We are proud to honor Dale Libengood as one of our Direct Support Professionals of the Year. Dale supports Catherine at home and in the community, making them an incredible team. Catherine exercises choice and control and directs operations as Dale provides care and support and helps operations run smoothly. Their bond illustrates why challenges are never too great and life’s journey can be best had with a partner.
Catherine, who is 83 years old, has had life-threatening health problems in recent years, causing her to be in and out of hospital care. Despite these challenges, her zest for life remains high. She enjoys going to church, listening to music from George Harrison and Glenn Campbell, watching the Beverly Hills Chihuahuas movie, and taking care of her own family of fish (Zoie, Enzoe, Blue Boy and Kitty, the catfish). Dale is along for the ride, providing activities of daily living as they go. “I take her to church for social interaction, but worry that the social butterfly she is, she will up-stage the preacher in the ‘sermon of the day,’” says Dale.
Catherine is grateful for Dale’s care. Catherine takes blood thinners and, if she should fall, could potentially experience severe internal-cognitive bleeding. Dale is a trained EMT and has created a helmet for her to wear to keep her safe. He values Catherine’s passions and encourages her to maintain activity in every way she can, by saying:
She has now cultivated a growing appreciation for rock music with the concerned awareness that she might even, with great risk, attempt to dance to it. Catherine has now become impassioned to the pop/rock music of the famous Swedish group of an earlier time called “ABBA.” Even though she can no longer get up on the dance floor, she can still move to the music while peddling her daily required cycling machine used to prevent atrophy and embolisms. Yes…she was the original, “Dancing Queen” and now… a “Cycling Queen” who can still move to the music.
Dale is there for Catherine for many activities — cooking healthy meals, taking her to medical appointments, and making sure she drinks enough fluids and is fit for the day. Catherine summed it up by saying, “Dale is very sympathetic. He comforts me and makes me forget my troubles. A doctor at Tucson Medical Center once said, ‘Getting old is not for sissies’ and that’s the truth. Somehow Dale knows that and encourages me on all levels. I don’t know what I would do without him. For these reasons, I nominate Dale Libengood for the DSP award.”
Thank you, Dale, for your service and commitment. Your care and support inspires us. We appreciate you as a direct support professional and a valued member of the community. Keep on being awesome!
Your Consumer Direct Care Network Team