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Our presence can change the way a situation can unfold

As I embark further into my nursing career, I am truly thankful for the philosophy that COR has ingrained within me and my practice when it comes to helping others. During my last rotation, I assumed I would not learn anything new because I was placed in a community Mental Health setting. To my surprise, I learnt a lot about myself and how I care for others based on the philosophy that I have been practicing throughout my years supporting with COR. It really opened my eyes to how ingrained Gentle Teaching was in my blood.

There were many difficult moments that occurred during my time in this Mental Health community setting, but because of my experience with COR, I was able to approach each difficult situation with an open mind and open arms. My instructor was the first to point out how my face did not necessarily express the fear and anxiety that I should be feeling in moments such as this as a third year nursing student. I explained to her that from my previous experience, there is an underlying reason for such behaviour and that our presence can change the way a situation can unfold.

Our presence-Shelby, COR Family Member

She was curious to where this knowledge had come from, and how I managed to create such an inviting space for someone who was experiencing such emotional trauma. I explained to her the philosophy of Gentle Teaching and how it can completely change our interactions with people who are struggling. She was very curious, and was eager to learn more about our philosophy. For the remainder of my clinical rotation, she encouraged me to mentor some of my fellow classmates on how important it is to be able to change our approach to yield a more positive relationship with those who we are caring for. The idea of person-centred care closely aligns with the nursing philosophy of patient-centred care which makes this transition into nursing very inviting for myself.

This is only one example of how Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am, or aspire to be. I am looking forward to see how Gentle Teaching will influence the rest of my nursing career, and how I can educate others on person-centred care.

 

Shelby,

COR Family Member

Caring for the caregivers is key for Creative Options Regina

Caring for the caregivers is key for Creative Options Regina

Employees at Creative Options Regina with a client. Supplied photo  

The job of providing supports for people with disabilities or those struggling with their mental health can take a heavy toll, though Creative Options Regina discovered when you care for the caregivers it benefits both the clients and the company.

This is their second year being named as one of Saskatchewan’s top employers. This year will mark Creative Options Regina’s 10th year in business though executive director Michael Lavis notes it was about seven years ago when the company started to refocus their efforts to create a healthier and happier work environment for their employees.

“The field of work we are in may not be physically demanding, but it’s very emotionally demanding,” he explained. “We need to ensure our employees feel supported and have the supports they need to be doing well both physically and mentally to be able to provide the quality care.”

Lavis said the key to providing this supportive work environment was to understand the needs and wants of their employees, which he credits as being the non-profit’s most valuable assets, and make sure they felt valued, respected and that their voices were being heard.

Not only do they offer their more than 200 employees flexible hours — including the opportunity to work shortened and condensed work weeks — and the option to telecommute, they also encourage the employees to share their passions — leading to the introduction of a number of sports teams, clubs and fun nights out.

“It’s about facilitating relationships both in and outside of work,” Lavis said. “When you think about the amount of time people spend in the workplace throughout their life, you would hope they have those relationships and connections with their coworkers.”

Putting these extracurricular activities in place is generally at a very minimal cost to Creative Options Regina, Lavis said. Even when there is a fee — such as the $1,000 entry fee to participate in the Regina Dragon Boat Festival — the amount of time and the number of employees who come out to support is more than worth it.

“All summer long they practice once a week, they’re engaged in this physical activity and connecting by doing something that they all love. So to me, thats $1,000 well spent,” he said. “Sometimes you just have to give it a try.”

Though Lavis notes it’s not always easy to manage the different needs of all their employees, he says this approach has also helped them retain employees longer — which in turn has helped maintain a sense of trust with their clients alongside the high quality of care they are known to provide.

“In the support services sector the turnover rate is quite, quite high and we’ve been year after year between nine and 14 per cent — which is a fraction of the provincial average,” Lavis finishes. “I believe a big part of that is because of the work environment we are cultivating and the attention we pay to our employees.”

Click here to view article on the Leader-Post site.

 

Thank You Mr. Mikes!

Regina charities get a hand from Mr. Mikes

Regina, SK, Canada / 620 CKRM The Source | Country Music, News, Sports in Sask

Two local charities will be receiving $500 each thanks to the Mr Mikes Steakhouse “Deeds Well Done” program.

Organizations were nominated by costumers between November and December last year.

General Manager of the Grasslands Ryan Pylatuk said the winning charities were then based on the impact they have on the community and willingness to help the most vulnerable.

“Family Service Regina was chosen. They work with seniors, adults, children and pregnant and parenting teens to help strengthen individuals and families by creating safe, inclusive and vibrant communities,” he said.

For the location on the east, Plyatuk said Creative Options was selected.

The restaurant chain further noted this provides them the chance to recognize and give back to those who contribute towards making the community a better place.

https://www.620ckrm.com/2019/01/20/201425/

 

COR featured on AMI: Our Community

In August 2018, COR was featured in a documentary that aired to a national audience highlighting our approach to services. A special thank you to the AMI team and Halter Media for capturing our story so beautifully! We are very appreciative.

To learn more: https://www.ami.ca/category/our-community/media/creative-options-regina

People experiencing disability often don’t have the same options afforded to them as everyone else. Through personalized support services and the Gentle Teaching philosophy, Creative Options Regina aims to change that.

Supporting at COR has made me approach life at a slower pace and truly take in my surroundings

Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am and aspire to be by making me more personally aware of who I am and who I want to be. Through my time at COR I have truly learnt the meaning of empathy, as opposed to sympathy. It is easy to be sympathetic towards someone and just coat situations with nice words so everyone is happy; it’s another to understand why someone feels that way and put yourself in their position to see the entire picture from their perspective.

she’s with COR, and COR is family

Supporting at COR has made me approach life at a slower pace and truly take in my surroundings and understand complex situations. It has allowed me to view problems from all perspectives to get a grasp on what the next step should be without making a rash, quick decision. We live in such a fast-paced society and sometimes forget to sit back and take it all in. The people I support have taught me how important friendships are and how valuable a good friend is. These relationships that have evolved over the years have truly become more than a “client” and “worker” relationship; I consider these people my family which is one of my favorite perks of being a support worker at COR. One of the girls I support said it best when she was standing up for another COR individual by saying, “she’s with COR, and COR is family.” This small, and relatively simple quote truly warmed my heart and sums up my time with this wonderful organization. My time at COR has truly allowed me to appreciate the little things in life like what a true friendship is.

 

-Shelby B.

My time at COR

Bronwyn loves meeting new people and forging new friendships in her community.

Over the last four years Bronwyn Lenton-Young has been volunteering in her community. Whether she is sorting and preparing food to be distributed from the food bank or delivering hot meals to the doors of people around Regina with Meals on Wheels, Bronwyn has learned to find joy in helping others. In addition to providing safe and healthy meals to her community, she has also learned important skills in cleanliness and sanitation in the kitchen. What started as housekeeping and sanitation at the Regina Food Bank has made its way into Bronwyn’s natural skill-set in the home as she becomes more familiar with her role.

Bronwyn’s ultimate goal is to become employed in customer service and to create permanent income for herself. She loves meeting new people and forging new friendships in her community. She has accomplished this in her role at the Regina Food Bank but perhaps most evidently with the people she meets on her Meals on Wheels route. When asked about her role at Meals on Wheels, she speaks more about the people on the route than the actual volunteering itself; Citing birthdays and her knowledge of the people she meets on a personal basis. Her infectious smile and ability to engage conversation with anyone strengthens her case for this award as it is directly related to her helpful role in the community. She cares about people and unknowingly brightens the days of those whose path she crosses.

She cares about people and unknowingly brightens the days of those whose path she crosses

Through Bronwyn’s experience volunteering with the public and with her ever developing knowledge of safe food and better housekeeping practices, she has evolved into a very independent woman. In Bronwyn’s home you will find her preparing her own meals as well as keeping her space clean and tidy. She is a terrific housemate to her friend Gillian, a great member of the Regina community, and a valued member of our COR community as well.

My favorite part about Bronwyn is that she is unassuming and humble. She expects nothing and is thankful for what she receives. When asked if she was aware of how valuable her role in the community was, she replied with, ‘my parents are proud of me. And Shea [Bronwyn’s Team Leader], she is proud of me also.’ Bronwyn helps people every day whether it be in providing healthy meal options to the less fortunate or by helping to keep the levels of cleanliness at work and at home suited to the highest of expectations. She would never ask for credit and that is why she deserves our recognition.

Thank You B!

On October 25th, 2017, Bronwyn was the recipient of the Al McGuire Award for Community Involvement. Watch SARC’s Celebrate Success video here.

 

Ben Morris,

Community Education and Outreach

 

A culture of gentleness for me has come naturally by genuinely caring for the three gentlemen I serve.

A culture of gentleness for me has come naturally by genuinely caring for the three gentlemen I serve. Since I started at COR almost one year ago I have created relationships with the three guys I serve that without a doubt will last a lifetime. Being able to care for someone on a daily basis and watch them grow as people has been one of the most professionally satisfying accomplishments to date. Watching the look on the guys faces while they do things they love can turn even the worst of days around in a heart beat.

i-strongly-believe-the-culture-of-gentleness-is-created-by-those-who-we-serve

I would have to say I more so reciprocate a culture of gentleness however. To say I create a culture of gentleness would minimize the amount of caring that these individuals show us who come in to serve them. The three guys I support have some of the biggest hearts I have ever met. They will share what ever it is they have with out batting an eye. I strongly believe the culture of gentleness is created by those who we serve.

 

Danny, COR Support

 

How many jobs allow you to help improve the lives of others while building such meaningful relationships with those individuals?

When I heard the philosophy of Gentle Teaching, it seemed like the most simple and effective way of giving the individuals we support at COR the best quality of life. Safe, loved, loving and engaged- the four pillars that make up Gentle Teaching- make so much sense! When I look at my own life, I know that with these four pillars present I feel the most valued so I want to always make sure that the girls I support feel that way too.

Whether the girls are having a good day or a bad day, I feel like it is important to make sure they know they are still loved unconditionally and supported no matter what. I want them to feel that they can approach me and feel comfortable to communicate and be themselves with me. I feel that I best deliver a culture of gentleness through my communication. I let the girls know that I am here for them, we build trust in each other, and strong relationships form. I always remember that the girls are people first. We all go through rough times but that doesn’t mean that they are any less than anyone else. When, for example, the girls feel down, maybe frustrated or upset, we use our ability to communicate to help them get back to feeling their best. It is important for them to know that they are not bad nor have done something wrong. Instead, we talk through the situation in a way which lets them know that they are still supported and loved and our relationship has not changed. Having patience and a sense of calmness often works in the house that I support at. When the girls see that I am open to helping them and keeping them feeling safe and loved they respond better in the ways we communicate.

the-benefits-i-see-in-the-individuals-lives-that-come-from-the-culture-of-gentle-teaching

I feel like in order to maintain a culture of gentleness it is important to not think of supporting as work. At the end of the day, yes this is a job, but it is so much more than that. How many jobs allow you to help improve the lives of others while building such meaningful relationships with those individuals? The benefits I see in the individuals lives that come from the culture of gentle teaching make my life as a support so rewarding. Because of the benefits I see with Ruby and Lanie and the way Gentle Teaching works with them it motivates me to continue the way I approach my support times with the girls. They have experienced a lot of change in the last 6 months which can easily take a toll on them. Seeing the way our team has used gentle teaching over these last 6 months and the positive improvements it has made with the girls just reinforces once again the impact that it has and the importance of maintaining it in the way we support.

 

Elise, COR Support

 

Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am today; I see differently; I speak differently; I touch differently; I vibe differently.

How has Gentle Teaching transformed the person you are or aspire to be?

For the first time in my life, I am employed by a company that has the same philosophies as me and provides countless opportunities and encouragement to dive deeper into an exciting journey of self exploration and self development. I will be forever appreciative for this experience.

Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am today; I see differently; I speak differently; I touch differently; I vibe differently. I now understand how paramount things like safety, love, and engagement are in maintaining my current relationships and also building new, healthy, empowering relationships.

Gentle Teaching has also transformed the hundreds of interactions I have each and every single day, whether that be with my family members, partners, friends, i-see-differently-i-speak-differently-i-touch-differently-i-vibe-differentlystrangers, or my pets. For example, I am constantly practicing Gentle Teaching with my fur-babies: two beagles. Beagles are stubborn, messy, loud, and stinky … but they also give the best cuddles, are the source of many laughs, and love me unconditionally. Sometimes, when they are not getting the proper attention and engagement that they need, they eat everything (literally everything – the bed frame has large chunk missing and the phone jack has been eaten off the wall), they puke on the new couch, howl at my neighbours, and are incredibly stubborn to train. Despite all of this chaos they cause in my life, I find it so easy to love them unconditionally. I no longer raise my voice or punish them when they do wrong. I only use touch and words in a positive way. However, sometimes when I feel like I cannot properly practice Gentle Teaching with my dogs and need time to myself, the pups visit Gramma and Grampa; this allows me time to recharge and recover so I can give them the best care I can. Gentle teaching has strengthened my relationship with my pets which is transferable to every other relationship in my life.

Despite all of the changes I’ve made so far, I’m not perfect. While I try my best to practice what I preach, sometimes I slip up. Honestly, I still aspire to be a more patient person. At the beginning of my Gentle Teaching journey, I often lost my patience on insignificant things; bad drivers, needy dogs, demanding partners. I feel like along my gentle teaching training was also a lesson in patience. I now know that the person is more important than the task at hand. It also taught me that, in disagreements, I no longer need to have the last word. Also, sometimes people have bad days and I do not need to take it personally. Hopefully, the relationship I have with that person was built on such a strong foundation that they can offer me the same compassion and understanding that I would offer to them when they need it most. I am also doing my best to love people unconditionally and aspire to have a positive journey to love without conditions and BE loved without conditions.

I have only been practicing Gentle Teaching for about a year. Now that I have a taste of this philosophy, I want to continue to change. I want to know more. I want others to learn the benefits of gentle teaching. I want to lead by example. I want to make a difference.

 

Diandra, COR Support