“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” (Christopher Reeve, aka Superman) Superman was a superhero with amazing powers, but he was also Clark Kent, an ordinary person living an ordinary life. When there was someone who needed saving, he stepped into a phone booth and came out transformed. Every year, the South West CCAC, in partnership with thehealthline.ca, celebrates Heroes in the Home. Like Superman, these Heroes are ordinary people who step up when someone needs care and support. They too have amazing powers: the power of persistence; the ability to empathize; the strength to keep smiling even when times are tough. Like Superman, they go about their work, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, largely unrecognized. Heroes in the Home Caregiver Recognition Awards are a chance to say ‘thank you’ in a very special way to those caregivers who provide care in the home. Honourees are family members, friends, and community volunteers who step up to provide loving care day in and day out, and health professionals like Personal Support Workers, Case Managers, Nurses, and Therapists who go above and beyond the call of duty and who all are an essential part of our health care system. The South West CCAC is committed to a culture of Client-Driven Care. This evidence-based practice of building partnerships with our clients and service provider partners demonstrates better client outcomes and focuses on empowering the client as a partner in care – recognizing they and their caregivers have a huge role in creating their care. Heroes in the Home creates an engagement process that acknowledges the role everyone plays in the care team, strengthens the bonds, and brings recognition to the integrated effort on everyone’s part to keep one person at home, out of hospital or other institution, where they most want to be. Research has shown that when clients are engaged in managing their own care with the help of informal supports, they have an increase in independence and quality of life; as well as less days spent in hospital and less need for professional in-home services during one year follow-up – and this benefits everyone in the health care system. These are the people least likely to look for recognition so it’s an honour for the South West CCAC in partnership with thehealthline.ca to be able to do something special for them in recognition of the tremendous impact they have on the lives of others. Their stories tell about qualities like respect, compassion, going above and beyond, and always having a smile. It’s these qualities of the people providing community care that are at the heart of the quality of community care. These events inspire our staff and Board and give us the energy and passion we need to go forward and improve the quality of health care.

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