Rushing-Spiva and her agency continue to recruit, train and certify private family homes to mentor and provide services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, despite the massive outbreak in the Los Angeles area.
LOS ANGELES, CA, March 18, 2021 /Neptune100/ — Community Options Integrated Services, Inc. (COIS) provides services and support to adults with developmental disabilities in the greater Los Angeles and Valley communities, and their commitment to the cause may have been altered by COVID-19, but has not been disrupted.
“Our work goes on, always,” Ms. Rushing-Spiva says from her Burbank, CA headquarters. “Our clients’ needs persist with or without a pandemic, and we’ve simply had to adapt our methods of communication, outreach and fulfillment to keep going.”
Ms. Rushing-Spiva has spent the past year retrofitting her recruitment and certification process for potential adult family home provider candidates to meet the demands placed on us all by limitations of lockdown, and has remained creative and consultative in her approach.
“We’ve been using social media to help recruit new family home providers, and on a granular level, open the doors to talking about the pros and cons of inviting an adult with developmental disabilities into your home, particularly during a pandemic,” says Rushing-Spiva. “Our goal is for potential home providers to go into this with eyes wide open and with no misconceptions, so our regular Thursday webinars go a long way to fostering that ongoing dialogue and easing concerns.”
Driven by COIS’ robust Facebook page, which shifted focus in the last year to the challenges of maintaining effective home care while minimizing COVID-19 risk, those Thursday seminars have become vital to the process and have encouraged a spirit of community amongst those who have already opened their homes to adults with developmental disabilities and those who are evaluating their own candidacy. “Even when COVID-19 moves to our rearview mirror, I see these webinars as absolutely essential for our mission,” offers Rushing-Spiva.
Since that day is not yet in sight for Los Angeles, Rushing continues to advise adherence to common sense principles as it pertains to minimizing infection risk, and encourages others to do the same, regardless of whether or not you are a caregiver yourself. “The CDC has refocused its communication post-election, and we continue to recommend adhering to their guidelines and recommendations and tuning out misinformation or questionable sources. Even if your city or state has relaxed local restrictions, err on the side of safety for all by adhering to at the very least CDC guidelines.”
If you are the primary caregiver for an individual in your home, it’s important that you know what you can do to protect yourself and others, and what additional steps you can take to protect your loved ones, per the CDC:
– Know when you need to seek medical attention for your loved one.
– Call a healthcare provider if your loved one exhibits symptoms.
– Be aware that older adults with COVID-19 may not always have symptoms
– Use the CDC’s Self-Checker guide to help make decisions about your loved one and know when to seek appropriate medical care.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
– Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately.
– Trouble breathing
– Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
– New confusion
– Inability to wake or stay awake
– Bluish lips or face
In this case, do as much as you can, or as much as you are allowed to, to help the person living with disabilities to follow CDC guidance.
– If you get sick, follow CDC guidance and have a backup caregiver for your loved one.
– Incorporate CDC guidance into your daily routine and the daily routine of your loved one:
– Wear masks or face coverings and make sure that others wear them.
– Do NOT place a cloth face covering on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, is incapacitated, or is unable to remove the mask without assistance.
– Wash hands often.
– Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
– Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Rushing-Spiva encourages her community to never underestimate people for their abilities to go with the flow or adapt to our “new normal” and learn new ways, sometimes with modification and specialized instruction. “The people we support are observant. Through modeling and positioning ourselves walking in other’s shoes we can assist people with special needs to integrate and navigate safely through the treacherous waters of COVID-19 and beyond,” she offers.
Community Options Integrated Services, Inc.’s next webinar is on Thursday, March 25th at 6:00pm PST. To RSVP, go to facebook.com/events/247257633731376/.
ABOUT COMMUNITY OPTIONS INTEGRATED SERVICES, INC.:
As an Adult Family Home Agency (AFHA), Community Options Integrated Solutions (COIS) recruits, trains, and certifies family homes to mentor and provide services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We have expertise and resources to create nurturing living arrangements where a person with a disability can become a fully participating family member in a private home. We work collaboratively with our certified families and our clients to put into action a person-centered plan that follows individual choice. We take pride in our value of listening and acting on how people want to live, work, play, recreate, socialize, and worship. As California’s first Family Home Agency, we’ve been serving the community for 25 years. We’re proud of what we do and our ongoing commitment to our vision, mission, and values. 25 years in business. California’s first.