News (Noticias)

Celebrating Direct Support Professionals

Celebrating the important work of direct support professionals

Earlier this month, we celebrated National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, honoring the work of all Direct Support Professionals (DSP). Being a DSP is a challenging job, but also a rewarding one, caring for individuals with physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities to ensure they are living fulfilling and healthy lives.

A DSP can provide support to individuals in a variety of places, such as at home, school, and other community environments. Support by a DSP can include assistance with daily tasks like eating and nutrition, administering medications, and addressing transportation needs. A DSP also works on behalf of the individuals that they support, helping to communicate their needs and advocating for self expression. In the U.S. we have an estimated 77,000 people employed as DSPs.

At RMHS we work with many local host home providers who provide direct support to individuals by hosting them in their home to ensure their needs are met 24/7. Often their job can blend the personal with the professional, inviting individuals into their home and providing them with the care they need, while also raising their own families.

Host home providers may find themselves being the main advocate for the people they support, taking them to medical appointments and ensuring they are receiving the correct care. In many cases, clients living in a host home are medically fragile, immobile or non-verbal, requiring consistent care to ensure they are okay and healthy.

For those clients who are nonverbal, host home providers and other DSPs create a system of understanding by building and fortifying strong relationships, proactively anticipating a variety of needs. It can be difficult to know if a person who is unable to speak with words is in pain or needs something, so their host home providers take great care to listen and identify the signs that something might be wrong or needed.

To be successful, many host home providers have found it essential to welcome people into their home as family, providing care with love and authentic compassion for the individuals they support.

Even though Direct Support Professionals week is once per year, the work that they do impacts lives all year long. Let's take a moment to celebrate them and the tremendous work that they do for our community!

RMHS DSP Spotlights

In honor of Direct Support Professionals Week, we would like to put a spotlight on two DSP's in the RMHS community: Life Skills Specialist John Mallon and Licensed Practical Nurse Royce Paglomutan.

John Mallon - Life Skills Specialist

How long have you been with RMHS?

I have been working in direct support for a year and a half.

Can you describe an average day in your work?

An average day includes running errands with clients, including cashing checks at the bank or getting groceries. My day also involves taking clients to one, sometimes many, doctors’ appointments. As well, an average day can include an activity such as Horseback Riding or a Rockies game.

What made you interested in becoming a DSP?

I became interested in this type of work after taking care of my two younger cousins with Autism. They inspire me and have taught me about the joy of helping others.

Royce Paglomutan - Licensed Practical Nurse