B1 – 90 Garry St. Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H1 - Phone: (204) 478-6644, Fax: 204-478-6677 - info@indep.ca

Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

The Importance Of Ergonomics In The Workplace

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White computer mouse and hand on whiteNot every job in the world requires laborious use of the hands. Not every job entails a great deal of heavy lifting, lugging and carrying. But that doesn’t mean that jobs void of these tiring tasks aren’t hard on the body. Office workers experience their fair share of job-related injuries as well. You may be surprised just how taxing it can be on the body to sit at a desk in front of a computer all day long.

This is why ergonomics is so vital to any working environment. Ergonomics, which is the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace, is an important element when considering the health and safety of people at work. And, as Cynthia Roth points out on EHSToday.com, office environments are known for their ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses. Believe it or not, typing isn’t exactly the safest job-related task in the world!

“If an employee is able to type 40 words per minute, he or she presses 12,000 keys per 8-hour day,” she explains, “Approximately 8 ounces of force is necessary to depress one key. Almost 16 tons of force will be exercised by his or her fingers each day. The fingers of typists whose speed is 60 words per minute exert up to 25 tons of pressure each day.” So what does all of this mean? How does the pressure exerted by typists affect their health?

According to Roth, back pain is considered the most common side effect of daily sitting and typing. But studies have shown that “the office workplace has other musculoskeletal disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, tenosynovitis and myositis.” She writes that “more than 8 million people are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome each year. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is the second-most common type of musculoskeletal surgery.”

A focus on ergonomics can help present better working conditions in an effort to avoid such physical hardships. Roth notes that it’s important to reduce the physical demands of jobs by decreasing levels of force, repetition and awkward postures. “Job descriptions are necessary to understand how tasks impact the worker: which body part is used, whether right or left side, cycle times, weights, reaches, etc.” she writes.

The benefits to implementing strong workplace ergonomics are many. On Ergo-Plus.com, Mark Middlesworth explains that ergonomics can help to reduce costs, improve productivity and boost the quality of the work being done. “Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work,” he writes, “When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained.”

A focus on ergonomics in the workplace is also excellent for employee morale. It should go without saying that it’s important to have a staff made up for happy and enthusiastic people. It’s good for any company’s bottom line. “If an employee does not experience fatigue and discomfort during their workday, it can reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, improve morale and increase employee involvement,” says Middlesworth.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer Ergonomic Assessments that carefully consider the relationships between workers and their work environments. Our assessments involve the creation of matches between employees and their activities, equipment and systems to maximize both productivity and health-focused circumstances. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

Revisiting The Importance Of Rehabilitation

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Doctor checking a knee recovering in hospitalRecovering from a serious injury or an illness can be one of the toughest things a person will ever do. It doesn’t just require treatment that will help bring about a return to better physical health. It also requires a lot of emotional support to get through what is often a long and arduous struggle. Needless to say, rehabilitation is so very important. And as Dr. Richard C. Senelick states on WebMD.com, most of us never think we’ll ever need it.

“Rehabilitation is the key to getting back to functioning at a level where you can live at home, enjoy your family, and hopefully work,” writes Dr. Senelick. He goes on to acknowledge the difficulties that come with the entire rehabilitation process. Again, keeping in mind that there are both physical and emotional limitations during the recovery process, it’s important to help those in recovery meet with positive mindsets.

“Going for therapy and rehabilitation is just like going back to school, because you may have to learn new information,” says Dr. Senelick, “If you were going back to school later in life, you may have to ‘relearn’ information that you had previously acquired…Rarely is it easy, and I always told patients and families that it will be the hardest thing they will ever do. Like school or learning a new skill there are certain principles that make a difference.”

So what are the new skills that need to be learned? Well, to properly answer that question, we need to take a look at the type of rehabilitation that an individual is undertaking. On HubPages.com, it is explained that many patients who have been diagnosed with diseases must learn to live with particular physical limitations – especially if they are planning a return to work. Lung and heart problems, spinal disorders and cancer are listed as examples.

“When a person undergoes rehabilitation after a disease, experts examine the patient by treating symptoms, addressing risk factors, providing counseling or family support and restoring the physical fitness,” says the website. Patients who have gone through injuries may also have physical limitations, but of a different nature. They must learn particular exercises in order to regain muscles that were lost, for example.

“If a person has gone through injuries from sports, accidents or other reasons, rehabilitation can help in improving functionality of movements and maximizing one’s health,” says HubPages.com, “Through this kind of rehabilitation, not only is the physical aspects covered, but also the mental, psychological and sociological aspects in achieving full recovery.” Naturally, there are emotional aspects to address in both types of rehabilitation.

This is because motivation matters. The more motivated a patient is to regain his or her full health, the better that person will be able to succeed in making a complete recovery. “The person who is motivated and tries harder has a better chance of getting better,” insists Dr. Senelick, “It is not always the brightest student who is the most successful: hard work can make a huge difference.”

At Independence Incorporated, we offer Rehab Coordination which involves case management support that assists patients with numerous injury or illness claims. We are highly experienced in the coordination requirements for clients with singular soft tissue injuries to complex, multi-traumatic injuries as well as multi-systems illness involvement. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

Describing The Importance Of Independence

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I'm free! senior man get up from wheelchair and throw away his walking caneThere’s a reason that our company is named Independence Incorporated. It wasn’t a name that we just settled on because we thought it sounded “official” or “prestigious”. And it also wasn’t a decision we fell upon because of its cool use of alliteration. At Independence Incorporated, we are firm believers in everyone’s right to be independent. And being united in this belief is what really helps to make our company name so apt.

Take a look at Merriam-Webster’s definition of “Independence”: “Not dependent: as 1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent (2) : not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood)”. Now take a look at Merriam-Webster’s definition of “Incorporate”: “To unite or work into something already existent so as to form an indistinguishable whole: to blend or combine thoroughly: to give material form; to embody.”

The way we see it, our work incorporates the appropriate programs and services that promote statuses of independence among the clients that we serve. Our company’s specialty is vocational rehabilitation. We provide a long list of helpful services that focus on enhancing the overall independence of our clients at both their homes and workplaces. In many cases, we assist those with making transitions from states of illness or injury to comfortable returns to the workforce.

As a result, disability management is a major component to the help that we provide. At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to fully implementing the human approach to all that we do. And that’s because we’re focused on helping people. There is an emotional side to rehabilitation that is as important – sometimes more so – than the physical rehabilitation that often requires assistance.

We are also sensitive to the fact that many of our clients are faced with limited financial resources. Again, considering the emotional side of every client’s situation allows us to manage rehabilitation in ways that are uniquely considerate. We’re happy to report that our services benefit a wide range of people. They include clients, referral sources, family physicians and treatment providers.

Clients. Naturally, our clients are very important to us. We understand that during their time periods of illness or injury, it is imperative that they focus on improving their health. At Independence Incorporated, we make it our duty to assist with this process in the most helpful and attentive manners possible. Our clients greatly benefit from the individualized attention that they each receive.

Referral Sources. We also service insurance companies and employers. Naturally, they each have obligations that they are contractually liable for. Under their contractual agreements, they are required to provide medical and vocational rehabilitation services to their policy holders and employees during their times of need. Our involvement allows for appropriate services to be offered in order to enhance recovery rates and maximize states of independence.

Family Physicians and Treatment Providers. We also must ensure that we are openly communicating with the family physicians and treatment providers that are involved with our clients. With the permission of our clients, we provide progress reports to their doctors and other health care professionals who are involved in the rehabilitation processes. It’s all about promoting their independence together!

For more information about our company, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

How Third Party Case Management Services Can Support You

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Junior lawyer with case folderWhen a person is seriously injured or becomes ill, he or she not only has to deal with the physical labours that come with the circumstance. In addition, he or she must also endure a seemingly insurmountable amount of stress. Of course, in many cases, an injury or illness can cause a long layoff from work. However, there is something else at play that often is the cause for much anxiety. And that would be dealing with insurance companies.

Very honestly, it can be quite aggravating. Is there anything more stressful to be experiencing a tough time with your health only to have your insurance benefits rejected? Of course, this isn’t always the case. But, in certain circumstances, an insurance company’s final decision isn’t exactly all that final. Sometimes, further investigation into the claims can help to garner further assistance from insurance companies.

At Independence Incorporated, we provide Third Party Case Management Support services through our professional staff of seasoned, knowledgeable and dependable case managers. Their vast knowledge of insurance policies often helps to bridge the gap between claimants and their insurance companies. There are a number of situations where our third party case management services can support you.

They include, but are not limited to:

The Appeal Process. Being denied coverage by an insurance company can be very stressful. At Independence Incorporated, we feel that claimants shouldn’t have to go this battle alone. Our independent case managers are known to review appeal materials that our provided by insurers in order to make recommendations or render new decisions. With the help of our team, all hope is never lost.

Complex File Review. Some files are more complicated than others. This is true in such cases where claimants have multiple injuries or illnesses that are affecting them. Our team of experienced case managers will review such complex claim files in order to make recommendations for future handling. Issues such as medical treatment, rehabilitation interventions, domestic factors and vocational concerns can all be addressed.

Insurer/Employer Relationship. Let’s be honest. The relationships between claimants and insurance companies aren’t always positive ones. Claimants will often feel like they deserve more coverage while some insurance case managers may side on the idea of limiting the coverage. Our third party case managers can act as external “buffers” to help remedy such deteriorated relationships.

Independent Review. It’s not unlike getting a second opinion. Our independent third party case managers are often called upon by employers or unions to conduct reviews and provide helpful feedback about the claims process. Following the reviews, recommendations can be made directly to the insurance companies. There are a number of other situations where Independence Incorporated may be able to help, as well.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have, so that we can provide the specific help that you need. We make it our mission to make the type of recommendations that will meet your requirements. We’re happy to report that Independence Incorporated has certainly grown its reputation for being able to help people during the toughest times of their lives. Can we help you? Call us at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

Committed To Helping Clients With Their Returns To Work

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Businesswoman with a briefcaseWhen you’ve been away from the work force for a considerable amount of time, returning to work is not often the first thing on your mind. Suffering an injury or enduring an illness comes with many physical limitations. Naturally, returning to a state of better health and strength is the primary concern. However, once a full recovery has been successfully achieved, an individual generally needs to begin thinking about returning to work.

In many cases, this entails looking for an entirely new job. And, as you can imagine, for those that have not been working for a long time, the entire process can be a harrowing one. One of the first steps, of course, entails refurbishing a resumé. And although there is often nothing new to add to a resumé once a person is able to return to the workforce following a long layoff, it’s important that all relevant information is updated.

Then comes the job search! This too, can be a difficult process. Determining the line of work one is interested in and discovering if there are available positions in that field can also be an arduous task. And, of course, once a person has selected the jobs that he or she wishes to apply for, preparation for those all important job interviews is necessary. Independence Incorporated is committed to helping clients throughout the entire process.

Firstly, we offer Resumé Preparation services that assist clients with completing accurate, up-to-date and interest-worthy resumés. Our experienced vocational staff works diligently to provide both thorough resumé development skills and appropriate cover letter creation. In many cases, a cover letter is read before a resumé, so it needs just as much attention. Our team is well aware that impressing a would-be employer requires a great first impression.

Secondly, our Job Search Assistance Program serves those who have settled on some realistic occupational choices. The program takes into account the specific needs and talents of each individual client. It may include regular client meetings to establish responsibilities during the job search process and a daily review of classified employment ads in newspapers, employment centres and on the internet.

Finally, we offer Interview Coaching. For those who have experienced long layoffs from work, it is often difficult to recall the best ways to conduct one’s self during a job interview. Taking into account such details as dress code, knowing what questions to ask, showing up early and doing research on the employer is all very important. Our team provides a review of effective interview strategies to help to diminish the anxiety that many job seekers may have.

It can be argued that the job interview process is the most important step in securing new employment. This step, of course, puts a person face-to-face with his or her would-be employer. Making a strong impression is imperative in landing the position. On Monster.com, Doug Hardy writes that “even if you have less than a day before your job interview, you can outshine the competition with a little interview preparation.”

Finding a new job after a long layoff from work doesn’t have to feel like Mission: Impossible. As mentioned, Independence Incorporated is committed to helping its clients with every step necessary to both locate and secure ideal career opportunities. For more information about our Resumé Preparation services, Job Search Assistance Program and Interview Coaching, please don’t hesitate to call Independence Incorporated at 204-478-6644 or email info@indep.ca.

Examining Our Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation

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Depositphotos_9311299_xsWhen an individual has experienced a long layoff from work, finding a job can often be the furthest thing from this person’s mind. Naturally, a return to better health after an arduous bout with an illness or injury is priority. However, for many, when it comes time to return to the workforce, it feels like an insurmountable task. Often, a new résumé needs to be prepared, interview skills need to be brushed up on and the very idea of working needs to be accepted.

Needless to say, it’s not easy. Consider the fact that due to the illness or injury, a person’s skill set and even interests may have significantly changed. At Independence Incorporated, we offer a Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation to test individuals looking to get back into the workforce. We use a combination of paper and pencil tests, computer assessments and hands-on work samples in order to assess an individual’s interests, aptitudes and achievement levels.

The overall objective, of course, is to adequately prepare such individuals for employment opportunities that they are best suited for. There are three specialized types of tests that we use to determine a person’s abilities to work in specific areas. They are Interest Tests, Aptitude Tests and Achievement Tests. By completing these tests, individuals are better suited to locate the right careers paths for themselves.

Interest Tests. As the name suggests, these tests are used to determine a person’s interests. As you can imagine, it greatly helps for a person to enjoy his or her work if he or she is actually interested in the field. The tests allow us to identify preferred work environments, work styles, and occupational groups. For example, we work to determine if someone is best suited for either sales or customer service or whether a mechanical or technical field is more fitting.

Aptitude Tests. These tests help to determine an individual’s skill level. Essentially, they answer such questions as “what are you best at?” or “what talents do you have?”. The tests are used to identify a person’s capacities or abilities that can help when being taught the specifics of a new job. Aptitude tests may be conducted through either paper and pencil tests or through computer assessments and work samples.

Achievement Tests. These tests work to identify the educational levels of individuals looking to re-enter the world of work. Through a computer assessment program that measures “General Educational Development”, we assess a job-seeker’s reasoning development and ability to follow instructions. In addition, both language and mathematics skills are measured. Following the completion of all testing, we develop a “Personal Qualifications Profile”.

This profile allows us to establish a list of potential employment opportunities. Using this list, an individual is given greater insight into what type of occupational options he or she has. The results of all testing is utilized to come up with a list that takes into account one’s interests, aptitudes and academic achievements as well as transferable skills. However, there are a number of other factors that help us to compile one’s profile.

They include one’s vocational history, an establishment of medical restrictions (if applicable), a compilation of suitable occupations and a labour market survey of identified and determined job opportunities. This includes information about job availabilities and wages. At Independence Incorporated, we have found that our Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation is extremely helpful in getting people to find their right vocational matches.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 204-478-6644.

Introducing “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money”

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saving moneyIn our last blog, we detailed a number of ways in which people can save money during bouts with injuries or illnesses that prevent them from working. We also introduced a great new program offered by Independence Incorporated known as “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money”. It’s all about financial education. The program is geared to help those who are experiencing long-term disabilities or serious illnesses to manage their money in the best ways possible.

We know that it’s already a difficult situation to have to be nursing an injury or illness. The physical toll that it takes on your body is hard enough. At the same time, you are forced to deal with the emotional strain that is commonplace within those who are battling through tough times. Not to mention, the financial stress you may endure due to an inability to work is an added problem we could all do without. This is where our new program kicks in.

“Money Talks, and the Talk of Money” acknowledges that the very discussion of money can be a stressful occurrence. The many discussions that you are likely having or are likely to have with your loved ones can take on very negative tones that result in further depression and self-defeating attitudes. The program assists individuals who are new to these situations in an effort to help them make sound plans for financial management.

The better one’s attitude is towards his or her future, the easier the road will be to attaining financial success. Zanna Joyce is an experienced financial educator who helped to design and present “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money”. The program offers a series of individual consultations in addition to group sessions. Throughout each consultation or session, participants are taken through a thorough process of developing money management skills.

Firstly, they are required to evaluate their present financial situations. They then go on to identify their specific financial goals. Participants are given information about how to research support opportunities to better their financial situations and develop effective relationships with service providers. Planning for the future is a big part of the program. One of the biggest benefits of “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money” is that it inspires greater hope for the future.

And we’re not just talking about your financial future. We’ve found that one of the greatest aspects of the program is that it motivates individuals to think more positively about their lives in general. As a result, participants are greatly encouraged to bring themselves back to better states of health, putting their past troubles behind them. Developing optimism, after all, is an essential part of one’s overall success.

By encouraging participants of the program to be better with their money, they develop a stronger sense of confidence. In turn, they are often more willing to fulfil their obligations towards their physical or psychological rehabilitation programs. They become more engaged with their caregivers, physiotherapists and even friends and family members. All in all, they are in better positions to move forward with their lives.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer the “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money” program at our 204 – 90 Garry St. address in Winnipeg. Our consultations and group sessions take place right on our premises. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for information about each of the two types of programs. For further information, please contact me by calling 204-474-2228 or emailing at victor@indep.ca.

Putting Health First With Our Working Well Program

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Patient doing some exercises under supervision“Health first”. This is a common idiom uttered by nearly all of us. And it’s likely that it’s become such a popular term due to its sheer obviousness. It’s true, isn’t it? Our health does come first. Because without our health, what else would we have? Clearly, it’s not possible to truly enjoy life without being able to live every day pain and illness-free. And it’s certainly not possible to be able to function adequately at work when there are health issues.

It goes without saying that your workforce is important to you. The fine individuals that make up your staff are the lifeblood of your business. They help for your company to function on a daily basis, and without them, your brand’s operations would cease to exist. Therefore, as a business owner, “health first” is an idiom that you also take seriously as it relates to your employees. At Independence Incorporated, we strongly support that way of thinking.

Our “Working Well Program” is designed to assist businesses with implementing the best practices possible to ensure that health and safety are key components to the working environment. We have devised a plan to address the health concerns of your team so that we can prevent injuries, manages stress and provide early intervention of musculoskeletal injuries. Our multidisciplinary team consists of a Registered Nurse, an Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist. And here’s what they provide.

1. Injury Prevention. “Knowledge is power” is yet another idiom that’s been thrown out there to connote how important it is to be educated about the issues that affect our everyday lives. In many cases, staff members require information to be delivered to them about the various ways that injuries can be prevented on the job. Our program’s education and training seminars go a long way in educating your team about the many ways to keep safe on the job.

2. Worker Wellness Support. Naturally, we expect to minimize the number of injuries that occur in the workplace with all of the education that our program provides. However, there is always the possibility that an injury can occur. And, of course, some jobs present more dangers than others. Our In-House Physiotherapy Programme works to rehabilitate those who have suffered injuries in order to promote a more speedy recovery.

3. Work-Flow Improvement. Sometimes, the biggest risks to our health and safety are found in the machinery, tools, supplies and materials that are being used in the workplace. Our program seeks to identify improper and unsafe body mechanics and provide feedback that serves to correct particular issues that may be deemed as dangerous. By making particular changes in the workplace, we strive to improve the overall safety conditions for all of your employees.

4. Work Re-Entry Support. As you know, there are some injuries that will require employees to take time off of work. In such cases, it may be necessary to facilitate an adequate work re-entry program. This way, the employee can experience a smoother transition when coming back to work after a prolonged absence due to injury or illness. By putting health first, your company will be given the opportunity to foster a stronger staff and therefore, a stronger business.

Your business is important to you. That goes without saying. So it should also go without saying that your employees are very important to you as well. At Independence Incorporated, we work to ensure that your team is well taken care of. And that helps to take care of your business. For more information on our “Working Well Program”, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly by calling 204-474-2228 or emailing victor@indep.ca.

Taking on the Resume

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BY: Lisa Borchert BA., RVP. Vocational Rehab Consultant. Independence Incorporated

Why it is a difficult but mandatory tool to the return to work process

Remember the old expression – “if I had a nickel for every time I heard that” Well, I wish I had a nickel (or a loonie) for every time I heard a client say “I have no skills” or “I’m not good at anything” and “there’s no job out there for me….”  

The return to work is difficult, often frightening and challenging on many levels. And that’s going back to the pre-disability job! A job where you know the people, the routines, the culture, the physical layout and you know your position and its expected outcomes. You have a coffee buddy, people smile and nod and say hello and know your name. You know where the bathrooms are. You know who rules the water cooler. You know what the company does and what your role is or has been. You know the bus route and where to park.

Now imagine going to a completely new job – different job different employer – doing work you’ve never done before, probably using skills you haven’t used extensively in your work history or using newly acquired skills. You know no one, can’t find the bathroom or the lunchroom without help, don’t really know what it is you are supposed to be doing and don’t know who to ask, or even if you can ask. New jobs are scary to some degree for everyone, whether you are a seasoned executive making a planned job change or an average guy getting hired at a new place. Every first day produces stress at some level. So imagine, if you will, that you’ve been injured, can’t do the only job you’ve ever done and you know in your heart your company isn’t going to take you back. Wouldn’t take you back / couldn’t take you back, doesn’t matter – there’s no place for you there and now you have to live through yet another potentially traumatic event – transitioning to a new job.

I’ve done it. Twice. It was hard each time. And what did I say the first time…”I’ll never get hired, no one will hire me, I have no skills”.   What was it my friend said at the time, “No one wants to hire 40 year old women like us”……    wrong!

So now we come to the title of this little piece. The resume. The little tool that does it all, the true multitasker.   Working with your return to work clients to create a resume can be so much more than simply creating a document for answering job ads. The resume is a clearly laid out statement of skills and abilities that spotlights what each individual client is good at. It doesn’t matter if it’s putting up drywall or programming firewalls every person has talent. As a voc rehab provider it’s my job to help each client recognize and identify those talents.

The resume process is at least as important and rewarding as the finished product. By moving the clients to the point where they recognize and believe that they have talent, skills and abilities they begin to believe that they are deserving of a new job; that they have something to offer, that someone might actually want to hire them and that they have not worked 20 years for nothing. I have seen it proven many times that the resume process can be a powerful shot in the arm for lagging confidence and low self-esteem.

What is the resume process? Simple and sometimes not so simple, it’s all communication. Sit down with your client, no time limit and be prepared to dig for information. I never let a client get away with things like ‘I did the morning mail’, ‘I assisted the manager’, I was responsible for’…no skill is identifiable in those phrases, there are no verbs. (Action words, I love them!) I dig for specific tasks; as I recently told a client the word ‘assisted’ could mean anything from ‘I brought coffee’ to ‘I did all the work and got none of the credit’. Probe for verbs, did your client research, proofread, build, program, lead, delegate, teach, measure….you get the picture. It’s an action film.

For many clients this process is difficult and very emotional. Routine jobs done over long periods of time with little or no recognition wear away self confidence and can make workers feel like they don’t have any skills any more. They just do the same thing every day, by rote and possibly with their eyes closed and one hand tied behind their back. It is important to remind clients that while they see it as routine, potential employers see it as a desired skill. Being able to do it well with minimal training on the new job is a benefit for everyone – less training time for the employer and an easier, quicker transition for the client.

For clients who can no longer use long time skills and must seek alternate employment the resume process can be even more difficult. It is important to identify the transferable skills and identify how the client did their job, what professional traits do they exhibit on the workforce – patience, detailed, organized, efficient. What does the client do in their life or in volunteer activities? The resume can’t change a work history but it can highlight skills, talents and abilities that are relevant to where the client is going right now.   And that is what a good resume does; it is a forward thinking document designed to get someone where they want to go, not keep them where they’ve been.

Some clients will fight you every step of the way. I think there are two main reasons.

  1. Lots of people think they are fabulous resume writers. They can use the template from MicroSoft Word. They have a friend or relative in HR or management and they get good advice. They don’t need you nor do they want to be part of the process.   Definitely putting up barriers.
  2. Creating a resume is hard work. Emotionally. Not only does it demand thinking of oneself in a whole new light, but it also means that a job search is imminent. It is concrete evidence that they are leaving the past and moving to the future, the scary unknown future. When clients feel they are not ready to return to work the resume, or even the thought of the resume process becomes frightening and up go the roadblocks.

Resistance is futile. In the end no one can resist a good voc rehab provider. Here’s where that communication comes in. It’s important to explain to a client that writing a resume is a process and that the finished document has no best before date. Wherever the client is in return to work planning there are benefits to at least beginning the process. One is identification of skills which leads to job discussion which leads to the realization and belief that possibilities exist. The second benefit is increased self awareness that begins re-building the confidence that leads to that glorious moment when the client sees themselves reflected in the resume as a viable, hirable professional.

So that little resume has accomplished a number of important tasks. The process helped create a solid working relationship with you and the client, it brought the client on board to see themselves as being in the process, it demonstrated the value of the client for a new employer and right there in black and white that little resume showed the client a skill set he never knew or had forgotten he had.

That little resume, crafted uniquely with, and for each client now spotlights possibilities for a successful job search or at the very least (or most) helps move the client to the point where the very words job search don’t bring on a cold sweat. The client is moving forward.   And that is what it’s all about.

Now I wish I had a loonie for every time I heard…”If I were an employer, I’d hire me”.

Proudly Providing PGAP

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Physical therapist working with patientPrepare yourself for a major understatement: returning to work after a long layoff due to illness or injury is hard. And while such a statement is quite obvious, it needs to be underlined that, for some individuals, rehabilitation is simply a harder process than it is for others. There are a number of factors that need to be considered to understand why. And they often surround the circumstances that lead to the person’s illness or injury.

Keep in mind that there is an emotional component to being unable to work. Not only is a person dealing with the physical pain that comes with his or her condition, but it can be mentally straining to not be able to perform functions in ways that he or she once could. As a result, getting one’s self to a state where he or she is not only physically capable of working again, but emotionally ready is incredibly important.

This is where Independence Incorporated is able to help. We proudly offer a special program to assist with such situations called PGAP. And what is PGAP? It stands for Progressive Goal Attainment Program and it’s a standardized intervention program that spans ten weeks. Its primary objective is to increase a patient’s rate of progress during the rehabilitation stages. You may have noticed that the word “intervention” has been used to describe this program.

PGAP is especially designed for those who need additional assistance during their layoffs from work. The program seeks to step in when necessary to help with those who are experiencing pain-related limitations. As we alluded to earlier, these limitations are not exclusive to physical capabilities. Many people whose illnesses or injuries are keeping them from their workplaces have fears about their impending returns.

Those with psycho-social issues such as a fear of re-injury or a pessimistic outlook are ideal candidates for PGAP. The program prioritizes disability reduction over pain reduction. Generally speaking, a patient will be referred to PGAP six weeks post-injury. Early intervention, we find, is key in the successful support of those who require our help. And PGAP can occur during the same time as other treatments are taking place.

At Independence Incorporated, our experience has shown us that PGAP, in fact, increases the success rates of treatments provided to those who are in the rehabilitation process. Thus far, PGAP’s return-to-work outcomes are approximately 65 to 75%. All that is required to take advantage of this program is to have us assess your client. Once the assessment is complete, we will be able to determine if an intervention is necessary.

During the ten week process, we provide two reports to unveil our discoveries and reveal information about the patient’s progress. One report is delivered at the halfway mark, after the fifth session, and the final report is provided at the completion of the PGAP program. We’re actually quite excited to be providing such a service. PGAP is known as the first-ever disability prevention program created to address psychosocial risk factors for pain and disability.

At Independence Incorporated, we completely understand the struggles that ill or injured individuals have with overcoming their challenges. Physical pain naturally leads to emotional anguish. And this can present barriers that require a little extra help getting over. PGAP has been particularly effective for those suffering from chronic musculoskeletal conditions, whiplash, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

For further information about PGAP, please don’t hesitate to call us at 204-478-6644.