Look out, Avengers! Move over, X-Men!
The Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) assembled an impressive group of heroes at the annual Heroes in the Home Caregiver Recognition Awards.
Now in its fifth year, the Heroes in the Home program recognizes caregivers – both paid and unpaid – who go to extraordinary lengths to improve the lives of those limited by age, illness and/or disability. The Central West CCAC invited the public to nominate family, friends, co-workers, care coordinators, personal support workers, therapists or anyone who goes above and beyond to help others live fulfilling lives in the community.
This year, 73 heroes were nominated and celebrated at a special event in Brampton on November 23.
"A hero can have many names: family member, friend, volunteer, caregiver," said Cathy Hecimovich, CEO, Central West CCAC, at the celebration. "Although some of you may feel hesitant to consider yourselves 'heroes,' in the eyes of the individuals who have benefitted from or witnessed your care, you truly are heroic."
At the event, the heroes were surrounded by their families, friends, co-workers and nominators as their incredible efforts were recognized in front of a packed house. The array of heroes being honoured included a man who provides loving, round-the-clock care to his bedridden wife in their home, and a daughter who continues to look after her mother despite her own illness.
"I've had many careers in my life, but not like this. I need to care for people. I feel humbled to be nominated for a caregiving award," said Ellen Smalczewski, recipient of a Heroes in the Home Award. "I look after people with Alzheimer's and dementia. I do this because it's who I am. I can't think of a more intimate act in life than passing away, and to be able to be there for them in that moment – it's not scary or fearful or anything like that. It's so rewarding."