Our Family Caregiver of the Year Awards Results are In!
We are thrilled to announce the winners of our first-ever Family Caregiver of the Year Awards, which recognizes unpaid family caregivers in the United States who exhibit exceptional diligence and support through the act of caregiving.
Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations – your stories of selflessness, resilience, and dedication brought us to tears and left us smiling. We intend to continue this award in the future to illuminate your stories, so stay tuned for 2022 submission dates.
Congrats to our first, second, and third place winners!
First place: Patti H., a 911 dispatcher, has been a caregiver to her 85-year-old mother for five years. In 2016, Patti began supporting her mother after she suffered physical injuries as a result of a series of falls and began losing her eyesight due to wet macular degeneration. A couple of years later, Patti welcomed her brother into her home and became his primary caregiver after he became bedridden and completely blind. “I am so glad I am able to help my mom and my brother,” said Patti in her submission. “I admit, sometimes it is overwhelming, but I just keep reminding myself that someday they may not be around, and, although I will be very sad, I want to feel I did what I could to help them.”
Second place: John A., who was nominated by his own care recipient, Frances, has been overseeing the care of his partner for more than five years. After just 13 months of dating, Frances underwent emergency surgery, which left her paraplegic. From the beginning, John never left Frances’ side, visiting her every day she was at the hospital, taking it upon himself to ask questions and receive training on each aspect of her care, and leading necessary remodeling to their home to better accommodate Frances’ new lifestyle. “This is truly one of the hardest jobs out there, and all with no expectation of monetary gain for doing it,” explained Frances. “John exemplifies the word caregiver and I would be most grateful if he could be acknowledged for it.”
Third place: Robert W., an HVAC maintenance technician, has been caring for his wife, Anne, for 18 years. After two catastrophic brain bleeds that left Anne cognitively disabled and blind, Robert took on full-time primary caregiving responsibilities, providing everything from personal care and housekeeping to transportation and emotional support. Because of Robert’s physically demanding and public-facing job, he is constantly risking exposure to the coronavirus to make money to support his family, but takes extra precaution to not expose Anne, who is high-risk to the virus. Robert was nominated by his sister-in-law, Christine, who mentioned, “Bob is a very faithful husband and an extraordinary man. He loves Anne, he loves God, and is incredibly worthy of the honor of Family Caregiver of the Year.”
Judging for The Family Caregiver of the Year Awards was conducted by Bianca Padilla and Jonathan Magolnick, co-founders of Carewell; Abby Levy, managing partner and co-founder of Primetime Partners, an early stage venture capital firm focused on transforming the quality of living for older adults; and Connie Chow, founder of DailyCaring, a website dedicated to providing tips and advice to independent caregivers.