NEWS & STORIES

Pauline Reeves Named CICOA 2012 Caregiver of the Year

POSTED: April 13, 2012

CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions presented the second annual Caregiver of the Year Award to Pauline Reeves, Lebanon, Ind., during its annual Signature Breakfast this morning. Reeves said she was “surprised and humbled” to receive the award.

“Caregiving in the home requires exceptional dedication because the caregiver is never truly ‘off the clock,’” said CICOA President and CEO Orion Bell IV. “CICOA created this award to draw attention to the great personal sacrifices that caregivers like Pauline Reeves make every day, sometimes to the detriment of their own well-being.”Cindy Hickson, director of personal services at Boone County Senior Services, nominated Reeves, noting her selflessness, dedication, creativity and patience while caring for her husband, Mike.

According to Hickson, Reeves educated herself about Lewy Body Dementia after Mike was diagnosed with the disease in 2006. Lewey Body Dementia is a progressive brain disorder with symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Her knowledge of the disease would prove vital when Mike was admitted to the hospital for gallbladder surgery. Reeves was able to alert a nurse that a drug she was about to administer could have deadly consequences if it interacted with Mike’s other medications. Later, the hospital pharmacist thanked Reeves for advocating for her husband, and she was asked to lead a panel discussion about the disease for physicians.

For six years, Reeves has prepared his favorite meals, made home modifications and planned family vacations she knew her husband would remember and enjoy. In addition, she helped other families by starting a local Lewy Body Dementia support group.

Hickson wrote in her nomination, “She [Reeves] is still 100 percent a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She loves caring for her grandchildren and getting together with family and inquiring about how everyone else is doing. How she finds the strength, we will never know.”

Reeves, one of nine finalists for the award, is one of the estimated 65.7 million people in the United States who provide care for an elderly or disabled family member. Because of caregivers like her, individuals are able to stay in their homes longer and lead lives of dignity and independence.

Attendees at CICOA’s annual Signature Breakfast donated $83,223 for client services. Funds will support programs like CareAware, which helps family caregivers manage day-to-day care for their loved ones. CICOA also helps with eligibility assessment and application for state funding for a variety of in-home services, hosts caregiving classes, conducts workshops at area businesses for working caregivers and maintains a resource library.

Last year, CICOA contracted with area organizations to provide respite care to almost 3,000 caregivers, double the number served at this time last year.

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