Honoring Direct Support Professionals

DSP Week Sep 10-16

Pete DiBenedetto

Pete DiBenedetto

Pete DiBenedetto has been a caregiver with UCP’s Capital Home Care program in Selinsgrove for over five years. In an email, Pete shared that he takes great joy and honor in his everyday care of the consumer, no matter the age or disability. “As caregivers, we need to place ourselves in their shoes and care for them with the same care and compassion as we would like to receive,” Pete wrote.

That certainly seems to be the case in his experiences with an adored consumer named Marie. This is Pete, in his own words:

“I have been placed with Marie, a 91-year-young lady who is a sweetheart to be with. I place myself in her surroundings and picture her as if she were my own grandma and even, at times, my mother. She is a Godly woman and I have had the privilege of taking her to church on several occasions. Her faith is strong and it has caused my own faith to become stronger. She is witty and smart and you can see her excitement for life in the way her eyes sparkle.

Marie with tree at marinaI recently took this young lady to a local marina. She began to cry as I helped her out of my vehicle. She loves nature and how trees blossom. It had been several years since she had been there and she reminisced that the last time she had been there the trees weren’t so tall. She thanked me with a smile and she said she felt so free and relaxed. 

Caregivers and administrative staff, I tell you each and every one of us has this God given talent. The greatest commandment in the Bible is found in Luke 10:27: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.’

In most cases as caregivers we become their arms and legs and help compensate for any disabilities they may have. Basically, you are putting yourself in their shoes and you become one and start to identify with them. We have the opportunity to learn as much from them as they do us.

I have learned that love has many meanings. What defines yours?” 

Thanks for sharing, Pete!  You and Marie are equally blessed to have each other in your lives.

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