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Archive for 2020

Tips For Dealing With Burnout During A Pandemic

Dealing with burnout during a pandemic can be hard on caregivers, individuals and their family members. Isolation, fatigue, fear and stress can all contribute to that burnout. Many are feeling lonely with communities requiring self-distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and are not sure how to deal with the constant mental exhaustion. Here are some suggestions to help coping with burnout during a pandemic. 

Take Mental Breaks 

Working from home, being home more often and having more duties because employment hours have changed can exhaust people. An easy way to get a little relief is to take mental breaks. Caregivers can turn on music that individuals love since music has been proven to help relieve stress. Some apps and websites play the sounds of rain, the ocean or a fireplace that might calm you down. 

Does the individual you assist enjoy word or mind puzzles? A word search or a game of chess can take their mind off of things. Even just sitting outside to look at the clouds can be an activity for individuals and their caregivers to take a mental break. 

Have A Support System

Everyone is feeling isolated from their friends and family. An excellent way to beat that isolation is to schedule a special date and time for everyone to gather together online. It might be on Zoom conference or a group text. A fun way to make it memorable is to plan similar appetizers or have a meal together online to make you feel closer. 

You can also write cards to people you know. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion or a holiday. Getting something happy in a mailbox makes everyone feel good. You don’t have to write a long letter. Just letting people know you’re thinking about them and miss them can make a difference. 

If you feel there isn’t anyone in your circle to connect with, you can write letters to the elderly through LoveYourElders.org. The non-profit’s goal is to help bring joy to the elderly through letters. These days, it’s even more important since many older adults stay home to stay healthy and might be isolated from others. 

Provide Self-Care 

Caregivers will often give their all to the individuals they assist. During a pandemic, providing mental and physical support can take a toll on Direct Support Professionals and the individual’s family members. Anyone who is providing care to others must remember to give themselves self-care. That could be getting a manicure, taking a long bath, stopping for your favorite holiday coffee, sleeping in on your day off or anything that you enjoy doing and will help you decompress. Self-care can bring balance to your life, which translates positively when you’re supporting others. 

Get Enough Sleep 

Sometimes if you’re under a lot of stress, it can affect your sleep pattern. You might notice that you’re having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or are staying up later than usual. Ensuring you get the proper amount of sleep for your body helps with your physical and mental help. It also can be a safety issue if you’re working while have sleep deprivation. Some tips to help with better sleep: 

  • Turn off your computers, tablets and phones at least an hour before going to bed. The blue light that comes off of them can make it harder to sleep. 
  • Try to go to bed and wake up around the same times every day, even on days off. 
  • Take a warm bath or shower before you go to bed. It can help relax your body and help you get to sleep. 

Eat Well & Exercise 

Eating well and making sure to get some exercise will help caregivers and individuals deal with burnout. Eating a well-balanced meal that includes a variety of vegetables and whole grains will help your body deal with the stresses of the day. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a few treats, as long as it’s in moderation. Try to get some exercise in too. The movement doesn’t have to be strenuous. Dancing in your living room, taking a short walk every day around your block, joining Silver Sneakers or doing stretch exercises will help. With many gyms or community centers closed, look online for exercise programs you can follow.  

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help 

The most important thing for caregivers and their individuals to remember is not to be afraid to ask for help if they need it. Speaking with physicians, medical advocates, mental health professionals or even letting someone close to you know you’re struggling might help. 

Life during a pandemic is stressful. But using tips for dealing with burnout during a pandemic will help caregivers and individuals make it through. Casmir Care Services encourages caregivers and individuals not to let their guard down, even while practicing these tips. Remember to wear a mask, social distance 6′ between others and wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water. 

Casmir Care Services is here for their Direct Support Professionals, the individuals they work with and their families. If you have any questions or need assistance from Casmir Care Services during this difficult time, visit our Contact Us page to send us a message on how we can help. 

Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

September 13-19, 2020, is Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week! It’s a time to celebrate and acknowledge Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who assist, support, and care for individuals who require help in their daily lives. 

proclamation was issued by Governor Wolf to recognize and appreciate the dedication and contributions DSPs make in the lives of the elderly, veterans, and those with intellectual, developmental, or other disabilities.

Mark Davis, President and CEO of PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability) states, “This year’s proclamation is particularly important as DSPs have made sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the individuals they support healthy, happy, and safe.” Davis continued, Some DSPs have lost their lives or lost loved ones during the pandemic. DSPs have stepped up to the plate in a major way in Pennsylvania and we thank Governor Wolf for taking this step to honor them.”

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous support of our Direct Support Professionals. We are very grateful to have them as part of the Casmir Care Services family!

Casmir Caregiver Shines During COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 2)


“The thing I worried about most was when the individuals would have to visit their families,” she said. 

Once Philadelphia started opening up, the individuals could visit their families for brief periods. Daisy considered this a challenge because she was concerned that they would not adhere to the cleaning routines that she had incorporated into most of the activities she had prepared for them.

Daisy did their laundry twice a day, took their temperatures, and ensured they had their masks on when it was time to go outdoors. She taught them handwashing games, and they spent a lot of time at the kitchen sink washing dishes even though they were already clean.  She did all this to reinforce their habits and show them how important it was to clean certain things thoroughly to guard against the virus.

After their time at home, Daisy and the staff had to reinstate what they had taught the individuals.  Daisy hoped that while they were away, they were adhering to what she had taught them.  “So when they came back, we had to pay extra attention to sniffles or runny eyes and noses, and we had to keep them partially separated if they had roommates,” she stated. For Casmir caregivers, it has been a matter of staying vigilant. Thankfully, there have been no relapses, and no one has become sick again. All the individuals are doing well.

Daisy openly shares her experience with COVID-19 because she wants to give a clear picture of how this disease affects both individuals and medical professionals. While in the hospital, Daisy felt that the diagnostic process started slowly. “The nurses and doctors would constantly ask me, ‘Do you have symptoms?’ and I would look at them with a blank stare sometimes because I had already said that I could barely walk and that I had difficulty breathing,” she explained.  However, Daisy quickly realized that she needed to keep her composure because the situation was also new to them. The doctors and nurses were dealing with the virus on a day-to-day basis, just like Casmir Care was.  They were learning something new almost daily, as was the rest of the world.  Their repeated questions about her symptoms allowed medical professionals to update the information that they already had about COVID-19. “I can attest that it [COVID-19] is bad,” she stressed.

“While I was on the medication they had prescribed me, I would go to the doctor every week for check-ups.  Almost every time my medication would have to be changed or adjusted because my pre-existing thyroid condition was an issue,” she said.  

Another reason to consider Daisy a hero is because of the way she pushed through without being able to see her family. She was also alone while recovering. “My children all live in Virginia, and I haven’t seen them since the lockdown,” she revealed. Being away from her daughters and grandchildren would sometimes take a toll on her, but taking care of her individuals at Casmir Care makes her feel less lonely. “I go to work a lot because I don’t want to be home alone and think of how badly I want to see my grandchildren,” she said.  Daisy’s 8-year-old grandson’s TikTok videos put a smile on her face when she comes home from work. She says it’s all she will watch. It brings tears to her eyes when he mentions her name in those videos.

As tough as it has been to be away from her family, Daisy is doing what she loves as a caregiver with Casmir Care Services. “I am truly happy with what I am doing,” she exclaims. “The management, the employees, and the individuals have always welcomed me with open arms.”

Daisy may not see an individual because she is working at a different house. “The individuals make me feel special. I might not see some of them for a while,” she says. “But when that individual sees me, they still know who I am, and that is the best feeling! It’s like you’ve grown inside of them, and they’ve grown inside of you. Their smiles make you want to be at work all the time!”

Office Manager/Front desk Receptionist

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following

  • Managing the reception area to ensure effective telephone and mail communications both internally and externally.
  • Maintaining professional image of the agency and themselves at all time.
  • Receiving visitors at the front desk by greeting, welcoming, directing and announcing them appropriately.
  • Directing visitors by maintaining employee and department directories; giving instructions.
  • Scheduling meetings and appointments within the office.
  • Organizing the office layout and ordering stationery and equipment.
  • Maintaining the overall office condition thereby ensuring cleanliness at all times as well as making necessary arrangements for needed repairs/maintenance.
  • Liaising with HR to update and maintain office policies as necessary.
  • Ensuring that all items/services provided are invoiced and paid on time.
  • Provision of general support to visitors.
  • Addressing employees queries regarding office management issues.  
  • Liaising with facility management vendors, including cleaning, catering and security services
  • Receiving, sorting and distribution of  daily mail/deliveries
  • Performing other clerical receptionist duties such as filing, photocopying, transcribing and faxing.
  • Answering, screening and forwarding incoming phone calls.
  • Ensuring reception area is tidy and presentable, with all necessary stationery and material (e.g. pens, forms and brochures)
  • Providing basic and accurate information in-person and via phone/email
  • Maintaining security by following procedures; monitoring logbook; issuing visitor badges.
  • Maintaining technical knowledge of one’s position to promote growth within the company
  • Planning in-house or off-site activities, like parties, celebrations and conferences.
  • Receiving and logging in payroll timesheets as well as onward delivery to the appropriate department. 
  • Liaising with support coordination agencies, the county and State departments to ensure efficient communication as well as mutually beneficial relationship with the agency. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 



  • Minimum education requirement of high school diploma.
  • Knowledge of office management responsibilities, systems and procedures
  • Attention to detail and problem solving skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Reliability 
  • Professional 
  • Stress tolerance 
  • Pleasant personality 
  • Patience 

Job Type: Full-time

Job seekers are encouraged to apply here: https://casmircares.com/apply-online/

Top Reasons For Being A Direct Support Professional with Casmir Care Services

direct support professional

Working as a Direct Support Professional is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever have. Here at Casmir Care Services, we work with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities within Pennsylvania. Working daily with individuals and their families brings our team delight because we want to make their lives a little more comfortable and enjoyable. While there are many reasons this work is rewarding, here are the top five reasons why being a caregiver is so important to us:

Providing Help to Individuals and Their Families

Working with individuals is one of the most significant benefits of home care assistance. Their joy and energy help give our days purpose. While the individuals might have disabilities, that doesn’t stop them from enjoying life. Our Direct Support Professionals help them lead their lives the way the individual wants. We’re here to help with any of their needs and provide companionship and a shoulder to lean on. 

Assisting family members is just as important to us. In addition to providing all-day care for individuals, we also offer family members a break to run errands or the chance to rejuvenate themselves. Providing this option is an integral part of self-care. We’re proud that we can offer these breaks to take care of whatever needs will support their family members. 

One-on-One Interactions 

Our Direct Support Professionals’ one-on-one interactions with individuals are memorable. We are privileged to learn about their lives. Because we have continual interaction with the individuals, we can know more about what they enjoy doing.

One-on-one interactions with individuals and their families are not only beneficial for us but also them. They understand that we know the highs and lows of their lives, and we can adjust our routine for the day as needed. Having different caregivers every day doesn’t give the individuals the personal attention they expect. Having a steady Direct Support Professional is essential, not only for them but also for their daily household and medical needs. The needs of the individuals is the #1 reason we’re here.


Something New Every Day 

Every day is a new day at Casmir Care Services! There are lots of jobs out there that are repetitive or can get boring very quickly. Not with us. We encourage our Direct Support Professionals to learn new skills and spend time with the individuals to understand them better. 

We also know that individuals’ needs can change from day-to-day. Being able to adjust to those situations and knowing what will make the individual the most comfortable makes us proud. No one would ever call working with us boring!  

Providing Options 

Giving individuals the option to be in their own living space is very important to us. Having that familiarity of home can make many individuals comfortable, help give them independence, help with medication administration, accompanying on trips to the doctor, and allow them to integrate into their community through vocational training and finding a job. 

Casmir Care Services can also provide, in some cases, non-medical transportation, behavioral support, and many other services. Having those options is vital. Ensuring that comfort levels are acceptable while providing medical and other care is our goal. We want individuals and their families to be happy.

It’s A Calling 

Being a Direct Support Professional involves many emotions and the ability to determine when control of a situation is necessary. That ability to juggle balls while being respectful of individuals is why we consider it a calling. It takes an extraordinary person to work as a caregiver. While Casmir Cares Services is always here to support, we know how important being sensitive yet in control is for both the Direct Support Professional and the individual’s health and safety. We love what we do and are always looking to hire those who can provide various skills.

Being a caregiver is not for everyone. We’re looking for Direct Support Professionals who will provide individuals and their family members with respect while building a good working relationship. The calling of helping others with their medical and other needs is special. We love our Direct Support Professionals and understand how critical they are to help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Work with Us

These are just a few reasons why we love what we do at Casmir Cares Services. Interested in learning more about our Direct Support Professionals position? Ready to join the team? Visit our Careers page to learn about open positions. Or email us at support@casmircares.com for more information. 


Practical Tips to Reduce the Effects of Stress

Have you been feeling stressed because of the disruption in routine, schedule, and environment that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused?
Stress can be harmful to your health, but there are ways to manage it. Here are some practical tips to reduce the effects of stress:
Be aware.
Recognize the signs of stress on your body: difficulty sleeping, irritability, feeling depressed, and having low energy.
Exercise regularly.
Regular activity releases endorphins, can improve concentration, and enhance sleep, which can often be negatively affected by stress.
Stop and smell the flowers.
Scientists have discovered that inhaling certain fragrances can reduce stress levels.
Take a deep breath.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
Stay connected.
You are not alone. Keep in touch with people who can provide emotional support and practical help.

Casmir Caregiver Shines During COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 1)


For over nine years, Daisy Williams has been a valued Casmir Care Services caregiver.  Although she has had several challenges as a caregiver throughout the years, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a few more. But Daisy passed with flying colors.

Daisy is a Direct Support Professional at Casmir Care.  She tends to the intellectually disabled individuals. During Philadelphia’s lockdown, she was on the frontline caring for the individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and were symptomatic.  Because of the pandemic, Daisy and the staff had to work very long hours. Casmir was understaffed and was struggling with hiring at that time.

“I’m doing well now,” she stated. “In the beginning, it was quite a struggle, but it’s become a lot easier now.”

Being short on staff and having to care for her individuals under a nationwide lockdown wasn’t something Daisy expected. To make it less challenging for all the individuals, she looked for creative ways to keep everyone engaged.  Some of the individuals she cared for enjoyed being outside and interacting with people, while some of them preferred staying indoors with less interaction.   For the individuals who liked to go out, Daisy brought in pots with dirt to simulate being outdoors.  There were puzzles, games, and other activities for those who preferred being indoors.  Some activities turned out to be less than ideal, however.  For instance, painting became an art form in itself as some individuals thought the paint was edible and tried to eat it because of the pretty colors.

“I was on the forefront with individuals when they fell ill to COVID because I am the one who monitors or lets newer staff shadow me so they can learn how to care for the individuals,” she explained. “I would be there to make sure they knew how to calm the individuals if they were agitated or about to go into difficult behavior.” So when some individuals tested positive for COVID and became symptomatic, Daisy expected their behaviors to get worse. However, that was not the case.

“The symptoms didn’t affect their behavior,” she explained. “They became lethargic and slept most of the time. However, once they came out of it, they couldn’t understand what they had been through.”  The staff was able to tell that they were returning to normal because their behaviors began to intensify.

When told that Casmir considered her a COVID-19 hero, Daisy quickly demurred.  She didn’t feel as though she deserved it. “I feel the heroes were the ones who took amazing care of me when I fell ill,” she said.  

By falling ill, she meant that she too had contracted COVID-19 in May. Because she had a pre-existing condition and was hands-on with very sick individuals who had the virus, it was only a matter of time before she became infected. After spending four days in the hospital, and self-isolating for fourteen more, Daisy could return to work.  Since then, Daisy has tested negative for the virus, but she still stays vigilant about her health and keeps a close eye on her individuals.

“I recuperated quickly. I came out of the hospital and had to quarantine for fourteen more days,” she said.  “I kept a list of all the symptoms and changes that my body went through, so I would be capable of knowing whether I would need to go into quarantine again should the symptoms reappear.”

Keeping the list helped Daisy to know if the individuals were exhibiting any COVID symptoms or if they were in danger of relapsing. “I can differentiate between what sounds like COVID-breath or if they are out of breath because of overexertion,” she said. If they have any of the symptoms, she will have them tested, and if they are positive, she will quarantine them as quickly as possible, before they can infect the other individuals.

With the knowledge she possesses as an experienced Casmir Caregiver and as someone who has beat COVID-19, Daisy has become someone whom the rest of the staff can go to with confidence and ask for her advice.

However, knowing what symptoms to look for in her individuals didn’t make Daisy any less nervous…

Celebrate Halloween Safely

Happy Autumn!

Halloween is right around the corner.  Halloween traditions will look different this year to keep everyone safe during the COV​ID-19 pandemic, but families can still have fun while avoiding exposure to or spreading the virus.

The CDC offers the following safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween: 

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Visit these websites to learn more about safely celebrating this Halloween:
The Autism Community In Action
American Autism Association
10 alternatives to turn a tricky Halloween into a treat for your child with autism
Autism and Sensory Friendly Virtual Halloween Party

Prepare Before An Emergency Occurs

As the caregiver of an adult with intellectual or developmental disabilities, you may face extra obstacles that make reacting to emergencies a challenge. It’s crucial to plan for your regular needs and know what you would do if they become limited or unavailable. 

You can maximize your peace of mind if you have a plan in place. Visit these websites for more information about how to prepare before an emergency occurs.

PA Emergency Preparedness Guide
Disaster Preparedness for Peoples with Disabilities  

A New Way of Seeing a Family Member with IDD

When parents or families helped a family member with IDD connect to larger social networks beyond the family, some were surprised to discover that others were open to being asked for support. When one son wanted to know his father’s friends, the dad asked his friends and was surprised by the positive responses. One friend said he was “humbled and honored” that the father had asked him to support his son. 

When asked, another potential friend of an individual with IDD said that she would love to spend time with her. Often parents do not realize that their child could have friends in their lives that are neither family members nor peers with disabilities. Or they may not realize what gifts their family member has to share with the world.

It’s not their fault. It’s quite possible that family members spend so much time trying to find services that meet an individual with IDD where he or she is that they tend to focus on gaps that need filling. As a result, they never realize that someone they see as operating at a disadvantage may actually have something special to offer the world.

It may be something as simple, but rare these days, as a sense of exuberance, joy, or wonder. Perhaps it’s a strong sense of responsibility. Or an interest in teaching others about a favorite topic. An insatiable curiosity. Or a funny fresh way of looking at the world.

 All too often, individuals with developmental disabilities are kept separate from the rest of society. In the old days, they were kept in institutions. These days, although we know that social connections can benefit all people and we encourage people to expand beyond their comfort zones, it can be hard to get individuals with disabilities involved with broader social circles or communities.

 Getting involved with other people can mean more than just physically sharing space with others. It’s about connecting with others. And it can involve how we play and  share our interests. Relationship building is an important building block. We know that when people with IDD participate in faith communities, sports, their neighborhoods, and community organizations, they can increase their quality of life and sense of well-being.


If you work with or have IDD family members, you know that it can be hard to cultivate a social life with people outside the family or disabled community. Part of the problem is that disabled individuals usually have social networks that consist of family, support staff, or other persons with disabilities. And while people generally agree that individuals with intellectual disabilities should be included in society, they may resist interacting with them, because they are unsure of how to behave or find it uncomfortable. Plus, as family members or outside caregivers, we may be reluctant to place outsiders into situations where we think they may be uneasy.

But maybe, as the stories in the beginning suggest, reality is a kinder, gentler place than we may imagine. Maybe we should be careful not to let our fears shape our perceptions and dictate our actions—especially if that limits the size of our IDD family members’ social circles.

Another obstacle may involve transportation. Just getting to activities so that one can participate can be a barrier. So that must be worked out.  

Recipes for social inclusion

If you want to help someone widen their social web, consider a few of the following ingredients:

Being accepted as an individual beyond the disability helps a person develop a stronger sense of self worth. Consider groups where the individual with IDD might fit right in. Maybe he loves classic cars or monster trucks. Or maybe she would like to join a knitters group or a yoga class.

Having significant and reciprocal personal relationships matters. This could be as simple as creating a relationship where your disabled son spends an hour each week helping an elderly neighbor with gardening or just sitting together chatting.

Being involved in activities makes it a lot easier to expand a person’s social circle. Invite people to meet your disabled family members. Or reach out to groups that organize events the IDD member may be interested in. You can tell them, “Remember us when you organize an event. We can help out. And we want to have fun, too.” They should see your family member as a resource, someone who can help them out. 

So how do you expand someone’s sense of community or belonging? 

You could brainstorm community groups, people, or relationships that could be developed. Connecting with people who share similar interests means folks will be naturally drawn together. They already have something in common that creates a social glue.

After brainstorming ideas, have your family member chose their three favorite ideas to pursue. Then list a few steps you’ll need to take to get the member involved in the group

This kind of approach has helped individuals with IDD get jobs, socialize more with neighbors, and get far more involved in church or social civic activities.

Here are some of the ways people with IDD expanded their social circles:

  • A married couple gave an individual a ride to their church twice a month
  • Several individuals reconnected with old friends from school
  • An individual got to know a man at church better after saying he wanted to meet him and working out with his parents to invite him to lunch after church.
  • An individual joined a weekly cribbage group
  • An individual joined a university women’s basketball team fan club
  • An individual enjoyed a weekly trivia contest at a restaurant/bar
  • An individual volunteered at a children’s museum
  • An individual performed in a theater production
  • An individual volunteered with an animal rescue group

Clearly, there are many people, groups, and venues that would not only welcome the help of individuals with developmental disabilities, they would benefit from their efforts. In many cases, such individuals can contribute to the greater good and enjoy the benefits of interacting with other community members.






Our Vision

A leading agency providing quality, effective, person-centered, flexible and innovative services in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.