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

Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

Finding Perfect Fits Through Our Job Search Assistance Program

Posted by

Teamwork at officeFinding a job can be tough. And it’s even tougher when you haven’t been a member of the work force for some time. Naturally, when a person becomes ill or injured, it’s important for him or her to think with a “health first” attitude. So, when a person recovers, he or she may not have been thinking about working for quite a while. In many cases, people recovering from health issues have the opportunity to return to their original jobs.

And, in many other cases, recovered individuals need to seek new employment. As you can imagine, many of them have a “where do I go from here?” state of mind. And that can be expected. It makes sense that they would need some assistance with finding a new job. This is where Independence Incorporated’s “Job Search Assistance Program” comes in. It is designed to comfortably reacquaint job-seekers with the world of work.

Essentially, the program begins for our clients once realistic and reasonable occupational choices have been decided upon. It is tailored to the specific and unique needs of each individual client. This way, we know that we will be helping to put the right people in the right job positions. It’s hard enough to return to work after a long layoff as it is. The last thing anyone would want would be to begin a job that he or she is uncomfortable with.

There are a number of components to the “Job Search Assistance Program”. As you may have guessed, it begins with finding the answers to some of the more obvious questions that one would ask when it comes to beginning a job search. What lines of work are you interested in? What type of work experience do you have? What are your strongest attributes and talents? We then move on to performing some or all of the following components of the program.

Regular client meetings. By meeting with our clients on a regular basis, we are able to establish the various responsibilities and obligations we have during the job search process. The meetings include discussions about setting goals and establishing an activity log. Naturally, some of the above listed questions get answered more clearly during this step of the process. It’s all about finding our clients the right fit.

Resume preparation. As you can imagine, a major component to landing a new job position is preparing an adequate résumé. Last month, in our “6 Steps To Creating The Perfect Résumé” blog, we offered a number of great tips to help job-seekers to get it right. This component of the “Job Search Assistance Program” also includes interview coaching and network development. Our most recently posted blog, “6 Steps To Having Strong Job Interviews” is also an important read.

Daily review of classified employment ads. There’s nothing like looking for a job when you’re…looking for a job! It’s important to put in a concerted effort to locate as many employment opportunities as possible before deciding upon the ones you wish to interview for. We review newspapers and the internet for job postings but also work with a network of employment centres to help our clients find well-suited job opportunities.

At Independence Incorporated, we’re very mindful of the stress and pressure that people endure when they are out looking for work. Our efforts make it easier for clients to locate jobs that they are best suited for. A less stressful approach to job finding makes the entire process a lot more worthwhile. For more information about our Job Search Assistance Program please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Assessing Our Home Assessments Through Q&A

Posted by

Disabled rehabilitationA significant injury or illness is never a welcome circumstance. However, for thousands of Canadians, such an occurrence is an inevitability that requires significant rehabilitation. Naturally, time must be taken from work to battle such hardships, as a person’s health always comes first. This is why before a person returns to work, he or she must take the very important steps to ensure that the return to work is done at the appropriate time.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer Home Assessments as one of our many services. It’s important that individuals are able to perform all of the necessary functions that are required for living in their homes before they are able to get back on the job. As part of our assessments, we address issues such as accessibility and stressors – both actual and perceived. We also look to determine the number of responsibilities that may affect a person’s ability to handle everyday tasks.

Once an appropriate home assessment has been completed, we are better able to gauge whether or not a person who has sustained an injury or illness that has kept him or her from work is able to return to the job. As you can imagine, there are a number of questions that need to be both asked and answered in order to make the right decision. At Independence Incorporated, we seek to complete thorough examinations by performing a Q&A session.

Has there been a significant change in the working conditions? Depending on the amount of time that a person has taken off of work, there may have been some changes to the job itself. It’s important for us to determine if those changes are ones that can be handled by the returning employee. We seek to discover if there are any limitations that the employee may have before green-lighting the way back to the workplace.

Can the job at work be modified? In some cases – even when the working conditions may have remained the same – the returning worker may have some of those limitations we mentioned. If so, we seek to discover if any modifications can be made at the workplace to make the transition back to work more comfortable for the employee. It’s also important to know if further physiotherapy or other forms of rehabilitation are necessary.

Has there has been a change in the employee’s health? There are times when an injury can significantly change a person’s health. After all, rehabilitation can certainly take a toll on a person. So while an injury may be healed, the employee may still require other methods of recovery in order to achieve greater strength, energy and endurance levels. Before one can return to work, he or she clearly needs to be healthy enough to do so.

Is there a new medical condition that may limit a returning worker’s effectiveness? If an employee’s health has changed, the job description for that employee may need to change as well. In some cases, a person can return to work, but not necessarily to do the same tasks that were asked of him or her before the injury or illness took place. If a limitation reduces or prevents a person from performing a job effectively, a new position may be a better fit.

Can the employee safely return to work? There are, of course, those situations when an employee is simply not healthy enough to return to a job in any capacity. Further rehabilitation is necessary in order to get a person to a state of readiness. And this is very important. Returning an employee to the workplace before he or she is capable of doing the work is bad for both the business and the employee. A home assessment helps greatly to make the right decision.

Of course, there are a variety of other questions that we answer to make sure an employee is ready to return to the job. For more information about our Home Assessments, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Looking At Our Three-Point “Vocational Rehab Assessments”

Posted by

Happy businessman and businesswoman posing back to backWhen an employee is set to return to work after a long layoff, it’s a process that is far different than when a brand new employee enters a workplace for the first time. Of course, there is generally on-the-job training required for both situations. But when an individual who has suffered an injury or illness has been away from the workplace for a significant period of time, he or she must endure a sensitive process before the return.

Naturally, sensitivity is required to handle delicate situations. And depending on one’s reason for the layoff, particular steps may need to be taken to ensure that the transition from the hospital to the home and then to the job is as smooth and comfortable as possible. At Independence Incorporated, we offer “Vocational Rehab Assessments” that enable us to meet with clients to assess their abilities to return to work safely.

The process is often done over three “points”. The three point assessments seek to discover the various issues that may still be persisting through in-person visits. We feel that this is an important process for both the client and his or her employer. And there is a reason why we are so thorough. By conducting all three points, we ensure that our assessments are both complete and accurate. Let’s take you through each point.

One Point Assessment. This is also known as the “Client Interview”. During the one point assessment, an injured or ill client is interviewed in our office. However, we are also happy to accommodate our clients by visiting them in their homes if it is preferred. During this interview, we discover the various needs and requirements of the clients in order to establish his or her vocational rehabilitation potential.

Two Point Assessment. In this case, we would conduct the client interview, but also follow it with an in-person consultation. This is done with the client’s signed consent. It can also be done through written correspondence with the primary caregivers involved. During this process, we clarify the appropriate support and rehabilitation interventions that are needed in order to maximize the quality of life of our client and his or her vocational rehabilitation potential.

Three Point Assessment. In addition to the client interview and in-person consultation, we pay a visit to the client’s worksite in order to meet with the employer. It’s very beneficial for both the returning worker and his or her employer to be on the same page about the various tasks that are listed as the employee’s responsibilities. Can they be carried out with relative ease or is additional support required?

We seek to answer such a question by focusing on a few key points. Firstly, we wish to clarify any issues that may be related to the client’s performance history. Secondly, we seek to verify if the employee’s work needs to be modified. Thirdly, we assess whether or not there are any worksite conflicts that may exist that could hinder the employee’s return to work. And finally, we look to create a joint team effort approach between management and union.

It is important to note that any information that is related to medical diagnoses and conditions of our clients is not shared with their employers. Employers, however, are entitled to know about the potential of functional limitations that may have resulted from an employee’s illness or injury. If there are restrictions that affect the employee’s ability to meet the demands of the job, an employer must be informed.

For more information about our “Vocational Rehab Assessments”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Discussing Our “Discharge Planning” Services

Posted by

Doctor Nurse & PatientBeing able to exude a sense of confidence has a lot to do with being prepared. Quite often, we get nervous when we’re meeting someone new as we may not be sure what to say. Stage fright is a common occurrence when you’re required to speak in front of a large audience. And, of course, beginning a new job always comes with its elements of anxiety. However, returning to a state of normalcy in one’s life can be especially concerning after a long stay in the hospital.

At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to ensuring that people making the transition from the hospital to the community are always prepared. Getting people prepared, by the way, means giving them the confidence that they are completely capable of handling the everyday tasks that come with their regular lives, let alone their job positions. It also entails being in the right emotional state.

Needless to say, it can be a bit nerve-wracking to return to what may have become unfamiliar territory. This is why Independence Incorporated offers Discharge Planning services. We make it our mission to ensure that people who are leaving the hospital following their fight with an illness or injury are able to do so comfortably. Through our Discharge Planning services, our staff is able to assist in a number of ways.

In-hospital personal care needs. Of course, the road to recovery begins in the hospital. So before a person is discharged, our staff looks into whether or not certain support services are required for our clients during their hospital stays. As well, we determine if patients require devices that will help for their daily lives to be easier. Again, it’s all about making the transition from the hospital to regular life a lot more comfortable.

Home assessments. What will it be like for patients to leave the hospital and return home? Will they require additional assistance to get around their homes? Do their homes need to be wheelchair accessible or will other amendments to the living areas need to be made to make their day-to-day lives more manageable? These are some of the questions that we answer when doing our home assessments for clients.

Rehabilitation services. Our staff is well trained in making the best possible recommendations for our clients. Before returning to the community, we take a look at the various programs that can be put in place to help them get back to optimum health. Naturally, all of this will have to be done before they can safely return to work as well. At Independence Incorporated, we believe in adequate preparation for each transition.

We know that discharged patients have a lot of questions. They want to know their options once they’ve left the hospital. For example, who may be available to provide home health care? What can they do to help themselves get better? What problems should they watch for? Who can they contact if they have any questions? Not to mention, when a patient is discharged, he or she may still need assistance with everyday tasks.

Who is going to help with bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, climbing stairs, cooking, food shopping, house cleaning, paying the bills and getting to doctors’ appointments? This is especially concerning if there are no caregivers available in one’s family. Answering these and other questions is actually a big part of the recovery process. For more information about our “Discharge Planning” services, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Analyzing Our “Job Demands Analysis” Service

Posted by

Portrait of a happy female employee carrying laundry basketA job well done – this is essentially the primary goal of just about every employee in the work force. No matter the industry or type of business, employees are called upon to put forth their best efforts in order to complete tasks with the utmost efficiency. For the most part, workers wish to perform admirably at all times. But, it certainly helps when they are given the appropriate means to complete their jobs to their best abilities.

This is especially important for people who are returning to work after a long absence. When someone has been recuperating from an illness or an injury, it stands to reason that the demands of his or her job are far from being prioritized at the time. Once the recuperation is complete, however, individuals need appropriate time and training to get re-assimilated with their duties. At Independence Incorporated, we offer a service that takes this into account.

It’s known as Job Demands Analysis or JDA, for short. And, as part of this service, we analyze a number job components that are essential to the safe and effective returning to work of employees. Just as importantly, these components are reviewed so that employees can return to work as productive individuals who are given fair opportunities to put forth the necessary efforts that allow them to achieve great successes. Here are few of things we look at.

Physical components. Some jobs require physical labour, and as a result, it can be quite strenuous on individuals who haven’t performed certain tasks for a long time. We analyze such tasks as lifting, lowering, carrying and pushing. We also take a look at the pulling efforts that may affect posture, mobility requirements, aerobic efforts, repetitive motion efforts, shift exposures (frequency and duration), critical tasks and ergonomic concerns.

Environmental components. What is the environment of the work area that employees are returning to? Is it a high-stress environment that involves a lot of noise-inducing hustle and bustle, or is it a fairly quiet workspace? Is it a well-lit open space or is it a somewhat dim, tightly-squeezed corner of an office? Is it air conditioned or hot and stuffy? We analyze such conditions of any given workspace to make sure that it is conducive to safe and productive work.

Sensory components. What senses are workers using the most for their jobs? As you can imagine, someone who works with computers may experience strain on their eyes by viewing a screen all day. Depending on one’s physical condition, this may cause unnecessary harm. On the other hand, a loud environment can also create issues for certain individuals. Ensuring that workspaces are kind on the senses is key.

At Independence Incorporated, we feel that our Job Demands Analysis service is extremely helpful to both businesses and their employees for a number of reasons. Firstly, it assists with a clear communication of responsibilities on the part of both parties. Outlining standard operating procedures is important so that no employee returns to work unclear of what is expected. Accurate job descriptions are encouraged so that all tasks are clearly defined.

As well, we identify high-risk tasks so that we can foresee any potential difficulties by way of ergonomic problems. We ensure that proper training is implemented so that all requirements of the job can be completely effectively. The JDA also helps to develop specific rehabilitation and return to work processes, define work schedules and educate new hires. For more information about our “Job Demands Analysis”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Outlining The Benefits Of Our “Return To Work Program”

Posted by

Business woman standing with her staff in backgroundEveryone enjoys getting a day off work now and again. A long weekend, a statutory holiday and whenever necessary taking a personal day are all occasions that most workers thoroughly enjoy. It never hurts to get an extra day in there to relax, recharge and rejuvenate yourself for work. But you never want to actually get hurt in order to be able to take those days off! It should go without saying that we all wish to avoid illness and injury at all costs.

Sadly, this isn’t something that we can guarantee ourselves. So when an incident occurs that forces people to miss lengthy periods of time from their jobs, it’s important for them to get the appropriate support they need in order to return to work. It’s not just about returning to work though. Of course, it’s important for employers to have their staff members healthy in order to advance their company’s productivity levels.

But optimizing a person’s health is necessary for the benefit of all those involved – the employer, his or her insurance company, and most importantly the employee. Rushing an employee back to the job before he or she is ready benefits no one. Consider the fact that even when a worker is ready to work again, it will take some time for that person to ease back into the regular flow of things on the job.

This is why Independence Incorporated has a very comprehensive “Return To Work Program”. This very important service ensures that all of the issues related to an employee’s return to work are managed so that the transition is both a comfortable and appropriate one. Again, it’s integral that, for everyone’s sake, a worker is fully capable of the tasks given to him or her when arriving back on the job. Our program, therefore, involves a number of steps.

Clarification of any work related restrictions and/or accommodation requirements. In some cases, employees are healthy enough to return back to work but may not be able to completely manage all of the assignments that they used to be capable of taking on. We ensure that both employee and employee are fully aware of the limitations that may exist and work to put in place the necessary means of assistance to help the worker complete his or her assigned tasks.

Identification of available return to work options (same, modified or alternate work). Keeping in mind that an employee may be able to return to work in a limited capacity, we make it our job to ensure that there is clarification about how much the employee is able to contribute. In some instances, employees able to perform the same functions previous to their illness or injury. And in others, they require modified assignments or different tasks altogether.

Development, implementation and monitoring of graduated return to work plan. It’s always important to measure one’s ability to be productive on the job when he or she returns to it. A lot goes into one’s rehabilitation before he or she returns to work, but we remain mindful that the rehabilitation process continues once a person is back on the job. Is he or she easing back into a routine easily? Or is additional assistance required to make for an easier transition?

At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to the process of ensuring that employees are ready to be back at work as fully capable, productive members of their staffs. One way that we accomplish this is by ensuring that there is open communication between family physicians, treatment providers, employees and their employers. For more information about our “Return To Work Program”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.