At any moment, any one of us of us can become a caregiver. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures, and can be of any age. Many feel they are doing what anyone else would do in the same situation – helping those in need, supporting a loved one and caring for those who cannot care for themselves. They do what needs to be done. . .if they didn’t, who would?
Canada Cares celebrates and supports family and professional caregivers through community outreach programs and our national caregiver recognition awards. Our Make Me Smile program distributes practical gifts to caregivers and their families including bathroom safety equipment, ramps, an accessible van and annual One Wish Awards.
CAREGIVER OF THE YEAR
Richard has been primary caregiver for his daughter, Jocelyne,
since she was born with severe cerebral palsy 33 years ago.
He feeds, bathes and dresses her daily. In fact, because of her own health challenges, his wife Helen has relied heavily on him to help
care for all three of their children while supporting the family
financially and emotionally.
One of 13 children born to a large French-Canadian farming family, Richard gained experience from a young age caring for his siblings
as well as the farm animals. Despite several health setbacks, including
a heart attack at age 41, he has never wavered in fulfilling his
caregiving responsibilities. Helen describes him as dependable,
gentle, easygoing, funny, kind and loving and says she could not
have managed without this special man who wakes up every morning smiling and whistling a happy tune.
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Two of JoAnne’s three living children, 26-year-old son Brock and
28-year-old daughter Lindsay, have Dravet Syndrome, a severe form
of epilepsy. A trained nurse, JoAnne provides 24/7 home care for
Brock who has various developmental challenges and accompanies
him to community theatre rehearsals and other activities he enjoys.
She also visits daughter Lindsay regularly in her community living home, brings her home for weekends and makes sure she’s involved in all family celebrations. As if that’s not enough, she devotes considerable time to advocacy and fundraising for epilepsy research at the local and provincial level and has developed a program with her local
Best Western for families with special needs.
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Angie has had a tough year caring full-time for both of her parents
(her mother had dementia and her father had cancer) until their deaths. She had to sleep most nights at their apartment, often struggling to figure out which one to help first, while her husband, James, fended for himself at home. Living up to the family’s Portuguese philosophy that “family takes care of family” meant there was no option to bring in outside help. After a year of sleep deprivation and trauma, Angie is now trying to
get back to “normal life” while continuing to be a caregiver for
her brother who lives with schizophrenia.
Joy MacIntyre, Prince Edward Island
Faudia Azeez, Scarborough, Ontario
Keith Nixon, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Carol Comm, Medicine Hat, Alberta
Neil Heron, North West Territories
2019 Powell Award for Accessible Design
Hans Jorgen, Founder, Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free app for iOS and Android devices that currently
connects 160,000 blind and low-vision individuals to a network of almost
3 million sighted volunteers and representatives from participating companies. Using a smart phone, users can initiate a live video chat with a specialized help feature to request assistance with just about any task
or activity – from reading labels to describing a painting in an art gallery.
The app harnesses the power of generosity, technology and human connection to help blind and low-vision people lead more independent lives. Be My Eyes is accessible in more than 150 countries worldwide and in over 180 languages. There are currently 5,000 Canadians using the app which is now linked to our Canada Cares suite of accessible products and services.