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'Every DSP has a Purpose': Quarantine with Persons Served

posted by Katie Slade on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

During these unprecedented times, our Direct Support Professionals (DSP) truly proved their commitment to the people they serve does not waiver.

Jason, DSP for 11 years, quarantined for 20 days providing care to a home that was exposed to COVID-19. When asked, he told us he wanted to protect the people he serves and his own family. Fortunately, no one within the home contracted the virus. 

Bradon, DSP for 5 years, quarantined at a site for two weeks providing care to individuals around the clock who were potentially exposed to the virus.

On the morning of April 23, Kim, who has been with the EPI family for nearly 20 years, was informed an individual she had grown close with had passed away hours before receiving a positive COVID-19 test. His three other roommates were awaiting their results. 

EPI had a number of staff step forward to quarantine within the home and we are so thankful for them all. Kim being one of these staff, shares she felt her heart and mind instantly agree to reach out to the supervisor of the home and volunteer herself to stay within the COVID-19 positive home.

Though this wasn’t her usual site, she says she felt these men deserved someone who could put the fear of the virus aside and take care of them at possibly one of the hardest times of their lives.

“I thought about the other men who not only just lost their decades old friend, but could be sick as well. So I went in with nothing but compassion and care ready to be the support they needed,” said Kim.  

She stayed in the home from Thursday, April 23, until Monday, May 11, caring for the men in the home without leaving,  providing assistance day and night.

“I felt I was the right person to go in and give them the care they needed. I gave them emotional support as well as made sure they ate balanced, healthy meals, stayed hydrated, and that they got outside to enjoy fresh air and sunlight as often as possible.”

On day 16 of Kim’s quarantine within the home, an individual that had been battling the virus in the hospital was finally able to come home. When he arrived home, they all sat down to watch the memorial service of their friend who had passed away. 

As they cried, Kim comforted them and engaged in sharing many memories 
with the individual. Kim says she felt honored to be the one there with them as they were celebrated his life. 

“Every DSP has a purpose, a calling to do something to make a difference in the world, but some of us go through times that redefine our lives and our abilities to go much further than we ever thought possible and come out on the other side stronger for it. I would do it all over again if needed.”

We are more than happy to report, the three men of this home have recovered from their experience with COVID-19. Kim was immediately tested for the virus after having contact within the home and the result was negative! 

“I didn’t end up with the virus just because I was in contact with it. I used all of the proper personal protective equipment EPI supplied to me before I went in to the quarantine. I was given the appropriate cleaning supplies as well. Everyone is amazed I didn’t get it, but that speaks volumes for PPE (and EPI for supplying all that was needed).”

When discussion began in our nation, about the pandemic potential, we moved immediately to action.

Staff were trained and infectious illness procedures were carefully reviewed.
Supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), were assessed and sourced.
We closely followed guidance from CDC, IDPH, Governor’s office, Black Hawk County Health department as well as our funders and regulators. 

Stay up-to-date by visiting our “COVID-19 Response” page where you will find our latest service information.

About The Author

As the Executive Director of Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI), Katie believes in EPI's vision of - working together we will realize a future where all people are recognized and valued – encouraged and supported to live, work, and grow – in their communities. At EPI w ... read more