Fall 2016 Newsletter

The Fall 2016 Newsletter is here! 

You'll find a passage from one of our clients about their experience at Unique Options, our time at the most recent BIAMI Fall Conference, and a little more about the history of our Horticulture program. Enjoy!

Macomb County Business Awards

There are nearly 18,000 businesses that call Macomb County home. They are important not only for the direct jobs they create but also for the many ways that they contribute to our communities in general.

Unique Options, LLC is please to announce that we are one of 3 nominated businesses for the "Champions of Workforce Development" award! This category is for any business that utilizes innovated practices for hiring, training, and or retaining employees. This week, we had the pleasure of giving tours and more information about our facility to representatives for the Macomb County Business Awards.

The winner of the Champions of Workforce Development will be determined by a group of business leaders from Macomb County on Tuesday, February 9th, and will be presented by County Executive Mark Hackel. To purchase tickets to this event, click the link below. 


Feburary 9th, 2016

8am - 10am

The 4th Annual Macomb County Business Awards is a celebration of organizations that have found success in creating a strong and welcoming workforce, diversifying their market share, implementing efficiency or giving back to the community.  Huel Perkins, Fox 2 Detroit Anchor, will emcee.  Kim Yost, CEO of Art Van Furniture will offer a keynote address.  County Executive Mark A. Hackel will present awards to a single recipient in each of six categories.  Presented by the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.



Thank you for all of your support that allows Unique Options to keep providing meaningful work opportunities to the brain injury community, year after year!

Urgent! Contact Your State Rep!

Did you hear about Senate Bill 248?

In less than 36 hours, the Senate passed out of committee and voted on SB 248, a bill which alters no-fault auto insurance significantly.

Help protect Auto No Fault by contacting your State Representative NOW and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 248!

Brain Injury Awareness Day With Unique Options

While we've been celebrating and promoting brain injuries all month long, March 18th was the official day for brain injury awareness! Unique Options has been actively engaging with the traumatic brain injury community, in order to shed more light on these invisible injuries and create positive change for the future. Wondering what we've been up to?

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Educating Others

Kim Goodwin & Tim Hoste of Unique Options visited the CW50 to talk about employment opportunities that Unique Options hosts for the traumatic brain injury community. Click the picture below to watch their segment that discusses how we provide high level vocational training to all levels and abilities for the TBI community.

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Contacting State Representatives

Everyone at Unique Options are actively engaged in helping push policies and proactive changes that would benefit the traumatic brain injury community. This month, we focused on writing to our state representatives in support of Senate Bill 41, otherwise known as the Michigan Brain Injury Law. With help from both staff and clients at Unique Options, who continuously voice their support for Senate Bill 41, we hope to truly make an impact on our state representatives and their decisions. Click here to contact your state senator and representatives, and show your support towards positive legislation for the TBI community! 

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Wearing Green!

Everyone at Unique Options has been sporting new green bracelets with our motto: Keep Calm & Work On! In support of Brain Injury Awareness month, Unique Options will be giving away hundreds of our green bracelets at the Carnival of Care conference on 3/22/15. Stop by our booth, play some games, and show your support all year long! 

Spreading Awareness About Traumatic Brain Injuries By Sharing Personal Experiences & Support

We've shared tips and suggestions on how to spread awareness about traumatic brain injuries all month long on our Facebook page, but also wanted to hear from you! Our staff and clients shared their personal experiences, either from living with a brain injury or supporting the community, and how they help make a difference in lives every day. How are you helping promote brain injury awareness? Let us know in the comments below!

Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Unique Options, LLC strives to bring positive light and hope to brain injury survivors, by spreading their message and educating the public on the realities of a traumatic brain injury.

Nearly 2.4 million people incur a brain injury every year in the United States. Many of those individuals are thrown into a lifelong battle with physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities. With proper therapeutic and vocational rehabilitation, Unique Options, LLC is continuously working to make the future for traumatic brain injury survivors brighter. During the month of March, Unique Options, LLC encourages you to follow along with us as we bring forth more awareness for traumatic brain injuries, and honor the millions who are living with brain injuries today.

We’ll offer opportunities for you to give back to the brain injury community, spread awareness with those you know, and become an intricate member of providing real solutions for those living with a brain injury. Join Unique Options, LLC in the journey to shine a light on traumatic brain injuries and promote advocacy for creating a more meaningful future for every survivor!

Read to get started now? Subscribe to our blog below and follow us on Facebook for daily updates on brain injury awareness and how you can help make a difference!

Emotional Extremes & How You Can Help

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and while many embrace the holiday as a way to show their loved one’s just how much they care, it can be a difficult time for others. This year, don’t forget about those who are suffering from brain injuries, and may find it more difficult to express their emotions.

 

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At Unique Options, we work with clients who have difficulty grasping their inner sensitivities. When someone acquires a traumatic brain injury, the psychological problems that can build from emotional stress are often too much for an individual to tackle on their own. This is why our program offers a safe and comfortable environment, to allow our clients to express their emotions, and work through their actions appropriately.

Below are some of the most common emotional symptoms that TBI survivors experience, and how you can take more proactive steps to help them cope.

  • Mood Swings:  Some people experience up’s and down’s faster than we can process. We often refer to this as an ‘emotional roller coaster,’ as many clients will go from happy to sad, in an extremely fast amount of time. These mood swings can happen for no specific reason, and shouldn't be taken personally by those on the opposite end.
    • How Can You Help: If you happen to receive the aftermath of a mood swing, make sure to always remain calm. Try to speak quietly to the person experiencing the emotional roller coaster, and remain supportive of the situation.
  • Depression: This is one of the most common emotional symptoms that go along with having a TBI. Many survivors morn the loss of what they once were, how they functioned before their injury, and the overwhelming sensation of change. This can also be a chemical reaction that shows face several months after incurring a brain injury.
    • How Can You Help: Be as supportive and encouraging as possible, but understand that you won’t always be able to fix the problem. Medication, along with routine diet and exercise, can help curb depression issues for those with a TBI. If you know someone is experiencing these symptoms, don’t wait to speak up. Make sure they know they have your support!
  • Anxiety: You know that feeling when your nerves take over, and all logical thinking goes out the window? So do those who’ve experience a brain injury. TBI clients are more likely to exhibit symptoms of anxiety frequently. This is often due to the difficulty caused by focusing, concentrating, or not understand what is being explained to them. Additionally, large crowds, physical limitations, or time constraints, can also be an anxiety trigger.
    • How Can You Help: Keep things small and simple! When explaining information to someone with a TBI, keep your directions clear and concise. Offer reassuring assistance and provide as much structure for a situation, when you can.
  • Irritability: Many people that have sustained a TBI end up struggling with tolerance issues. Their irritability increases, and it can often appear that they’re frequently agitated. Injuries that occur in the brain that control these areas are common with those suffering from a brain injury, and can also work in conjunction with their anxiety.
    • How Can You Help: Again, we want to remind you to not take these situations personally. Avoid rationalizing with the other person, and give them some space to calm down. However, don’t shy away from letting the individual know that their behavior is an appropriate way for them to express themselves, and find a moment to talk about why the incident happened, at a later time.

What suggestions do you find work best when dealing with emotional extremes? Let us know in the comments below! 

Looking for more important information and content on how to work with those with TBI's? Make sure to 'like' us on Facebook for daily updates on what's occurring in the world of brain injuries!

The Real Facts on Auto No-Fault

by Tim Hoste

In the January 22, 2015 Detroit Free Press, readers were greeted by a full page advertisement about the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA).  In what appears to be nothing more than a poor attempt to gain attention for a new radio program on a small time, low end of the dial radio station, this sub par attempt at "informing" the public is missing one important element...fact.

The first glaring statement that proves this advertisement is nothing more than a poorly worded opinion piece is the reference to the MCCA having $20 billion in the fund.  The total amount of money in the MCCA's fund has been at the forefront of many auto no-fault related discussions for a number of years now, and even after numerous Freedom of Information Act requests and court battles, no definitive number has ever been presented.  There has long been speculation as to the amount of money in this fund, as well as its overall sustainability, but as described in numerous independent audits of the MCCA, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association uses accounting practices which differ from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.[i]  This statement alone proves that before any statement can be made as to the financial status of the MCCA, further information is needed to truly understand the viability of the fund.

The second statement that shows whoever authored the advertisement does not have a strong understanding of how the MCCA operates in the sentence that reads, the MCCA reimburses a very small percentage of those not playing by the rules, meanwhile, a high percentage of people who play by the rules are paying for all of this.  The MCCA is simply a re-insurer for any insurance company that writes auto insurance policies in the State of Michigan.  While the responsibility of each claim falls on the various insurance companies, the MCCA will reimburse them for every dollar spent beyond the first $530,000.  The purpose of the MCCA was to even the playing field for all auto insurers, and help ensure that the smaller companies could still write policies in Michigan, which requires all reasonable charges incurred for reasonably necessary products, services, and accommodations for an injured person’s care, recovery or rehabilitation be covered for the accident victims lifetime.  That was and is all the MCCA does, so it is unclear as to how they only reimburse a very small percentage, when they reimburse ALL auto claims that exceed $530,000.

The third statement that continues to show the lack of knowledge from the people behind this advertisement is the one line that reads, We are for everyone who legitimately need assistance from this fund! (not the lowlifes who take advantage).  Once you look past the unnecessary use of slanderous rhetoric, this statement contradicts their text box on the right side of the page that says, Place a $500,000 cap on current and future claimants.  The reality is that anyone who sustains a catastrophic injury (such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury), $500,000 will not even come close to covering the appropriate levels of care and rehabilitation they will require throughout their lifetime. 

It is my sincere hope that whoever is responsible for this advertisement truly takes the time to learn the facts of Michigan's Auto No-Fault Insurance and the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Associations.  All Michigan residents are fortunate to live in a state that allows all accident victims the chance to have a good quality of life post injury.  In other states, the sad reality is that if you get injured in an auto accident, financial ruin for you and your family occurs, followed up by the remainder of your life is spent in a state-run nursing home. 

If the "Ask Detroit" radio show and the staff at 680AM WNZK really want to delve into this topic, the focus should be on the MCCA and their refusal to present the real financial data that is needed to truly understand the status of that fund.  Or, they can focus on why the State of Michigan allows your credit score, occupation, level of education, and residential address to factor into to how much your pay in auto insurance premiums.  Better yet, I urge the hosts of "Ask Detroit" to spend some time learning the truth about Michigan Auto No-Fault Insurance, and witness firsthand some of the therapies and rehabilitation that are quintessential to the recovery and well being of auto accident victims. 

If the hosts of "Ask Detroit" or any other media member would like to learn more about Auto No-Fault, please do not hesitate to contact me at thoste@uniqueoptionsllc.com.  It is my goal to help everyone understand just how critical Michigan's Auto No-Fault System is to not only those who currently need it, but to anyone who might need it in the future. 

In a split second an auto accident can change someone's life forever, it could be yours.  What type of auto insurance coverage would you want?

[i] Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association: Financial Statements and Supplemental Schedules Statutory Basis of Accounting. June 30, 2014 and 2013. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

January Newsletter

The newsletter is here! Look inside to see pictures from our Holiday Party, read about a personal reflection about Unique Options, LLC from a client, and an Auto No-Fault update.

If you'd like to receive a hard copy of our newsletter, contact us and we'll add you to our mailing list!

January Newsletter