Tag Archives: special needs

At Home Concerts Pt. 2

Standard
At Home Concerts Pt. 2

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl” job is as an independent provider for adults with special needs. Pre-COVID, community integration was my specialty and I was always finding exciting activities and events for my clients to participate in that they might not have had access to before.

One of my favorite haunts “back in the day” with a client who is a music lover was a vinyl record club at the library where a group of our now good friends would sit around, eat pizza, listen to music, and talk about anything and everything. It was such fun and we both miss it a lot so, naturally, at home concerts had to happen when record club was no longer an option.

At home concerts are one of my favorite activities to do with clients now because it’s fun, safe, and I love singing and dancing with my pals! If you remember my original At Home Concerts post, you will know I taught one of my friends how to use YouTube and we are still going strong on watching his favorite golden oldies artists perform.

My other client has a much different taste in music, though. He loves rap! And so do I so at home concerts with him are an absolute trip. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Cardi B and she’s one of my faves now! Every week we alternate who is going to pick the album and we spend the entire time dancing on opposite ends of the room, laughing, and talking about everything from the important to the downright silly.

Pre-COVID, at home concerts were the last thing on my mind when I could take my clients to all kinds of wonderful events where live music was played. Post-COVID, I find at home concerts to be an inspired idea and it has become my new favorite part about my job.

Exploring different genres of music, hearing songs I’ve never listened to before, and seeing my clients have fun is a high point of my day when we feel like listening to some tunes. We all consider our at home concerts to be an exciting event and it could be for you and your friends/family too!

Dress as your favorite artists, celebrate a different theme or genre, or even learn the different dances of the times so you can better groove to the music. An at home concert can turn a blah day into something really awesome – all it takes is a little creativity. 🙂

What are some of your favorite at home activities? Do you have any suggestions for what my clients and I should listen to next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Standard
Simple Popsicle Stick Halloween Craft

Hi! Lil Red may not be the craftiest gal in the bunch but, I’ll be damned if I don’t try my best with my clients when we’re creating something together. One of my pals had a plethora of Popsicle sticks so I figured we could try to do a Halloween craft with them by painting them into little ghosts. While my client opted for making names of his loved ones out of the sticks (So sweet!), I made the following for Johnny’s desk at work and something special for my crafting partner. Check it out:

7B725D25-EFA4-450A-9E3E-D7193DF4B65C337779C4-7CE4-479A-8324-C7FD763E3AB41001535E-E185-4004-BB17-7FFDCACEE5D03DE0B9F3-C89F-40DB-BC81-071119FC3978

I started my crafting palooza with something easy by painting the Popsicle sticks white and making little ghost faces with Sharpie markers once the paint was dry. Simple, yes, but they turned out so cute I decided to try my hand at a few more designs even though they were going to be much harder for my non crafty self.

I thought a Frankenstein stick would look awesome and I knew Johnny would love it so I looked up a picture of ol’ Frank and did my best. While the green paint on the stick dried, I practiced drawing his face several times on paper before I Sharpied in the final effort and, frankly (lol), I couldn’t believe how good it turned out. In fact, it ended up being Johnny’s favorite creation.

After seeing my Frankenstein, my client asked me if I could make him a Barney one. I told him I’ll see what I can do and got to work on two Barney themed Popsicle sticks. In honor of the Barney Halloween episode that he loves, I painted a stick purple with green polka dots, just like the pumpkin Barney had in the show.

The real challenge, now, was going to be making Barney’s face because I can’t draw for crap. Lol, like with Frankenstein, I looked up a picture of Barney and practiced drawing his face while the purple base paint dried. Once I was satisfied, I Sharpied in the face of the friendly purple dinosaur and I thought it turned out great. I added a green tummy and his yellow toes and my client was so happy with what I made him, which is all that matters to me.

To wrap up our crafting, I made a Jack-O-Lantern stick to complete Johnny’s spooky set. Both my client and I had a blast with our arts and crafts hour and I was so happy to come up with something that was simple but we both enjoyed so much. Oh you crafty, huh?!

Would you consider yourself crafty? What is something that you have made that you are proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Ballooning Around

Standard
Ballooning Around

Hello! As of right now, there has been a sharp increase of COVID cases in Ohio. Myself and Johnny, both of our families, and all of my clients are hunkered down more than ever and the feeling of having “nothing to do” is particularly strong. As an independent provider for people with special needs, I am constantly trying to figure out ways to keep my clients entertained from the comfort of their home. This past month, I learned that something has simple as a balloon can be a whole lot of fun.

My most senior (and high risk) client’s brother celebrated a birthday in October, so we spent a lot of time making decorations and discussing birthdays of years’ past. The piece de resistance, however, was definitely when I blew up a ton of balloons the day before and the morning of the big day. My client loved selecting which color balloons he wanted and he wrote his brother’s name on every single one.

Once we had plenty of balloons ready, I asked my client if he wanted to hit it back and forth together and he was all for it. In fact, so much so that we have played “Balloon Bounce” pretty much every day that I’ve seen him since. This has been my “sneaky” way of incorporating a more, for lack of a better words, “active” activity into my client’s routine and he has so much fun that it doesn’t even feel like a little work out.

We have dubbed ourselves the Balloon Bounce International League and we have nicknames too! While we’re hitting the balloon, we always play our favorites tunes and it brings my client back to playing volleyball in the Special Olympics. My only rule? Placing items that could get hit throughout his room elsewhere so nothing breaks!

Balloon Bounce is one of the most simple past times I think I have ever come up with and it really is a blast. All it takes it a little creativity and imagination and even the smallest activities can become a new daily favorite. Hey, I’ll take it!

How do you get creative with activities at home? How did you celebrate any recent birthdays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Deeana Creates From Pexels

Working In The Care Profession During COVID Times

Standard
Working In The Care Profession During COVID Times

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, I am an Independent Provider for people with special needs and I provide care in home and in the community. I have been an essential worker since the beginning of all of this COVID business in March and, I’ll be honest, sometimes I just want to crawl back in bed instead of go to work!

Because I work with some very high risk families, I have been essentially in my own state of lock down for the past seven months. Coffees with friends have turned into FaceTime dates and dinners out with Johnny just means Door Dashing something now. Of course, this is all A-okay, though, because I would never forgive myself if I ever brought this virus to any of my clients. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s just me doing my job.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be “going out” and Johnny has too, since we live together (Believe me, I wouldn’t want to. Just the thought of going to a bar or restaurant makes me cringe!). This has put us in very close acquaintance with our TV, Nintendo Switch, and each other literally every day, lol.

Although it can feel like a lot to be so limited to my apartment, I do still treat myself monthly to getting my nails done and it is my outing to look forward to. I know that many of those working in the care and health profession are doing everything that they can to keep their clients and patients safe and I applaud all of them because it’s not easy, that’s for sure.

I also encourage all of us who are hunkered down to participate in a “treat” to help lift your spirits. After a rough day at work or even just hearing the state of the world on the news, I never say no to a pick me up. Whether that be pampering myself with a face mask or maybe ordering something small online – it’s important for me to be in the best mood I can to continue being able to give the best care that I can to my clients every day.

I am very thankful to my clients and their families because they motivate me to be extra careful every day. I am also very thankful to everyone in the health and care profession as well as all employees right now who continue with their duties despite potentially being in harm’s way. We rock and I wish nothing but the best for all of you! ❤

How has your job been affected from COVID? How do you keep your spirits high right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

Standard
Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an independent provider for people with special needs. I have four clients who I see throughout the week and all of them bring so much joy into my life. Each of my clients has their own unique hobbies and I always like to encourage them, especially when there isn’t much else to do right now except hang out at home and perfect their crafts.

Speaking of crafts, one of my clients is very handy when it comes to making homemade jewelry and she created this cuff just for me. Check it out:

976AA58F-9C5D-4738-AAA9-E234833BB85B

Two of my clients enjoy playing music like the drums and piano and my other two love to craft. Sometimes we will make bracelets, color pictures, or make our own holiday cards. The creator of my new bracelet can often be found working on her dream journal or making jewelry for her loved ones and I was so tickled when she handed me her masterpiece the last time I was at work.

My friend is incredibly generous and she is always thinking about what she can do for others instead of herself. It’s such an admirable trait and she loves being the reason that someone smiles or their day has been “made”. I think everyone can take some notes out of her book and I am proud to have something that she put together with her little old provider in mind. ❤

What is a character trait that you admire? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Special Delivery

Standard
Special Delivery

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, I am an independent provider and work with people with special needs. The services provided through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities are considered essential and I have still been going to work Monday through Friday. Going to work has now consisted of just staying at each client’s home instead of getting them out and about in the community. And, no matter where I am, I’m still just as bored as if I was in my apartment. Lol, we all are!

I am sure many providers have said the same thing. I mean, there’s only so many movies you can watch, games you can play, and crafts you can complete until there is literally nothing left. So, my county’s board of Developmental Disabilities held a donation drive to help provide us with some new activities for our clients.

Last week, a reusable bag full of goodies was left on my parent’s porch. When I opened in up, I was so surprised to see all of the following:

843E4F12-756E-4633-B4E1-D09CC314C185

Something new is always exciting and I’m looking forward to sharing all of these treats with my clients. There seems to be something for everyone I work with in my care package and I am so thankful for such a generous and thoughtful gift. I definitely feel a new found pep in my step when it comes to going to work. Because, let’s be honest, I think everyone who is still working right now doesn’t really want to! But, I just know I’ll have some great days on the job ahead and that is a wonderful change of pace! 🙂

How are you helping your community during this crazy time? What helps keep you occupied at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah