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representative payee service

Representative Payee Service Program

Taking Care of You Now and Later with Representative Payee Service

An enjoyable life includes health, happiness, and stability. Social Security benefits are meant to assist consumers in a way that will allow them to live a comfortable life they enjoy. With Service First’s Representative Payee Service, individuals can seek the help they need when it comes to accessing their benefits or managing their finances. Being a Social Security beneficiary allows the Representative Payee Service to help consumers become more stable and safe. The program helps over 900 clients and annually manages over $9 million in benefits. That is an outstanding statistic that the company takes pride in. With promising reliable assistance and creating a trustworthy relationship with individuals, Service First created their honest Representative Payee Program.

The program works simply in a way to establish that each client’s personal priorities are taken care of. For instance, with financial management assistance, Service First is responsible for making sure each individual’s funds cover an affordable housing unit. Along with a place to live, the next step is creating a budget that includes food to maintain a proper diet. To sustain health, the program also ensures that a proper healthcare plan is sought out for each individual. Service First takes great seriousness in the safety of their consumers and that means finding them a home and funding coverage for their personal care in case of emergencies, injuries, or incidental expenses. When these main priorities are organized, the rest of the funds are issued out weekly for personal needs of the individuals. By working alongside each person, the main focus of the Representative Payee Service is to allow care for those who may struggle on their own; as well as assuring that not only are their current necessities taken care of but their future ones as well.

Don’t be afraid to take a helping hand in stabilizing your future. Allow the Service First’s Representative Payee Program to put you in a good position to live a happy, fulfilling life. Also, don’t forget to visit our page and like us for more information on the programs provided.

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swim lessons

Swim Lessons At Service First

 Create Safe And Confident Swimmers With Swim Lessons

There are multiple reasons why knowing how to swim is important. To protect and keep individuals safe, Service First provides swim lessons to ensure everyone has the proper skills and techniques needed around the pool. With Service First’s multiple level swim lessons, toddlers as young as the age of four can join. Although age may seem a factor, whether young or old, people are not placed into levels due to age, placement is based on an individual’s skill level.

 

As a parent, Service First understands the love each person has for their child or family member that they entrust in these programs. To give families the confidence that their swimmer is safe, the swim lessons are taught by Aquatic Specialists. Each specialist is CPR and First Aid certified, as well as trained in basic water safety. To ensure each individual is under the utmost care, specialists must pass a background check before being hired.

 

The swim lessons offered begin at Level One and are completed once a swimmer has passed all levels up to Level Five. Each level builds up to the next.

  • Level one, “Water Safety”: Swimmers begin with becoming comfortable in the water with tasks such as blowing bubbles, assisted back float, and water exploration.
  • Level two, “Guppies”: Swimmers learn freestyle arms, flutter kicks, and advance to an unassisted back float.
  • Level three, “Stingrays”: Now each individual learns how to breathe in between strokes, along with learning the backstroke arms/legs, and how to “Streamline.” (Streamline is a technique used by swimmers to help propel them as far as possible with the least amount of resistance.)
  • Level four, “Dolphins”: Lessons intensify by having swimmers swim distances between 15-25 yards. Diving is also introduced, and begins by diving off the side of the pool.
  • Level five, “Sharks”: Additional advancement in diving, “Streamline”, and all around swimmer’s ability. After perfecting their other strokes, the butterfly arms/kicks are introduced, along with the breaststroke arms/kicks.

 

The five level lessons will provide swimmers with the water safety and skills they need, as well as enjoy themselves when they are in the water. Allow Service First’s swimming lessons turn you into the mermaid or merman you’ve always wished you could be! Don’t forget to swim your way on over to our Facebook page and like us for more information on the services offered.

 

 

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veteran services

Veteran Services And Programs

Well-Deserved Veteran Services For Our Heroes

With Veterans Day just around the corner, it is important for everyone to acknowledge the commitment men and women serving our country have made to ensure that Americans’ have our freedom and safety in our homeland. To give back to these incredible men and women, veteran services are offered through Service First. From Representative Payee Services to Aquatic Therapy and Wellness Program or Ticket to Work, Veterans can be assisted in many aspects of their life.

Veteran services are offered to increase the quality of life for those who have served. For veterans who are elderly, disabled, or those dealing with arthritis, chronic pain, or rehabbing an increase in physical activity in their daily lives is crucial. The Aquatic Therapy and Wellness Programs by Service First gives individuals a way to increase movement without detrimental impact on their bodies. With a doctor’s referral, patient’s can have an aquatic therapy appointment with a licensed Physical Therapist. Service First is devoted to their clients and offers a wellness program with an Aquatic Specialist for those whose insurance can’t cover this type of physical therapy, but is prescribed by a doctor. The wellness program’s cost is meant to be affordable and the monthly fees are based on a sliding scale of income, meaning it’s based on the patient’s ability to pay.

The Ticket to Work program is one of the most helpful services, allowing individuals who are Social Security beneficiaries to find work and secure their benefits. Whether it is job development or job placement, the relationship Service First has with employers has allowed the company to become one of the leaders in the nation in job placement. As a veteran, Ticket to Work may open doors to opportunities much quicker than without the help of the program.

Once Service’s First has found individuals employment, they also provide Representative Payee Services. The Representative Payee Services offer clients who are Social Security beneficiaries’ assistance with their finances. The focus is aimed at making sure each client has a home, food, healthcare, and safety. The program ensures that clients are stable in their current lives, along with keeping future needs in mind. After the main priorities are taken care of, clients receive help budgeting by receiving funds weekly for any other personal expenses.

Service First also provides stable and Affordable Housing for our Veterans. The housing is designed for income-eligible tenants to not be spending more than 1/3 of their income on rent. There are 5 complexes throughout Stockton, CA that have been updated to best fit the needs of their residences The properties includes a full-time Coordinator of Services, in addition to the Resident Manager.

With such a wide range of services offered by Service First, veterans can find the assistance they need in multiple aspects of their life. Call today for more information on how we can help you or the veteran in your life.

 

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alternative sentencing

Types of Alternative Sentencing

Alternative Sentencing: The First Step to a New Life

People who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol think that it is all fun and unproblematic. That is, until the inevitable accident occurs or the driver gets caught. When arrested and charged with a DUI, it is imperative to comprehend the consequences and sanctions. If the charges cannot get dismissed and a DUI conviction is given, the driver may be facing potential significant jail time. Serving time in jail may affect one’s future and reputation drastically. If possible, alternative sentencing is always a good option for those who wish to turn their lives around.

One of the most common alternative penalties is undertaking community service. This is often an option for first time or misdemeanor offenders. Examples of community services are roadside clean ups and various volunteer activities. Community service requires offenders to report to a probationary officer or another official to monitor the hours. For repeat offenders, community service may be a way to reduce fines or jail time.

Depending on the offense, an electronic monitoring or house arrest may also be imposed as an alternative form of sentencing other than jail time. The home confinement program requires the offender to stay at home throughout a period of time. This rule may be waived for work and school attendance and medical appointments, with a curfew imposed with it. Alcohol monitoring is conducted through an electronic monitoring to notify authorities in case of alcohol intake.

For those who are making a commitment to recovery, another commonly selected alternative penalty is the alcohol and drug rehab as per the California Penal Code Section 2900.5. This option is utilized when an individual is convicted of three or more DUI convictions within a ten year time period.

Service First of Northern California offers outpatient certified alcohol and drug treatment program. One of its main purposes is to assist those who are seeking to recover from alcohol and drug dependencies. The outpatient program aims to serve as the first step towards sobriety, while remaining productive members of the society.

Service First of Northern California believes that an offender’s life should not end with an arrest. Besides serving as an alternative sentencing option, Service First’s treatment program gives way for the accessibility of individual therapy, family counseling, as well as support groups. Service First of Northern California provides assistance in making the journey smoother towards recovery and new life.

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dui classes

Educational DUI Classes

DUI Classes for Public Safety and Personal Progress

DUI programs and rehabilitation courses are services that are intended to help those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication. “DUI classes” is the umbrella term for this kind of education. The purpose of such DUI classes is to educate, inform, and monitor offenders.

DUI education often varies in length, from a 12-hour class to a 30 month program. Service First of Northern California offers six kinds of DUI programs. The shortest one is the Twelve-12 Hour Wet & Reckless Program. However, for first-time offender a three-month, six-month, or nine-month program may be required. These services include educational sessions, counseling meetings, as well as face-to-face interviews.

Meanwhile, an 18-month program may be required for multiple-offenders. This consists of the core program during the first 12 months, followed by a community re-entry phase in the last six months. The core program includes educational sessions, counseling, and face-to-face interviews.

These programs are typically court-mandated to reduce sentencing. All the programs aim to encourage individuals to identify and resolve alcohol and drug-related problems by supporting positive lifestyle changes. Its end-goal is to protect the public health and safety on the highways.

One of the biggest values that DUI programs aim to impart is improved decision making. DUI education emphasizes the necessity to make better life decisions to avoid future DUI incidents. This is accomplished evaluating various scenarios to help students understand the correct decision to make. In addition, these education classes also teach responsible drinking. While it does not prohibit drinking altogether, it instills the strategy of having a consistent backup plan to avoid having to drive while intoxicated. It also teaches self-awareness for students to understand that it is possible to feel sober when they are impaired in reality.

In these sessions, it is also a primary goal to make offenders understand that surrounding themselves with the right people is necessary. Evaluating their social circle and eliminating bad influence could make a huge difference in avoiding risky behaviors. Positivity attracts positivity, thus surrounding themselves with positive influences could lead to making responsible decisions.

Service First of Northern California is licensed by the California State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to offer DUI programs. These programs are delivered in both English and Spanish languages.  Service First’s DUI classes are designed to inculcate and retain values, as well as ease every student in assimilating back into society. Call today for more information.

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women's group

Benefits Of Women’s Group Sessions

Empowerment through Women’s Group Sessions

During recovery, a female’s physiology, mental health, hormonal differences, spiritual concerns, as well as background and life circumstances should be taken into consideration. The success and effectiveness of treatments are heightened if the individual’s needs are being met. As such, studies have manifested that joining and staying in a women’s group and other single-gender programs have proven itself as the treatment of choice for women.

Gender identity can serve as a validation for most women. By signing up and maintaining attendance in single-gender programs, women can help and provide mutual support for each other. With this, women can restore their self-esteem, as well as learn to value themselves. Because they understand each other’s struggles and perspectives; members and leaders could concentrate on treatment in respect to concerns that are primarily women’s.

A women’s group provides a safe space for women to open up about sensitive and personal issues. A custom understanding of experiences that typically impact women, such as self-esteem, body image, parenting trauma, and physical/sexual abuse, creates significant impact with the speed and efficiency of the therapy. By subscribing to a same-gender therapy group, commonalities and similar experiences lead to approval, acceptance, respect, and empowerment.

In same-gender group counseling, empowerment is achieved through mutually empathic and empowering relationships. There are no competitions, as every participant motivates, frees, and mobilizes each other. These relationships lead to increased self-worth and the desire for deeper connections.

Needless to say, leaders or counselors play a huge part in the effectiveness of a therapy group. As strong female role models for these women, counselors and staff should serve as the primary source of empowerment and motivation. By instilling awareness, along with expression of feelings, reactions, and needs, leaders can inculcate direct and healthy ways to be powerful. They promote interaction that fosters connection, which leads to empowerment. They promote self-nurturance and care for peers by encouraging the positive effects of the therapy. In addition, they facilitate mutual respect and understanding within the group by working through conflicts. As models, they embody appropriate conflict-resolution behaviors and respect for boundaries.

Service First of Northern California provides Women’s Group Sessions dedicated for helping those women who seek to recover from alcohol and drug dependence. These sessions provide a safe space for women to talk about sensitive experiences and with a strong network of women who share similar struggles. Topics include, but are not limited to, women’s health issues, assault, human trafficking, anger management, life skills, and abuse, among others. Please contact Service First today for more information.

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art therapy

Healing Through Art Therapy

Benefits of Art Therapy

Artistic expression can be therapeutic for people who have experienced trauma, as well as those who have special needs or disabilities. Searching for and utilizing various creative outlets could relieve one’s stress and anxiety. The process of employing art as a means to advance oneself and the society is called art therapy. Studies have proven that this type of therapy can increase concentration and assist with feelings of isolation. Research also indicates that it assists with anxiety, depression, substance dependency, stress, posttraumatic stress, attention deficit hyperactivity, aging issue, cancer, compassion fatigue, anorexia, bulimia, cognitive impairments, and relationship issues.

According to American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is the process of cultivating the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creativity, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. The main goal of such is to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, develop self-esteem and self-awareness, enrich emotional resilience, and enhance insight. Moreover, by encouraging social interaction, it also aims to settle and avoid conflicts, as well as strengthen overall ecological and societal change in consequence. It is a form of psycho-treatment that uses creativity and artistic expression to help resolve issues, as well as manage behaviors and reduce stress. This objective is accomplished through the use of simple art materials, such as paints, chalk, and markers. This type of therapy can also be called “creative arts therapy” or “expressive arts therapy.”

In the present time, technology has made self-expression possible for everyone in a myriad of ways.  Likewise, it can be practiced and utilized by everyone in order to communicate and understand themselves in a deeper level. However, unlike other methods of expression that uses language to communicate, art therapy applies aesthetics. This therapy involves the mind, body, and spirit in ways that verbal articulation alone cannot attain. This is advantageous for those who are not capable for expressing themselves within such restriction.

Through artistic therapy, one can express their emotions through visual arts. Examples of techniques that can be used are:

  • Painting
  • Finger painting
  • Doodling
  • Scribbling
  • Drawing
  • Molding clay
  • Carving
  • Pottery making
  • Card designing
  • Textile crafting
  • Collage making
  • Other forms of visual arts

Artistic therapy provides numerous uses and benefits. The key to maximizing its full potential in enriching one’s life is consistency; regular therapy sessions must be attended in order to experience its therapeutic benefits. Service First of Northern California offers art therapy sessions as part of our “Options” Learning Program.

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independent living

What is Independent Living

Independent Living for a Happier and Productive Lifestyle

To advocates and supporters, independent living is both a philosophy and a movement. It is a mindset with regard to perceiving society and disability. As a campaign, it is a fight for equal opportunities, self-determination, and self-respect.

As a concept, it yielded practical measures to live up to the fight. One of these is the foundation of independent living centers for the disabled and the elderly.  These services are ideal for individuals to live autonomously with minimal assistance. For seniors, this set-up offers flexible options to maximize their retirement years. Meanwhile, this may be a great option for individuals with developmental disabilities who need minimal care in the comfort of their own homes. Most centers offer a variety of services that range from housekeeping to financial management, with every program specifically tailored for the individual’s particular need.

In addition, it may be beneficial for those that primarily require minor assistance. These programs are crafted and accomplished with the philosophy’s main objective in mind. As such, services are provided without compromising an individual’s initiative and desire to take control over their lives. This leads to a healthy disposition, a happier outlook, and a productive lifestyle.

A kind of independent living arrangement is “supportive living.” It is an alternative service scheme to nursing home care. It takes into consideration an individual’s income by being one of the most affordable living set-ups, utilizing Medicaid to finance labor and amenities. It usually combines apartment-style housing with minimal personal care and various other services. In this living arrangement, individuals are not mandated to avail all the services and medication. Each service is adjustable and customized depending on the client’s current requirements and liking.

With supportive living, seniors and individuals with disabilities can perform decision-making, as well as enjoy the liberties of personal choice, dignity, privacy, and individuality. A significant increase on the quality of life can be observed.

Service First of Northern California offers supportive living services. These services comprise of: financial management and budgeting, medication monitoring, assisting with self-care needs, meal preparation, daily household chores and maintenance, parenting skills development, as well as social and community integration. Our supportive living services also include transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and other appointments. Assistance with regard to grocery and personal shopping may also be included if required. As mentioned, each service can be designed specifically in consideration to the individual’s needs and preferences. Each service follows the philosophy of independent living to ensure maximum benefits.

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substance abuse

Understanding Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse, Withdrawals, and Effects

 The World Health Organization (WHO) defines substance abuse as the frequent and hazardous utilization of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, nicotine, and drugs. Repeated consumption of such leads to dependence that affects the user’s behavioral, cognitive, and physiological abilities. It occurs when the user goes through an uncontrollable urge to take the substance despite its lethal consequences, prioritizes its use over other activities and obligations, and experiences higher tolerance.

Development of high tolerance to substances requires the user to consume a larger volume of the substances to produce the regular result. Cessation or reduction in the amount of consumed substance triggers withdrawals. In the USA, five of the most commonly abused substance is tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

  1. Tobacco

Tobacco smokers develop addiction due to nicotine. Users claim that tobacco relieves stress, improves performance, limits hunger, and helps control weight.

Aside from nicotine, several other harmful substances are present in a stick of cigarette. These chemicals increase the risk of suffering from heart diseases, lung cancer and emphysema, stroke, and peptic ulcer disease.

Upon quitting, smokers experience anxiety, sleep disorder s, stress, and depression as withdrawal effects.

  1. Alcohol

As a depressant, alcohol slows down mental activity, resulting to slurred speech, imbalance, slow reaction, and judgment distortion.

Excessive alcohol intake on a regular basis can lead to heart enlargement and increase the risk of stomach cancer. Other detrimental effects include chronic pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, and risk for pancreatic cancer. Aside from its negative effects to the health, alcohol abuse is associated with fatal motor vehicle accidents.

Withdrawal from alcohol can result to irregular heartbeat, anxiety, and seizures, among others.

  1. Marijuana

Marijuana can be consumed in several ways such eating or smoking. The plant produces the active chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is its addictive component.

Usage weakens short-term memory and retention, as well as the ability to concentrate and coordinate. It increases heart rate, harms the lungs, and intensifies the risk of psychosis. When smoked, it irritates the lungs and leads to high risk of cancer than tobacco smoking. Pleasure and relaxation are the usual common effects of marijuana use.

Withdrawal effects include anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability, stomach pains, loss of appetite, nausea, and insomnia.

  1. Cocaine

Cocaine is a substance that is derived from South America’s coca plant. It can be consumed through injecting, smoking, snorting, or swallowing. It stimulates pleasure and increases alertness. However, the drug also has numerous negative effects such as paranoia, constriction of blood vessels that leads to heart diseases and stroke, irregular heartbeat, and even death. Moreover, usage of this drug has been associated with heart damage, brain diseases, lung malfunctions, and kidney failure.

When suffering from withdrawal, users experience agitation, restlessness, depression, fatigue, discomfort, increased appetite, and sleep disorders.

  1. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant that decreases appetite and stimulates pleasure. Similar with other drugs, it can be consumed through smoking, injecting, snorting, or eating. Like cocaine, it could lead to heart disorders and stroke. Often, methamphetamine users experience paranoia, teeth damage, hallucinations, and weight loss.

Withdrawal causes nausea, depression, dry mouth, abdominal cramps, insomnia, and appetite increase.

 

While most substance abuse addicts strive to stop abusing drugs individually, a majority do not succeed. This is where medical and professional help come in. Service First of Northern California offers various outpatient drug treatment programs. With the help of certified professionals, clients go through counseling and support meetings to promote faster recovery from substance abuse. If you or a loved one is battling with addiction and is seeking help please call Service First today for information on our Outpatient Alcohol & Drug Treatment program.

 

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hydrotherapy exercises

Five Basic Hydrotherapy Exercises

Simple Hydrotherapy Exercises to Treat Ailments

Hydrotherapy, sometimes called “aquatic therapy,” is the medical treatment of certain diseases, conditions, and ailments through the utilization of water. It employs the thermal or mechanical fundamentals of water to maximize exercise and therapeutic benefits. As one of the oldest methods of healing, hydrotherapy exercises and techniques have been applied and proven effective for centuries. Treatments may range from motion-based therapy to application of temperature adjustments.

Hydrotherapy exercises and treatments have multiple benefits. Aside from relieving sudden body pains, as well as assist in relaxing tight and tense muscles, hydrotherapy helps in boosting the immune system and stimulating cardiovascular capacity. In addition, it also improves metabolism and detoxifies the digestive system. On top of enhancing skeletal and muscular performance hydrotherapy workout also aids in treating a wide variety of ailments and diseases. Below are some simple hydrotherapy exercises that Service First of Northern California utilizes in their Aquatic Therapy program and that you could use at home with proper supervision:

 

  1. Leg Raise Exercise

 

This workout is executed with one leg outstretched in front of you and the supporting leg straight or slightly bent. With one hand, balance by holding on the side of the pool. Hold the position and then return to starting stance. Perform 10-12 repetitions for each leg. You can also try performing variations of the workout such as raising your leg to the side, or executing it with the aid of a water noodle for an intensified exercise.

The Leg Raise Exercise and Leg Side Raise Exercise strengthen and stretch the muscles in the leg, hip, and lower back. It aids in the treatment of back pains, osteoarthritis, as well as various rheumatic difficulties.

 

  1. Pool Walking or Jogging Exercise

 

This exercise begins with walking 10-20 steps forward, and then walks backward in chest-high or waist-high water level. To escalate difficulty, increase speed up to jogging-level or add hand floats and lightweights. Apply variations such as alternate jogging for 30 seconds, then walk in place for 30 seconds.

This pool-version of water walking is beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis, joint pains, muscular-skeletal difficulties, asthma, and even Parkinson’s disease, among others.

 

  1. Standing Knee Lift

 

Start this exercise by standing against the pool wall with both feet on the floor. As if marching in place, lift one knee up to hip-level before straightening it down. Repeat this step 10 times on one knee before moving on to another. Perform 3 sets of 10 lifts on each knee. Challenge yourself by trying this exercise without the support of the pool wall, or by placing a floatation noodle under your foot.

Accomplishing this workout stretches and stimulates the lower body, which is favorable for those who are experiencing back pains, joint pains, rheumatic complaints, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, among others.

 

  1. Water-Supported Leg Stretch

 

This stretching exercise requires the individual hold on with both hands on the side of the pool, with the body and legs outstretched and floating on the water. Maintain deep, even breaths throughout the duration of this exercise.

This workout extends the back and joint regions, as well as the upper body muscles, making it effective in treating back pains, joint pains, arthritis, spinal ailments, and shoulder pains. Breathing exercises performed with this also helps those who suffer from cardio and respiratory problems.

 

  1. Quadruped Activity and Exercise

 

This workout entails the individual to be held in place with the assistance of flotation devices or a workout partner supporting the individual’s trunk (often a physical therapist). While on their back, the individual makes paddling motions with their arms and legs. For a higher power workout, utilize paddles, weights, or intensified current.

Aside from working the limbs and core muscles group, this type of hydrotherapy exercise also relaxes the muscles, build muscle mass, and improve blood circulation.

 

Other methods of aqua therapy, such as spa treatment, complement these hydrotherapy exercises to further stimulate therapeutic effects. Hydrotherapy exercises are also best performed with the guidance of license physical therapists to maximize benefits and prevent injuries. Service First provides a variety of aquatic therapy and wellness programs to aid patients with disabilities, injuries, and illnesses in decreasing pain and improve physical capabilities. Call today for more information about our wellness programs.

 

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