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Meet Amanda Winter & Maddie Hanson, Recipients of Alliance's 2016 "Caring Together" Award!

In her nomination for the Caring Together Award, Karen Foxgrover honors her dedicated team, Madeline Hanson and Amanda Winter: AmandaWinter2

 

These two women are absolutely amazing. Considering they were only 20 when they first applied for the position, they were incredibly responsible, reliable, and driven. With no experience in healthcare (their future careers), they took on a big challenge to develop skills and apply themselves without knowing the true magnitude of the job. 

Due to her physical ability, self-motivation, and drive, Maddie was able to improve quickly, making my life easier every day. Amanda, although she struggled to find her rhythm and ease, showed extreme dedication and is now able to train new caregivers with much more understanding and patience. They have given above and beyond, even to the point of quitting second jobs. Maddie and Amanda are a great team, having consistent meetings in person and through social media.

My team has been understaffed by 4 to 6 people for over a year. Since early 2016, we interviewed, trained, and lost over 10 people. Those who quit did not want to work so hard for so little pay. The stress of it has been nearly unbearable, even to the point of Maddie and Amanda questioning staying. I can remember hearing Maddie say, “If I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have taken the job myself.” This was a hard thing to hear and has kept me awake many nights. The three of us have been brought to tears through utter exhaustion and ask each other “How do we find the people who are hungry enough to stay with a difficult, yet rewarding job?”

Maddie and Amanda are the “Caring Together” Team of the Year because even after this strenuous period, they are still here: helping me redesign my interview process and the training that follows for the millennials who are applying. There are additional challenges with this job, and nothing compares to recruitment these days.

Amanda and Maddie make this difficult job look easy, because for them, it is. Staying with me has not been simple task, and the fact that they have is HUGE. I know now that they have a unique knowledge base that will set them apart from others. I want this acknowledgement, the “Caring Together” Award, for them because they truly are the best at what they do. I am beyond grateful for them, and they deserve this reward.

(Photo Left to Right: Alliance Chairperson Patti Becker, WI DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer, Karen Foxgrover, Amanda Winter)

 

Meet Pavuam Vang, Recipient of a 2016 "Spotlight" Caregiver Award

  PaVang2

In making this nomination, Mary Anderson gave a moving tribute to her caregiver:

Pavuam Vang, Pa, for short, is my Community Living Alliance (CLA) Personal Care Worker (PCW), caregiver for short. We hit it off the first time we met. She had never done care giving work before, but when her supervisor, Ronni, brought her to my home for a training visit, we could both tell she was a natural caregiver and a genuine person. She asked both her supervisor and me questions with so much comfort and respect. Before she left she asked me how I felt the morning went with her. The unique feeling I got with this question was, she really did want a truthful answer, she really cared and she valued my opinion.

Now, let me tell you about me and why I need the assistance of a caregiver. Presently, I am 73 years old, a wife to Charlie for 53 years, and we were blessed with 2 terrific children who parent our 4 grandchildren and grandparent our only great granddaughter. I was the Executive Director and founder of the Alzheimer's Association, SC Chapter, covering 7 counties. I was referred to by others as the "Energizer Bunny." When I was 56 years old I had a massive stroke. It left me paralyzed on my right side from the shoulder down. I am mobile with help of a hemi walker and a battery operated scooter. Through the past 15 years I have had 2 heart attacks, an Aortic Valve replacement, died 3 times on the operating table, been diagnosed with Diabetes and Polymalygia, had a crushed femur, 2 knee replacements, a pacemaker and several other hospitalizations and rehabilitation stays in Nursing Homes. All of these health matters have taken a physical toll on my body. I, myself, went from being a professional caregiver to a care receiver. My husband of 53 years, Charlie (67 at this time), became my caregiver helping with everything I needed for 15 years. My beloved Charlie passed away this year (age 78) after a courageous 1-year battle with esophageal cancer. I was alone with my grief and unable to bathe myself, dress myself or prepare for each day's activities.

Because I desired to live independently I sought the help of CLA. My personal angel Charlie and the good Lord blessed me with many wonderful CLA caregivers for a while. My CLA earthbound supervisor, Ronni, had a little bit to do with it, too. They were all so great that I felt a sense of despair when Ronni told me they had hired a new caregiver named Pa and she would become my permanent caregiver. Then I met her. Believe me, I didn't feel that sense of despair for long. She is not only my caregiver, she is my life line to an independent life, my friend and my angel. Pa helps me with my personal cares, cooking, grocery shopping, house-keeping, and laundry, basically everything. A while after my husband passed I decided I would have a Yard Sale. Pa helped me go through my entire apartment and storage room and empty every bin, box, cupboard, drawer, shelf, tub, and toolbox.

Then we priced and she marked each item. The days of the sale she helped set everything up before she left for her day at Madison College and spending time caring for her other clients. She always was positive and had a smile on her face. My family said she did much more to help with the sale than they did. She made it all possible and made me look good. Because of her, the Yard Sale was very successful and less painful for me. After all, I was getting rid of a lot of memories that were made over a 53-year period, with someone I loved and now lost. She made it all an enjoyable time as she let me talk while she intently listened.

Presently we are going to redecorate my bath room with my angel collection. These are things she does to help me, in addition to the duties I described above and just as she helped me with my Yard Sale.

It is important to me that my physical appearance be as good, if not better, than before my stroke took me through the handicapped journey. Sadly enough, people often judge you on first glance, I decided early on; I was grateful for what I had left after my stroke and I was going to make the best of   it. At first, the welcoming smile on my face was a little fake, but as time went on; the smile was there because I was really happy living out my new life’s experiences.

Pa helps keep me active, able to live my life as independently and normal as possible. I am able to do things with my friends because Pa is there to help me with my personal cares and to get dressed for the day. I am able to do my volunteer job because of Pa's assistance in preparing myself for the day. I can attend art fairs, movies, workshops, and other social affairs. I am able to do things that I love to do and that make life more normal for me. She helped     me organize my office after I got rid of what I didn't need any more so I can keep my financial and personal records up to date on my computer, as well as communicate with family and friends on Facebook. She brings a new perspective into my world. Pa also listens to what I have to say and offers helpful suggestions in a respectful manner. She has a unique way of making her help feel loving and natural. That is very important as a caregiver has to help with the most personal of cares. It could be very uncomfortable for both of us.

I consider Pa my caregiver but equally, my friend. I thank God that she is part of my life. I will appreciate her help as long as she can provide it, but just as important; I hope to be able to appreciate her friendship forever. Remember; I have been at this "accepting help" thing for 15 years, so I am not new to this accepting help "thing." I can tell when a person is genuine.

In summary, I hope I am portraying Pa's caregiving qualities to the extent she deserves. I could go on and on, but I hope these examples say it all. I am so fortunate to have Pa as my caregiver, especially following my husband's death. I always said; Charlie made me look good. Well, when he no longer was able to do that for me, Pa came along and she took over doing the same thing. I too, am a positive person, but I never take that for granted. Who wouldn't be positive with such great people behind them? Everyone should have a Pa in their lives.

(Photo Left to Right: WI DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer, Award Recipient Pa Vang of Community Living Alliance)

 

Meet Randy Wilkins, Recipient of a 2016 "Spotlight" Caregiver Award

 

In making this nomination, Julie Nichols-Younes of Options for Community Living speaks movingly of "31 years of loving Darwin."

"I would like to nominate Randy Wilkins for a spotlight individual caregiver award. But first, let me introduce you to Darwin. Darwin was just 8 years old when he was RandyWilkins2institutionalized at Northern Wisconsin Center. He spent the next 47 years there, often confined to a bed and rarely leaving the grounds. In 1985 he was one of the first of many individuals who left the state centers in a wave of deinstitutionalization of adults with developmental disabilities, allowing him to move back to Dane County.

Randy became part of the team that was tasked with helping Darwin reclaim his place in the community, and he has never looked back. For thirty-one years Randy has worked tirelessly to help Darwin make up for the years he lost in the institution. With Randy’s support, Darwin has attended Packers and Brewers games, gone canoeing in the Boundary Waters, tried dog sledding in Northern Wisconsin, went backpacking in Yellowstone, enjoyed vacationing in Hawaii, and he married his longtime sweetheart.

The constant denominator throughout these amazing experiences and in Darwin’s full life in the community has been Randy Wilkins. His unwavering commitment to Darwin is unparalleled. He has spent the past thirty-one years with Darwin listening, learning, supporting, advocating, and experiencing life together. In short, thirty-one years of loving Darwin."

 L to R: Randy Wilkins, Spotlight Award Winner, and

Patti Becker, Alliance Chairperson

 

Meet Eleanore Kurpis, Recipient of the Alliance's 2016 Heart of Family/Friend Caregiving Award!

In making this nomination, Julie Lupi of Society's Assets tells the moving story of Phillip and his mother Eleanore:

Eleanore is the mother and caregiver of our consumer Phillip, who was injured 13 ½ years ago. At the time of Phillip’s accident, he had just finished college, was going to become engaged to his girlfriend and start a new phase of his life.

During a trip with friends and family to Las Vegas, Phillip was crossing a busy street, the traffic light changed, and he was struck by a truck. His injuries were massive, and there was no hope for him whatsoever.

His family was called to Las Vegas, and they spent the next three months never leaving his side for even a minute while he battled for his life – it was touch and go almost the entire time he was hospitalized there. Eleanore shared that many times they almost lost him to his injuries, infections, etc. Even though the outlook for Phillip wasn’t good, Eleanore and her family never lost hope that they would bring him home.

After three months, the family rented a private plane and flew Phillip back to Wisconsin where he entered a West Allis hospital. Everyone the family encountered thatEleanorKurpis2 cared for Phillip in the hospital recommended Phillip be sent to a nursing home. Yet, Eleanore and her family were adamant that the only place Phillip would live would be in his family home. The West Allis hospital agreed to transfer him to a rehabilitation facility, where he did not do well. From there he went to a Long Term Care facility for the next six months. During this time Eleanore and her family fought for Phillip’s right to come home to live.

Almost one year to the date of his accident, Phillip came back to his home with his family. Eleanore shared that bringing Phillip home was the best thing they could do for him. He immediately started improving: he gained weight, became more alert and just seemed happier overall.

Since then, Eleanore reports, Phillip is doing very well. In 13 ½ years, he has only been hospitalized one time. Eleanore said that music plays a big part in Phillip’s life. He enjoys when she sings to him, and if it is a song from a time before his accident, he will sing along. Eleanore makes sure Phillip’s days are full and happy. She said she wakes up every day grateful for another day to spend caring for her son. I’ve been fortunate to have several conversations with Eleanore, and each time I hear love and joy in her voice when she speaks about Phillip and her family.

I am nominating Eleanore for the Heart of Family/Friend Caregiving Award because our staff believes Phillip has come as far as he has because of Eleanore’s outstanding caregiving abilities and her tremendous love for her son. She is always quick to call attention to others that care for Phillip, even though she is his main caregiver and advocate. She provides excellent care for her son, while maintaining his hectic schedule of appointments and the schedules of other aides that come into the home to assist with Phillip’s cares. She is one of the most compassionate, humble and positive caregivers with our agency.

Eleanore said that, through this journey with Phillip, she and her family have met other young people along the way and she has shared her story and experiences, with hopes that she can help them. So, not only has Eleanore’s advocacy skills benefited her son, but others with similar disabilities as well.

 

(Photo Left to Right: WI DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer, Award Recipient Eleanore Kurpis, Julie Lupi of Society's Assets)

 

Alliance Presents 2016 Alliance Caregiver Awards at Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon, Dec. 9, 2016

The WI Long-Term Care Workforce Alliance recognized recipients of the 2016 Alliance Caregiver Awards at its annual meeting and awards luncheon, Dec. 9, Wintergreen Resort, WI Dells. Special guest DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer presented the awards to these outstanding caregivers:

Spotlight Awards:

Paulette Hill - Society's Assets
Mary Pacer - Community Living Alliance
Pavuam Vang - Community Living Alliance
Randy Wilkins - Options in Community Living
 
Caring Together Award:
Amanda Winter and Madeline Hanson - Karen Foxgrover Team
 
Heart of Family/Friend Caregiving Award

Eleanore Kurpis - Society's Assets

AmandaWinter2Alliance members as well as families and friends were on hand to honor the award recipients and to hear their moving stories of dedication and love. Starting in January, we will feature each of these stories on our website and Facebook pages. 

Again, the Alliance thanks all of the organizations who submitted nominations this year from around the state. The awards committee was faced with difficult choices and feels all nominees are deserving of recognition for their dedication!

Special appreciation goes to Alliance member organization, the Wisconsin Personal Services Association, for hosting the luncheon as part of its winter conference.

Left to right, Patti Becker, Alliance Chairperson; Linda Seemeyer, DHS Secretary; Karen Foxgrover, Consumer and Advocate; and Amanda Winter, Caring Together Award Recipient

 

In, addition, the Alliance wishes to thank its sponors of the 2016 Caregiver Awards:

  • Community Living Alliance 
  • Consumer Direct Wisconsin
  • Cooperative Care                    
  • Creative Community Living Services
  • Dungarvin Wisconsin
  • Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources
  • Herbert H. Kohl Charities 
  • SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin    
  • Society’s Assets
  • The Management Group (TMG)                                                                                            
  • Wisconsin Assisted Living Association     
  • Wisconsin Personal Services Association                                         

 

Stories from the 2015 Caregiver Awards Program:

 

Meet Sandy Lorenzen, Recipient of an Alliance 2015 Caregiver Spotlight Award! SandyL2015

Sandy has been an employee with Society’s Assets since December 2009. During that time, Sandy has become the example of what every aide should be. She is courteous, prompt, compassionate, professional and devoted to giving each of her consumers the best care and service possible. Her consumers are always her first priority.  

Not settling for mediocre or average, Sandy puts forth the best of her efforts each and every time she provides services. Her intent is to give her consumers the best care possible - delivered in a sweet, kind and caring manner.

Sandy is popular in our scheduling department. She is known for always picking up the open shifts any of her consumers may have – day or night. She is very good about reporting any changes with her consumers to the supervisor(s). Through this, she shows her compassion, desire for excellence and true caring.

We are so very fortunate to have her on staff, and anyone would be even more fortunate to have Sandy come to their home to provide services.

Consumer and Family Comments:

"Sandy is so kind and sweet. If it were not for her I would not get out of my bed in the morning. I would be so depressed. She is my cheerleader. She is my mood elevator."

"Sandy is like the sister I never had. She is like family to me. She is always on time. She helps me every morning and evening 7 days a week. She even comes in an emergency. I told her she is not allowed to quit or retire until I die. I do not want any other person caring for me. We work very well together."

"Sandy is a gem!"
  

 

 

Meet Rachel Hernandez, Recipient of an Alliance 2015 Caregiver Spotlight Award!

 

Rachel has been a Personal Care Worker with Society’s Assets since October 2014 and has proven to be a truly gifted caregiver. She started her career right out of high school, stating she knew then that caring for others was “in her”.

Rachel is reliable, honest and offers our consumers the very best customer service. She continuously goes above and beyond for all of her consumers. She has a RHernandezstrong work ethic; she has integrity and can be counted on to be on the job for all of her assigned shifts. Rachel’s attendance and punctuality can only be considered excellent. Her best attributes are her sense of humor, her compassion and respect for our consumers and the SA staff. Her consumers and their families love her and have only praise for her abilities.

Rachel comes to the office often to say hello and look at the open shifts to see if they will fit into her schedule - we all look forward to her visits.

 

Consumer and Family Comments (names changed for privacy):

"Rachel has been a godsend to our family – she has been amazing on so many levels. Rachel is so patient and kind with John, and he has made such progress since she became his caregiver. We don’t know what we would do without her. Rachel takes John on outings to concerts and movies, which he loves, and it allows our family of five some down time. The best thing that Rachel does for John is to teach him about responsibilities and independence – such as with his homework and chores. The family hopes Rachel will remain John’s caregiver for a long time to come.

 

"It would be easier to tell you what I don’t like about Rachel…it’s when she isn’t here.” She is the very best thing that has ever happened to me. She is:

  • *Personable.
  • *A great communicator.
    *Doesn’t rush.
  • *Takes the time to do things right the first time.
    *Honest as the day is long.
    *A very caring person.
    *The only aide that has ever put my braces on correctly the first time.
    *One of the kindest, most considerate people I have met in my 61 years."

 

"Not only does she provide great care, but Rachel is like an extended family member. I am an only child and have no family left. I think of Rachel as family.”

 

"Rachel is one of the best aides I’ve ever had come to my home. Rachel does everything just the way I like it. She is always on time and works the entire time she’s here."  

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

We asked Stacy Lake, a recipient of the Alliance’s 2015 “Caring Together” Award, to share her thoughts on caregiving:

 

Why did you become a caregiver?

I took care of my dad for a few years. So when I moved to Racine, I applied to Society's Assets to help others. Best decision ever as I found my calling.

 

What inspires you to do this type of work?

My father who is disabled.

 

Describe yourself or other caregivers you know.

Caregivers are dedicated, hardworking, compassionate people.

 

What do you like most about the caregiving work you do?

I love that I can help people stay in their own home and be as independent as possible. I love the interaction between myself and my consumers. The widom elderly people have is something that can't be forgotten.

 

What is the most difficult about the work you do?

The most difficult part of my job is watching someone's health decline. I've had a few consumers pass away. Very sad.

 

If you could give advice to someone thinking about becoming a caregiver, what would you say?

Caregiving is not a job to not take seriously. People depend on you - so show up, work hard, and of course, give your consumer lots of respect.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Meet Stacy Lake, Joyce Long, Audrey Mills, Tiaka Turner, Darrina Williams and Veronica Wilson – Recipients of the Alliance’s 2015 “Caring Together” Award

This caregiving team works for Society’s Assets in Racine.  Read on for the moving nominations from both the team’s supervisor and the consumer the team helps. (To maintain confidentiality, we’ve substituted “Mary” for the real name of the consumer.)

 

From Debra, the team’s supervisor:

I would like to say why I feel Mary’s team of Stacy Lake, Audrey Mills, Veronica Wilson, Darrina Williams, Tiaka Turner, and Joyce Long are most deserving of this Caring Together Team award.

From my perspective as their supervisor, these ladies know true teamwork. They work together like a well-oiled machine for the same ultimate goal……..assisting Mary to stay as independent as possible and in her own home. In Mary’s words, “there’s no place like home”! How true!

After all, it’s the little things like Stacy trouble shooting bed repair on one of her night shifts. Darrina going to care for her grandmother in the middle of the night to assure her skin stays healthy. Joyce who does her most appreciated shower weekly.  This is Mary’s favorite bath day! Tiaka who always starts her shifts asking Mary how she is doing and does wonderful lotion massages. Audrey who talks “cooking” and recipes to Mary, asking her advice on how she makes something. Mary really likes it when Audrey reminisces about cooking with her mom. Oh, and Audrey is always cold.  Being as Mary “doesn’t want to punish” her aides (she says jokingly), she has her turn off the AC while she is there and back on when she leaves. Veronica always arrives early and wants to know where she needs to start. On laundry day, she and Mary always share a good laugh when Veronica comes back and says “I beat them”! The complex has the shared laundry room. Veronica always says “yes ma’am” and Mary sees that as the ultimate respect.

They advocate for her if something is amiss or “just not right”. They monitor her skin and report even the slightest beginnings of any skin redness. I’m happy to say that Mary has never had major skin issues due to her caregiving team and Mary’s diligence.

I see a few of them more often than the others, but I am proud to work with all of them and doubly proud to be a part of THEIR team.  


From Mary, the consumer:

Being able to enjoy living in my own home has been a real blessing for me. Because of the Personal Care program and the help of six dedicated caregivers, I can do just that.

TeamAward3Due to various diagnoses and limitations, I am unable to bear weight or to perform most of my daily living skills.  Although some narrow minded people feel that someone in my situation should be institutionalized, with some help I have proved them all wrong.

My dedicated team makes this all possible. Joyce Long, Stacy Lake, Audrey Mills, Tiaka Turner, Veronica Wilson and Darrina Williams work together seamlessly to assist me each day. Each work so well with me, providing patience, demonstrating dignity and exercising expertise. They are pleasant, caring and fun.

Where my caregivers excel the most is how they work as a team. There is never any quarreling or complaining. If the first aide of the day is unable to complete a task, the next one finishes it up. Meal preparation is another challenge that I face. Not all of my team have top notch cooking skills, but this gives me the privilege of providing some of the knowledge that I have to them. Stacy now makes great cornbread! I have always enjoyed cooking and my aides will work together in preparing meals. Just as they do with dishes and laundry, the gals cooperate in cooking. One will prep part of the meal, another will do a bit more and the next aide will finish up. They even grant me independence by setting up a bedside table with all of the tools needed to peel potatoes, or cut up celery.

Open shifts are never a problem. I can rest assured that my aides will always step up when another needs some time off. Everything flows well.

I am thrilled to nominate this great team of mine. They are well deserving of a little recognition as they are ALL unsung heroes, unassumingly and steadily allowing me to live independently and comfortably in my own home.  Thank you for your time.

 

From left to right: Debra Laitinen (Society’s Assets Supervisor), Veronica Wilson, Patti Becker (Alliance President), Darrina Williams, Tiaka Turner and Stacy Lake. (Not pictured: Joyce Long)

 

 

Archive:  Meet Tasha Holley, Recipient of a 2015 Alliance Caregiver Spotlight Award

 

Tasha works for IndependenceFirst, a community-based non-residential Independent Living Center serving people with disabilities in Milwaukee.  Read on for just one example of Tasha’s amazing compassion and dedication!

We nominate Tasha Holley for the Caregiver Spotlight Award since Tasha has exhibited excellent care to all her consumers, in her 15 years of service atTHolley2015 IndependenceFirst.  We want to share the following story.

Tasha, not even knowing this IndependenceFirst consumer, went for an interview to possibly work for him. The 33-year-old consumer has a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy and is very limited with strength and control of his extremities.

When Tasha called, she found that the consumer's house had burned down the night before, and the consumer was left with NOTHING. No toiletries, no clothing, no towels. Not even a charger for his motorized wheelchair!! The consumer requires assistance with colostomy cares, bathing, dressing, meal prep, laundry and urinal assistance.

Tasha went ahead with the interview since the consumer stated that he had no one to help him with anything. No family, no friends. No one. Tasha stepped in knowing she would not be paid for her services, but later she stated, "He needed help."

So she helped him:  bathing, dressing, AND coming to the IndependenceFirst office, out of her way, and meeting with his nurse and other staff to find out how to best assist this consumer with all of his needs. Tasha instructed the staff of the consumer's need for clothing, towels and toiletries. The consumer did not even have a bar of soap!

Tasha later that same afternoon went out of her way again, met the nurse at the hotel that the Red Cross had set up for the consumer to stay in short term, to learn how to change a colostomy bag and wafer. All of which Tasha took in stride and stated "something else I learned how to do.”

Now Tasha is a caregiver for this consumer on a regular basis. Thank The Lord!! Tasha has also volunteered to teach future personal care workers for this consumer about his cares, especially his colostomy cares, so that he can be cared for and live independently with dignity.

 

 

Archive:  Meet Jim Zachar, Recipient of the 2015 Alliance Heart of Family/Friend Caregiving Award

 

In Jim’s own words:

Why did you become a caregiver?
My daughter had a stroke. I really felt the need to be able to care for her at home.

What inspires you to do this type of work?
The hope that one day she will be better.

In 3 to 5 words, describe yourself or other caregivers you know.
Attentive, observant, caring

What do you like most about the caregiving work you do?
See my daughter smile because she feels goo having me take care of her.

What is most difficult about the work you do?
Take a lot of time and physical effort.

If you could give advice to someone thinking about becoming a caregiver, what would you say?
Make sure you can handle the low points as well as the good times that come with doing a job like this.


For more on Jim’s story, read the nomination from the Racine office of Society’s Assets:

 

It is with great pleasure that we nominate Jim Zachar for the Heart of Family/Friend caregiver award.

Over 10 years ago, Jim held a full time job outside his home. An unfortunate event occurred in his family that changed their lives forever. His daughter suddenly became disabled and needed 24 hour care.

Jim quit his full time job. He earned his nursing assistant certification and began employment at the long term care facility where his daughter was receiving care. Jim learned to provide all of the care in order to bring her home. He remodeled his home so the entire first floor was accessible for her care to be provided.

In 2005, he was able to bring his daughter and her infant son home to live with him and his wife. Jim has provided all of his daughter’s care since that time. He not only2015JimZacharCaregiverAward provides her personal care, but also manages her medical appointments and her finances. He does all he can to ensure she is healthy and satisfied.

Along with providing his daughter’s care, Jim is an integral part of his grandson’s life. Jim is not only a caregiver but an advocate for his daughter and grandson. He involves his daughter in all of her son’s school meetings and activities, so that they are able to experience all their lives have to offer, with modifications.

A nurse from Society’s Assets expressed her admiration this way:  “I have made several visits in the Zachar home to fill in for other RNs. I am always impressed with Jim’s dedication and competency as he fulfills the complex cares that are required for his daughter’s health. His daughter is always well cared for, in spite of being totally dependent for all her needs. This is evidenced by the progress she has made through the years that is the direct result of her father’s commitment to caring for her every day.”

Jim has dedicated the last decade of his life for his daughter and grandson. Thank you, Jim, for being the true definition of a family caregiver, grandpa and husband. You truly are a special man!

Jim’s daughter is unable to express her thankfulness for her father’s dedicated caregiving, so please honor his service by considering him for this nomination.