2017 –Board on Aging and Long Term Care
Louise Abrahams Yaffe Volunteer Ombudsman Program Award
Dale V. Sankey
Dale V. Sankey, a native Wisconsinite, born in Stevens Point, the youngest of three siblings, is no stranger to hard work, dedication and commitment. A portion of his life story reveals a 9 year old Dale working a summers on his Uncle’s farm for $1.00 per day, a 11 year old Dale working on a potato farm, a 12 year old Dale working at the Stevens Point Country Club as a caddy and a 13 year old Dale back to the potato plant with all day packing and lifting 100 pounds of potatoes in burlap sacks. You get the picture-a hard working young man saving summer money to buy a new Schwinn bicycle!
Dale, our Volunteer Ombudsman of ten plus years, is a weekly advocate for residents in two nursing homes. He is also a 25 year member of the Knights of Columbus, RSVP of Dane County, Edwards-Foye American Legion post 534 serving as Chaplain and Color Guard, and participates in the Madison Firing Squad, that honors fallen veterans.
Dale’s career, in the retail and the wholesale business, spans an incredible 46 years. He shared that he worked his way through every department in the grocery business, except the bakery, as he had an emphasis on meat and seafood merchandising, managing the meat merchandising departments in 20 major food stores at the same time. In fact he won national awards for his expertise in the meat and seafood merchandising management.
Dale’s accolades include, but are not limited to, receiving first place in the national Meat and Seafood Institute Merchandising. Dale represented the Knights of Columbus as a contender for the volunteer of the year award for the city of Green Bay four times, received the National Boy Scout high adventure award, and he received an Honorable discharge from the Wisconsin National Guard Sgt. E-5 Section Chief M109A1.
Dale, upon moving to Madison, looked on-line for volunteer opportunities. He was drawn to the Volunteer Ombudsman Program after his family and friends made him aware of negative experiences in nursing homes. His goal was to make someone’s stay in a nursing home a little better. One of Dale’s wishes is to have every nursing home implement a daily “laughter hour” on their activity calendar. He said he would love to see a room full of residents laughing loudly and regularly! Indeed!
Dale has many stories of listening to residents, empowering residents to speak up for themselves and of being the voice for residents. These stories include call-lights not within reach of the residents, when residents are made to wait longer than ten minutes for staff to help them, residents in soiled clothing, not getting baths/showers, and in pain due to medications not administered on time. A conservative estimate of meeting with 40 residents weekly, for 51 weeks per year for 10 years, means Dale has helped approximately 20,400 residents! Dale is all about common sense methods, persistence, and quality of life.
In Dale’s “free time” he enjoys fishing, hunting, the Green Bay Packers (holds season tickets!), but his favorite way to spend time is with family, especially his Grandchildren, Helena and Franklin.
The Board on Aging and Long Term Care is honored to present the 2017 Louise Abrahams Yaffe Volunteer Ombudsman Program award to Dale V. Sankey, who is here tonight in celebration with his wife of 38 years, Linda, and his adult children, Melissa, and Shane. Congratulations Dale!