You Eat, They Donate!

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Eat at Noodles & Co. on Kirkwood in Bloomington on Tuesday, April 23rd from 5pm to 9pm and BRING THIS COUPON BELOW with you and Noodles will donate 25% of you sale! Print it out from HERE, from our Facebook page or pick them up at our office at 200 E. Winslow Rd., Bloomington, IN. Help us out by doing something you love! Eating grrrrrrreat food at Noodles & Co.!

Help us spread the word! Go to www.facebook.com/lifedesignsinc and re-post what we have shared about this event! Invite your friends on Facebook to this event as well. The more people we can get at Noodles that night the better! Our goal is 80 people, but can you help us get more than that? We think so! Let’s see how many people we can get!

 

 

 

LIFEDesigns’ Spring Newsletter

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Spring is here and so is the LIFEDesigns Letter: Our Newsletter to the LIFEDesigns Community. We want to keep you up-to-date on what we are doing, working with people with disabilities to become more independent. Check out what we have been up to by reading our latest Newsletter.
 
In the Spring Newsletter you will find:
 
  • An article by CEO Susan Rinne about the year ahead
  • Pictures and recap from the Holiday Party
  • A recap of the Week and Art of Chocolate
  • Crawford Apartments Groundbreaking
  • Columbus Open House
  • Monthly Awards to Staff and Customers
  • Celebrating our First Anniversary
  • Disability Awareness Month
  • Dine-to-Donate Fundraisers
  • MLK Jr. Day Volunteers
  • Information about our Annual Awards Ceremony coming up
Want to read more?
 
 
Continue to keep an eye out for Newsletters in the mail and online from LIFEDesigns.
 
If you are not receiving our newsletters and would like to or are receiving them by mail and want to receive them by e-mail to help us go green and save money by cutting out printing costs and using less paper, please sign-up below. Thanks!

Homeward Bound Walk A Success!

THANK YOU to everyone who came out to join the LIFEDesigns team on Sunday, April 14th for the Homeward Bound Walk!

We had a team of over 60 people and raised over $200 for the fight against homelessness. The funds raised benefited Shalom Center, Centerstone, MCUM, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard and others. Even though LIFEDesigns was not an agency that benefited, we still showed up to support this great cause and other agencies in our community working to end homelessness. Thank you to the LIFEDesigns family for coming together to support our community! We appreciate your participation!

Homeward Bound Walk

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Here’s how to sign-up:

  • Go to http://homewardboundindiana.org/bloomington
  • Click on “Register to Walk”
  • Select “Join an Existing Team”
  • In the “Select Team” drop-down menu, choose “LIFEDesigns”
  • Continue to register and you are set to walk with the LIFEDesigns group on Sunday, April 14th at 1:00pm. Meet us at The Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park (Third Street Park). Look for Marianne Stemm, our HR Director. She is our site coordinator. Also, look for the sea of orange t-shirts with the LIFEDesigns logo on them!

Autism Awareness

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Do you really know about Autism?

We have a list of wonderful resources to help you learn about Autism and spread the word to bring awareness about individuals on the spectrum. If you have a resource that you use, but is not listed here, please post a link on our Facebook page!

Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization that provides resources on their site for free to download (here and here), including the 100 Day Kit for families who have a child recently diagnosed with autism. For still more information and resources please see their Video Glossary and FAQs and special sections on Diagnosis, Symptoms, Learn the Signs, Treatment, Your Child’s Rights, Asperger Syndrome and PDD-NOS.

The American Academy of Pediatrics joins with other child health organizations in recognizing April as Autism Awareness Month. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Pediatricians screen children for ASD, and support families whose children have this diagnosis. Here are some new resources provided by the AAP for pediatricians and families.

During April, parents, caregivers and health care providers can visit www.aap.org/autism for free samples from the toolkit and to preview chapters from the parent book. Additional information for pediatricians can be found on AAP.org, and for parents at Healthychildren.org.

The Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.  The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 88 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon visit http://www.autism-society.org/about-us/puzzle-ribbon.html. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.

An Update Letter from the CEO & Board of Directors

March 15, 2013

To customers, families, staff, donors, community members and friends of LIFEDesigns:

As many of you who are part of our community know, a tragic incident occurred with a customer of LIFEDesigns, Tammy West, who passed away January 26, 2013. The Board and staff of LIFEDesigns are extremely saddened by Tammy West’s death, and our deepest sympathies are with her family. We are writing to update you on what has taken place since we learned of Tammy’s death and to assure you that our first priority is to provide outstanding care to all our customers and families. We are taking all of the necessary steps to prevent any such events from occurring in the future.    

We immediately launched a total and complete review of all of our operations and used our findings to strengthen our care system.  LIFEDesigns has made all necessary reports to the state, checked all of our services and customers, and will continue to look for opportunities to improve in all aspects of our services.  The following are specific examples of changes we have made:

 Documentation:

  • Document updates and oversight: All documentation is up to date and has been verified.  We have visited every setting we support across our systems to make sure that documentation is in place and is current and that individual support and high risk plans are being implemented as written.
  • Electronic customer records: We currently use an electronic customer record, but will be moving as quickly as we can to a new web-based system.  This will enable us to give all staff greater access to the most current information about a customer. 
  • Increased access to electronic records: We are establishing new computer kiosks in customer settings that can be updated electronically from anywhere, again to ensure ready access to updated information.

 Supervisory oversight:

  • Nurse visits: We have arranged for nursing services to visit individuals in Host Families, like the one Tammy was in, and other Supported Living services with risk plans that indicate a health issue that should be monitored and who do not have home health services.  Those visits will occur monthly on an ongoing basis.
  • Quality Assurance: Our quality assurance program now includes cross monitoring (people from different service areas observing and completing checklists on requirements) and random record checks.  These checks are done monthly and cover medical, financial, programmatic and health and safety issues.  Problems found will be dealt with through training and discipline, where necessary.
  • Structural changes: In some supported living settings, we are instituting an additional onsite supervisor to oversee in-house documentation, finances, medical appointments, environmental review, and team meetings.  The position will provide direct service and have an allocation of administrative time for the above tasks.  We evaluated and redistributed supervisor caseloads to be sure they were equalized and provided for maximum direct customer contact.
  • Compliance review: The Bureau of Quality Improvement Services, a part of Family and Social Services Administration, has reviewed all of our Host Family Settings. We have developed an action plan with them which they have approved.  They should be back to monitor our compliance with the plan in the next 30 days.
  • Other external investigation: We have scheduled an audit of all programs and services in April by trained CARF surveyors.  The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is an international accrediting body that certifies compliance with their standards.  Indiana requires CARF certification for employment, community habilitation and community living services. Our surveyors, Julia Dotson of Bloomington and Debra Capuano of Xenia, Ohio will also be evaluating supported living, group living, employment, host families, and respite services.  This will enable us to have another set of eyes evaluate all our services not just the ones the state requires us to survey. 

Training:

  • Supervisor and DSP training: We have improved our supervisor training to ensure a more thorough review of all state and federal regulations and required documentation.  All current supervisors have completed this training and there will then be a required annual renewal for all supervisory staff.  All supervisory staff have received increased training by our nursing staff on recognizing potential signs of medical issues.  Currently we have a two week training for direct service staff and have augmented that with information provided by the nurses.

LIFEDesigns is committed to our customers and quality of their services and over the past 30 years has done much good for our communities and customers.   We currently serve 400 individuals and families in south-central Indiana; were one of the first providers of supported living in the state and now support 200 people in that program; secured $6 million in grants to provide affordable, accessible housing; achieved three-year CARF accreditation in every year surveyed since the initial survey in 2000; provide thousands of hours of respite services to families with the support of our communities; and helped 175 people with disabilities get jobs in local businesses.  We hope that in the wake of this tragedy the positive impact our organization has on the lives of many individuals with disabilities in our communities over the years is not forgotten. 

We are always looking for ways to improve, so we want your feedback.  You can contact Susan Rinne, CEO (srinne@lifedesignsinc.org or 812-322-5197) at any time should you have any concerns, questions or suggestions on what we can do to improve.  In the near future we will be implementing a suggestion line for staff, customers and families and we will announce the number in future communication.  Additionally, we would ask customers give us their feedback by completing our annual survey and can do so by clicking the link on our website www.lifedesignsinc.org

Thank you for your continued support during this difficult time. Please be assured that LIFEDesigns takes this incident with the utmost seriousness. We will continue to be vigilant in reviewing our care for all of our customers and promoting independence and inclusion. We will do what needs to be done to protect the individuals we support and to provide them with the best services. 

Sincerely,

LIFEDesigns’ Board of Directors & CEO