Thursday, January 21, 2016


In life most people have a basic need to be "wanted," desired, sought after, or loved.  It's something that drives us to build friendships, it drives up to grow loving relationships and it pushes us to family reunions year-after-year so we can have our parents and grandparents tell us how much they miss us.  We want to be wanted.  In the field of developmental disabilities there are often few rewards.  The money is not great, the benefits are few, and the hours are long, but the opportunity to be wanted and loved is always present.

I was recently working in an office as some people with disabilities left their workshop in the room next to me.  I heard one individual talking with a staff and her question was simple.  She asked, "When are you going to work in my house again?"  The staff responded that she did not know and then asked, "Do you want me to come work at your home?"  The response was immediate, "Yes."
It was a simple interaction that I intruded on by listening to the conversation.  I happened to be at an angle where I could turn in my seat and watch the staff.  What I saw was amazing.  The staff was smiling, she hugged the person, and told her that she would see what she could do about working at the young lady's home again soon.  The staff was "wanted."

Too often we forget that the unconditional love, admiration, and even friendship that we so often seek from family members and friends outside work, can be found in the hearts and minds of the people we serve.  Jesus once said that we must approach the Kingdom of Heaven and accept it with the mind of a child.  The people we serve are often noted to have IQ levels around the age of four to five year old children.  Even though they come to us in the body of a thirty-five year old, or forty year old etc, they come with the mind of a child.  They come with an unconditional love that mimics that childlike approach Jesus discussed about the Kingdom of Heaven.  They accept us with our faults, our short-comings, and often without knowing anything about our lives outside of work.  That unconditional love pushes them to a love that is "wanting".  They "want" us in their lives.  They "want" us working with them, visiting them, and spending time with them.

You will receive a lot of gifts in your lifetime.  Friends will give you birthday presents, loved ones will give you Christmas presents, and others will give you all sorts of gifts over your lifetime.  The gift of being "wanted" though is one that is expected from your family and even your friends, but it is one that is often given freely and in love from the people we serve without any strings or any expectations.  They innocently reach out to us and they honestly want us involved in their lives, and there can be no greater gift than to be wanted unconditionally.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year QIDP / QDDP Task

Well 2016, arrived and if you are like most people it got here way too fast.  You still have your books all set for 2015, all your plans are based in 2015 and for the next three months you will be scratching out your "5" to make it a "6" on everything you sign.  The good news though is there are some things as a QIDP that you can do now to ease the transition into the new year.  Some of these suggestions will apply to all QIDP/QDDP, and some will only apply to Texas QIDPs, but at least you will have a list to start out on the right foot for 2016.

The first thing you should do for 2016, is consider your annual dates.  You might as well make a calendar for the following at a minimum:

1.  Annual staffing dates
2.  Fire Drill schedule
3.  School start and stop dates (if you work with any people in school)
4.  EMR check schedules -required annually in Texas
5.  CPR renewal dates
6.  Annual medical appointment dates - hopefully your nurse will complete this part

Most of the above can easily be placed on a Google or Apple calendar.  You can then set the calendar to remind you of the event a few days or weeks in advance.

Since January 2016 is usually the start of the cold season - at least it usually is in Texas - you need to consider your annual inspections.  You need to have the heat unit inspected - especially gas units (a pre-season check).  You need to look at your fire extinguishers and see what month you should schedule their updates while reminding yourself to check the unit monthly.  You need to look at your alarm inspections -fire, and other alarms- and see when they are due.  Finally, if you use flame resistant treatment for curtains, you may need to check those dates and see if this is the year for updated treatment.

This time of the year may also be a good time to have maintenance, check your appliances, furniture, etc.  It could also be a good time for clothing inventory and updates.  There's a good chance that several people may have new clothing from Christmas so now is a good time to clean up closets (with consent naturally).

You can make a list and get most of these items scheduled for the entire year in just a few hours.  Unfortunately, a good number of us will look up at our calendars and realize it's already February long before we get our updates rolling.  Why don't you take a few minutes now to get it done?