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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

May 15, 2012

Five Ohioans to receive state's Elder Caregiver Award for devotion to loved ones

Honorees ensure independence and dignity with resourceful, loving care

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Aging will present the state's Elder Caregiver Award to five dedicated Ohioans during an awards ceremony Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The honor recognizes those who have successfully taken on the responsibilities of caring for a friend, loved one or neighbor, while also balancing the needs of work, children or other family members and the community.

"The majority of older adults want to stay home as they age, and we know that more than 80 percent of caregiving is done by family and friends," said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the department. "These caregivers exemplify caring with their valuable contributions and we need to honor all they do."

2012 Elder Caregiver Award Recipients:
Detailed biographies and photos

  • 2012 Elder Caregiver AwardsSusan Gaylord, Toledo - Susan was a constant, caring companion for her mother and sister during their final years. Today, she coordinates care for her father so that he can remain in the surroundings he treasures.
  • Cindy Gross, London - Cindy has considered her grandmother's neighbor like an adopted relative her entire life. Today, Cindy is Geraldine's neighbor and sees to it that she gets the care she needs from a team of caregivers and medical professionals.
  • Audrey Helton, Goshen - Audrey provided total for her late husband since he had a stroke, but she was forced to take a new approach to caregiving when she broke her arm. She sought out appropriate resources and supports, including technology to keep him active in the community.
  • Dr. John Mattox, Flushing - John offered resourceful, loving care for his wife during her final battle with a brain tumor. He utilized technology and human support to keep her connected with family and friends.
  • Linda Yoest, DeGraff - Linda and her husband are former foster parents who adopted one child and are legal guardians to three more. Linda also cares for her mother and includes her in all family activities. She works hard to make the family's limited resources go farther.

About the Elder Caregiver Award - Since 1995, the Elder Caregiver Award has symbolically honored all Ohioans who lovingly care for family and friends by recognizing outstanding individuals who dedicate their lives to the care of others. To be eligible, the caregiver or care recipient must be age 60 or older and caregiving must not be job-related. Each year, the Ohio Department of Aging solicits nominations from partner organizations and the general public. Honorees were evaluated by a selection committee using a formal rating system.

About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that our elders are respected as vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute. We work with state agencies and community partners, including area agencies on aging, to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. Our programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, caregiver support, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.


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