Dale Finds Meaningful Employment

Dale stands outside his apartment dressed professionally for work.
Dale stands outside his apartment dressed in his work attire before heading off to his new job at The Bluffs in Columbia, Mo.

Dale recently moved in to Boone County Family Resources supported living, but listening to him banter with his roommate Ricky leads one to believe they are already lifelong friends. As Dale fits in with his new apartment and roommate, he has also taken on a new employment opportunity at The Bluffs nursing home assisting with laundry and general housekeeping.

Meaningful employment is one aspect of the steps Dale has taken to leading a healthy lifestyle since moving. BCFR staff guide Dale towards a healthy diet, encourage community engagement and find opportunities to increase Dale’s overall independence. Working is also important because it allows Dale to earn money to pay bills and for things he wants to purchase.

Dale needs some support to succeed at his job, which includes rides to and from work from BCFR and job coaching from ACT. Once Dale gets to work though, it is up to him to succeed at his duties.

Supported Living Site Supervisor, Reena, is happy to see Dale thrive at his new job.

“Dale has expressed to staff and I that he really enjoys his job and doing laundry for the individuals at the Bluffs,” said Reena. “He likes knowing that he has a routine there.”

Dale loves the work environment and has his daily duties down pat.

“I spend the first two and a half hours folding linens, then spend 30-45 minutes taking the cart out. After that, for the last hour I have to spot sweep and mop all seven dining rooms. It takes about an hour to spot mop. My shift is four hours,” said Dale.

Dale feels confident that he is doing a good job especially after receiving recent feedback from his supervisor.

 “My boss told me last Thursday that before I came there would be several nights a week that he would be sound asleep and then they would call him that they were out of stuff in the linen closets,” explained Dale. “He had to come in and do a few loads of laundry in the middle of the night. He said he hasn’t had to do that since I’ve come in.”

Not only does Dale like the tasks he’s been assigned at work, but a bump in salary from his previous employment also increases his job satisfaction. 

“I’m getting paid more than I was,” says Dale. “I get paid every 2 weeks. I’m making more per a paycheck and getting paid more often.”

Not only does Dale take pride in his work, but he also enjoys connecting with the individuals who reside at the Bluffs and looks forward to seeing several friendly faces each day.

Dale said, “There is a couple of the residents that I talk to when I see them. There is one that I see when I’m passing the linens out and she always says ‘hi.’”

ACT provides a job coach to help Dale succeed in his position which started off the first week everyday but has already faded down to about an hour and a half each day. The job coach gives Dale the confidence he needs to know he is doing a good job and ensure his duties are the same each day.

Dale is also happy to decrease his driving time from his past job. He now only spends seven minutes driving each way to and from work – which means he gets to spend more time hanging out with Ricky.