Unpaid caregivers, the family and friends caring for people at home, provide critical support for those living with chronic illness and disability. These caregivers make a significant contribution to health care in Ontario and are generally unrecognized and have limited supports. The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging and isolating for them.
On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, National Caregiver Day, VHA recognized 3 amazing caregivers with Heart of Home Care Awards in recognition of their extraordinary efforts. The Heart of Home Care event shared heartwarming videos of their stories.
Loretta Whiteman is the winner in the Caring and Giving Back award category, given to a caregiver who makes a valuable contribution in their community in addition to be an amazing support for their loved one. Loretta takes care of her mother Doreen.
Tyler Abraham won in the Young Caregiver award category, for those 25 years and under who provide extraordinary care. Tyler lives in Toronto with his disabled mother Darlene who lives with physical disabilities and uses a wheelchair.
The winner in the Caring with Compassion award category this year is Kathy Kohls, who cares for her 46-year-old daughter Sandra full-time at their home in Chelmsford, Ontario, just outside Sudbury.
The Heart of Home Care event also included helpful sessions including a presentation of the Heart in Mind activation therapy toolkit, a free guide to engaging loved ones with dementia with feelings-based activities; a workshop from the Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto on the Stretch, Lift or Tap program developed for older adults living with mobility restrictions; and a mindfulness session to address caregiver burnout.
Watch a full recording of the Heart of Home Care event below.