Home Care Association of America Announces National Caregiver of the Year Winner

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The Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), formerly the National Private Duty Association (NPDA) the national voice of private home care agencies, has announced its 2013 Caregiver of the Year.

Keli Peebles of ResCare HomeCare in Baxley, Ga. was selected Caregiver of the Year out of a vast pool of candidates from more than 1,300 private duty agencies.

Nominees were evaluated based on their demonstration of exemplary commitment, compassion, empathy and respect to their clients and client families and their individual needs, as well as the ways in which they’ve improved their clients’ lives. Peebles is the third annual recipient of this honor.

Lauren Stewart, branch manager of the ResCare HomeCare office where Peebles works, nominated Peebles for the award. Stewart says that, in addition to the bond Peebles forges with her clients and her willingness to help anyone in need, Peebles is particularly deserving of this prestigious recognition because of a specific incident: in March, 2013, she rescued her client and her clients’ beloved pets from a fire in their home.

After ensuring their safety and notifying the authorities, and despite damage to her own vehicle during the fire, Stewart says, “Keli stayed by her client’s side for the remainder of the day. She assisted in getting her into a local hotel until further arrangements could be made.”

Stewart said that the client’s family told her their loved one may not have been able to escape the fire without the assistance and quick thinking of Peebles. She adds, “Keli went to work that day expecting a day like any other and left a hero in the eyes of many. People like Keli help us to realize the importance of what we do, and how important it is to be part of a special team of caregiving.”

Peebles, who has worked for ResCare for nearly three years, has previously been honored with the company’s Direct Care Staff of the Month award and is also a Heart of Georgia Area Office on Aging Caregiver of the Year award recipient. She hopes to one day attend nursing school and credits her mother, also a professional caregiver, and her faith as her inspiration. “Helping is what I enjoy doing,” she says. “I try to love my neighbor as myself… and I just get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it.”

The HCAOA Caregiver of the Year Award was presented to Peebles at the organization’s Annual Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., which was held September 25-27.

The HCAOA is the first and only association in the country dedicated exclusively to private pay home care providers. The HCAOA, a non-profit organization, currently represents more than 1,300 home care agencies in forty-four states and Puerto Rico. For more information on the HCAOA visit: www.homecareaoa.org

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