we will send it to them or you may pick up mask for clients.
DO NOT DROP YOUR GUARD!!!!!
Any question regarding Vaccination go under Staff and Client Resources
Journaling for You!!!
When you were a teenager, you might have kept a diary hidden under your mattress. It was a place to confess your struggles and fears without judgment or punishment. It likely felt good to get all of those thoughts and feelings out of your head and down on paper. The world seemed clearer.
You may have stopped using a diary once you reached adulthood. But the concept and its benefits still apply. Now it’s called journaling. It's simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal is a great idea.
Journaling can help you are:
Cope with Depression
Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by:
Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns
Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them
Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors
When you have a problem and you're stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing that stress or anxiety. Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and reduce your stress.
How to journal
Try these tips to help you get started with journaling:
Try to write every day. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. This will help you to write in your journal regularly.
Make it easy. Keep a pen and paper handy at all times. Then when you want to write down your thoughts, you can. You can also keep a journal in a computer file.
Write whatever feels right. Your journal doesn't need to follow any certain structure. It's your own private place to discuss whatever you want. Let the words flow freely. Don't worry about spelling mistakes or what other people might think.
Use your journal as you see fit. You don't have to share your journal with anyone. If you do want to share some of your thoughts with trusted friends and loved ones, you could show them parts of your journal.
Keeping a journal helps you create order when your world feels like it’s in chaos. You get to know yourself by revealing your most private fears, thoughts, and feelings. Look at your writing time as personal relaxation time. It's a time when you can de-stress and wind down. Write in a place that's relaxing and soothing, maybe with a cup of tea. Look forward to your journaling time. And know that you're doing something good for your mind and body.
You don’t have to write first thing in the morning or at the end of the night.
The only way that’s right is whatever works best for you. Writing in the morning lets you plan out your day, reflect on how you’ll deal with any anticipated challenges or even jot down whatever you’re grateful for. Evenings, for their part, are great for reflecting back on your day, what you’d do differently and what’s on your to-do list for tomorrow. The time is day is best when it works for you.
Make your journal personal and messy.
Does the thought of writing in a spiralbound notebook bring back memories of dull work meetings that should have been emails? Or maybe a beautiful notebook seems like a shame to fill with your illegible cursive?
Your journal should feel like it’s yours and it should fit your personality. Maybe that’s a leather-bound notebook that you can whip out comfortably on a business flight. Or maybe that’s a worn cloth-bound notebook filled with painted daisies. Your journal should make you look forward to writing.
If you’re cracking open a new notebook and looking for an ice breaker, then fill that first, intimidating blank page with a favorite song lyric or inspirational quote.
And don’t obsess about your handwriting. You’re probably out of practice and it will look messy in the beginning. Handwriting gets better – and more legible – with practice and plenty of patience.
Make some messy doodles or scrawl some quotes into the margins to further break that ice and smash those high expectations. Your journal is your tool – not an Instagram flatly waiting to happen.
So, let your thoughts flow freely.
Make journaling a pleasure.
Journaling should be a pleasure and a treat – not a chore you knock off your daily list.
Invest in a fountain pen to make your writing flow like silk. Dab on some perfume before you start writing. Brew your favorite herbal tea infusion and settle back in a comfortable corner or turn on your favorite playlist.
You’ll begin to associate these little indulgences with journaling and they’ll make your writing time a real pleasure.
But don’t overthink it. Expecting the journaling process to be impossibly hygge will only disappoint when reality hits.
Analyze what isn’t working.
What do you hope to get from journaling? Do you want to manage your anger? Become a better sales manager? Get inspired for your child’s next birthday party?
Identify your goals and then look back at your journal to evaluate if you achieved what you wanted. Or try journaling about your journaling. Do you feel bored and dread that 15 minutes of writing, or do you look forward to it?
Be mindful of your emotions and how journaling is making you feel. Do you feel energized at the end of a journaling session, or just relief that it’s over?
Journaling is wonderful therapy but it’s difficult to write honestly unless your journal is absolutely private.
When you write in hope (or fear) that others will read your words, it becomes harder to write truthfully and express your real emotions. You won’t write for self-awareness but to impress others or to prove a point.
Don’t wallow or self-blame.
Journaling can be anything from a fun hobby to a form of meaningful therapy. But you won’t get much benefit if you only wallow in problems or constantly blame yourself.
It’s great to release those pent-up emotions in a journal and it’s helpful to have a rant. But eventually you’ll want to brainstorm about solutions or jot down some things you’re grateful for.
You don’t have to keep a paper journal.
The usual advice is to write on paper because writing in cursive forces you to slow down and relieves stress. And though I still love writing a rough draft for a story on paper, I sometimes get on my laptop for everyday journaling.
The speed and ease of the keyboard sometimes works better. I type faster, I feel more productive and I’m less likely to censor myself and more likely to write stream of consciousness. Because it’s not much effort to type something out versus getting hand cramps from paper journaling.
The trick is to be self-aware. Try a few ways of keeping a journal and observe how it makes you feel. Do you obsess over your handwriting when you’re writing in a paper journal? Try downloading an app for gratitude journaling that will give you daily prompts you can simply type in. Are you more of a visual person who struggles with words? Start an art journal and express your emotions with daily sketches and doodles that incorporate some writing.
Take your journal a step Further!
You can make it crafty. An example can be, that you went to a concert and the feeling that you were able to write down was inspirational, soul moving. After you write down everything your senses experienced, glue the tickets to it. Buy stickers to express your thoughts or feelings behind it. Draw inspirational thoughts.
One day I was writing how I want to start a nonprofit organization and what I wanted my goal to be, what I wanted to deliver to others. Just like that the name for the nonprofit organization came to me, ideas started to overflow.
Do not limit yourself on what your journal can do for you!!!
Brain Boosting Benefits of Journaling for Seniors
As many people age, they notice that their cognitive abilities start to decline. This often happens because certain areas of the brain shrink as you get older. Decreased blood flow and inflammation could also affect your ability to recall the names, places, solve problems, multi-task and pay attention.
Luckily, there are things they can do to stall the decline of their cognitive abilities. One of the easiest things you can do is to start writing in a journal every day, or at least as often as possible.
If something as simple as journaling sounds like it can’t benefit them or you, take a few minutes to learn about how expressive writing has helped others at their age.
It can Improve Their Problem-Solving Abilities
Journaling gives their brain a good workout that will help them retain their problem-solving abilities. Consider all the things that happen in their brain when you write about your day.
Different areas of their brain have to:
Think of ways to describe events.
Draw connections to other events and people in their life.
Concentrate on a single task for several minutes.
Recall words that they may not use often.
Control their hands and fingers so they can write legibly.
When several parts of your brain work together, you get to maintain the neural connections that help them solve problems and multi-task.
Just like exercising will make the body stronger, writing can make the brain function better. If they’re worried about losing their problem-solving abilities, journaling could be the right hobby for them. Writing may not sound difficult, but it’s an excellent workout for gray matter.
It can Avoid or Recover From Mental Health Issues
Journaling gives you an opportunity to express your innermost thoughts and feelings.
Researchers find that the catharsis many seniors get from journaling can help them avoid or recover from mental health issues, including:
When you take a few minutes to write about how you feel, you may discover that you have successfully lifted a burden. The act of writing also gives you an opportunity to articulate feelings you may not understand well. After writing in their journal, they may find that there is a connection between an event and their anxiety.
They can use these insights to understand themselves better and make changes that will benefit their life. Without a journal, though, they may have never made the right connections.
Gain a Better Perspective on Life Events
It’s easy for people to think that they’re the center of the universe. It happens to everyone, especially when they feel emotional.
Journaling creates an opportunity for you to gain a better perspective on your life’s events. As you start to write about an upsetting event, you may start to think about how other people felt or why they behaved in certain ways. Perhaps their friend didn’t snub them in the hallway. She did look a little pale, so maybe she wasn’t feeling well.
Writing takes you out of your head so you can see events from multiple perspectives, in particular, those perspectives they likely wouldn’t consider while talking to themselves.
Improve Their Emotional State
Journaling is a great way to improve their emotional states through neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Don’t let the technical term scare you away. NLP is just a process of changing negative emotions into positive emotions.
The process only takes three steps:
Have them identify how they feel, and write it down. For instance, they may write “I feel lonely today.”
They should ask themselves how they’d prefer to feel, and write it down. For instance, they could write “I want to feel confident” in their journal.
They should ask themselves how they feel when they experience their preferred emotion. In this case, they would write about how they feel when they’re confident. They should use as much detail as possible to describe they’re mental and physical state when they feel confident. Perhaps they walk differently or they talk more. Use this step as an opportunity to explore a feeling deeply.
After they finish this exercise, they should find that they feel more confident than they did before. Of course, they can apply this to any emotions. No matter what they choose, writing about their preferred emotional state will push you closer to that state.
The human brain ages just like the body. As long as you exercise your brain, you can keep it in good shape. Journaling is just one of the many ways you can exercise your brain. Yet for many people, journaling quickly becomes the most relaxing, insightful way to spend time while boosting brain power!
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Get involved, have a voice!
Help us come up with creative things to do with our elderly! What do you do for your clients?
We would like the caregivers to take 20 min of their shift if possible, to do creative things with their clients. We are the first and maybe the last person our clients see in the day or even week. Loneliness is a big part of their lives. Let’s take some time to show them that we are not just personal care or home care but show them that they are not alone and we really do care.
Creative Based Incentive Contest:
1. Come up with a creative and fun activity to do with your client
2. Call, text or email Yenica with the activity (610-264-2353, 484-781-4603, or firstname.lastname@example.org)
3. The office staff will vote
4. Winner will receive a gift card
Refer a caregiver to Maximum Care Inc.:
You will receive $50 after 100 hrs worked. (At least within 2 months).
The Pa Dept of Health has recommended that if anyone travels you quarantine. Due to the daily changes from CDC and Pa Dept. Of Health, call into Maximum Care for instructions in regards to your travel plans and the impact that it may have.
Maximum Care Inc is following the recommendations at this time. If any changes come up, we will be posting our training/communications in website Maximumcare.online. It is your responsibility to make staffing aware if there is any client’s that will need to be covered while you are out either in quarantine or vacation.
Follow the following steps to request anytime of:
Give us as much notice as possible.
Either request “The time off request form” or your letter for time off should include the following: Name of Cl, day of service and time. State where you will be going and for how long.
Email or mail the requested time off. Take note that we must put everything in the new system, even if time passes, we need everything in writing.
If is due to quarantine call the office immediately and inform the office of why you will be in quarantine and how long will you be in quarantine.
At this time due to the use of the EVV system we understand that documenting is difficult. Call the agency with any concerns you may have that you would like it to be documented. Especially if a client is refusing personal care or assistance of any kind. Call the agency if you need guidance with a client or have any question on the care that you are providing or feel that needs to be provided.
Maximum Care has also developed a form that is recommended to DCW to fill out when taking any kind of payment for items from clients. Call and request the form to be mailed to you or come into the office to get the form.
Maximum Care Inc is under state regulations to follow strict guidelines to pay DCW and to bill for all visits.
Maximum Care’s Inc responsibilities are to make sure that everyone is using EVV properly, pay all DCW properly, and to bill for the proper authorized hours allotted to the participant. We also supervise all clock in & clock out within the range and schedule time.
The system alerts Maximum Care if you clock in or out when you are not within GPS range. Example: you cannot clock in from the LV Mall when you are supposed to be in the client’s home. It will alert us and show us an address and map of your location when you clock in or out. If you are out of range this may cause delay of payment. If for any reason you need to clock in or out of range due to participant, you must call the agency and make us aware. For example: If participants have therapy, Dr appointments, dropping them of or picking up from a program, etc. Call Maximum Care for special instructions to ensure contractual permission.
It is your responsibility to inform the office, it is not Maximum Care Inc responsibility to call and confirm the “Why’s”. Maximum Care can reject the visit until further investigation is done which will delay your payment.
Make sure you communicate with the Staffing Department of any changes that need to be made to your schedule, availability, address, email, phone number, etc. It is important to keep all parties informed and the lines of communication remain open.
EVV system must be used to make sure that there is no interruptions, delays, or problem with direct deposit. In the future your pay will not be able to be processed if you are not using the system.
If your schedule changes for any reason it is your responsibility to call it in. This way we can fix any discrepancy to your schedule without any delays to your pay.
We have implemented new steps when the app fails to work properly. We will be sending the new policy out in the next couple of weeks. It will be your responsibility to read and adhere to the new policy. If you having any problems on understanding the new policy call Yenica “Jen” to review.
Make sure that you are putting the duties being performed at the end of every shift. Including when calling from client’s home. If you need instructions on how and a duties list please contact the agency and ask for Yenica. It can be mailed, emailed or text to you.
If you fail to put in the duties performed it can affect your payments.
If you are having any problems with the system call and report it to Yenica “Jen” Buskirk.
Read the Fire Safety Training Monthly Newsletter to develop safety at the forefront of client/employee daily activities.
Keep an eye open for the Direct Care Worker (DCW) Safety Implementation Form. The form is mailed out to the DCW to give us an honest assessment of the clients they service. Remember you are our eyes and ears; with your assistance we can continue to keep everyone safe.
Make sure that your employment file is within compliance to continue employment with Maximum Care. Compliance is no longer waived with all the contracts. Example of things that must be up to date are: all car information, CNA license, annual TB, annual physical. If any concerns or questions re: your file please contact Yenica “Jen” Buskirk at 610-264-2353 or email@example.com.