Dancing with Deborah

It’s a simple dance, yet it does so much for Deborah who deals with significant health concerns. Deborah is nonverbal and has been described as cantankerous, uncooperative and sometimes difficult. Her health and her quality of life were getting worse, not better.

That is until Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Samuel and Beth joined AbleLight and began providing Supported Living Services to Deborah in her own home.

“I started working with Debra about six years ago and during all that time I’ve been with Deborah,” said Samuel. “I have treated her with compassion and with dignity.”

Samuel and Beth assist Deborah through AbleLight’s Supported Living program with day-to-day activities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They prepare meals, take her to medical appointments, help with hygiene needs, housekeeping and laundry. They support Deborah in her home as she makes the bed or changes her clothes. Deborah likes to change her outfit several times a day. They also read together, count in sign language, sing and dance and so much more.

“I let her do anything she can possibly do. Mine is just to assist her so that she can become active,” said Samuel.

Beth and Samuel researched lifestyle changes to help with Deborah’s health. They learned some of her sign language. They worked to keep her moving, with short walks and with dance. They formed a bond with Deborah and she with them. They work to keep her healthy and, more importantly, are committed to seeing she’s happy.

“We dance with Deborah because we want her happy and also for her to feel she’s part of the life other people are living,” said Beth. “You should make her feel the world is hers. She belongs to the world like any other person.”

Samuel and Beth’s efforts have paid off. “She is a success story!” said her guardian. “I am thankful for all the great care you have provided to Deborah over the years.”

Caring for a person with good food, exercise, shelter, and a good night’s sleep is important. Samuel and Beth do that. They’ve also demonstrated with Deborah that caring about the person is even more important.

“When I arrive to work with Deborah, I have no other home except Deborah’s house. I don’t think of anything else. I think Deborah when I’m here,” said Samuel.

Today, Deborah is happy and flourishing. Putting her at the center of all they do, Samuel and Beth are making sure Deborah is living well and enjoying life.

Your gift matters

Three men with developmental disabilities posing

A gift today can transform the lives of people with developmental disabilities in some of these powerful and meaningful ways –

  • A young adult who gets to go to college for the first time through our AbleLight College programs
  • An individual is welcomed into a new safe and loving home and doesn’t risk homelessness or living in an unsafe environment
  • Quality care is delivered by a care professional to support an individual with complex needs
  • An individual gets the assistive technology device they need to independently manage their medications and improve their quality of life
  • A person is able to participate in faith and worship during the most challenging of times

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