Visiting Angels Announces ‘Caregiver of the Year’ Award Winners

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First Place Winner Described by client as “Mother Teresa” Of the Elderly

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For these women, caregiving is not a job, it’s a calling, and they deserve recognition for their tireless work ethic and passion, especially during the pandemic as they care for our most vulnerable seniors like family.

They are the unsung heroes of the pandemic. Caregivers who selflessly go into the homes of our nation’s most vulnerable seniors to help them bathe, cook, get to doctors’ appointments, and stay socially active to survive the loneliness of isolation.

Now, Visiting Angels, the nation’s leading provider of in-home care, wants to say thank you to their most prized and cherished caregivers by awarding winners of the company’s national “Caregiver Of The Year” Award.

Careers of Compassion

First-place winner is Debbie Moorefield, known as the “Mother Teresa” of the elderly. For more than 17 years, Debbie has lovingly cared for her Visiting Angels clients around the Mentor, OH area, rarely ever missing a shift. Debbie receives a $5,000 check and an award at an upcoming ceremony near Cleveland.

Since 2003, Debbie’s generous work has included:

  • Serving 225 seniors, for a total of 45,500 hours, and 5,760 shifts.
  • Caring for some of the most challenging cases, changing the elderly’s clothing, bathing them, and painting their nails to make them feel like celebrities for a day.
  • Attending the funeral when one of her clients dies.
  • Once crawling through a window in the dark because she was locked out and she needed to care for her client with Alzheimer’s.
  • Bringing her clients fresh bouquets, hosting intimate tea parties, and when they won’t eat, preparing gourmet meals, or whipping up a special breakfast with her famous home-made waffles. When seniors have trouble swallowing, she purees their food so that it looks like a chef’s masterpiece.

An Angel Among Us

“Debbie deserves this honor because she has a servant’s attitude and heart. Her resilience, patience, neatness, unselfishness, dedication, and tenderness shine through,” says Mary Kay Brodnan, owner of the Visiting Angels office in Mentor, Ohio, outside of Cleveland, who nominated Debbie. “Debbie chooses the most difficult seniors to keep herself challenged. She sees the person behind the odor, the soiled Depends, or the disability. She touches the untouchable and tackles the impossible. She truly connects heart-to-heart and cares for seniors like her own family.”

Debbie, who lost her own mom two years ago, says serving seniors never feels like a job. “I’m so humbled by this award, and that people are saying such nice words about me,” she says. “It’s truly my calling, a gift that I get to help people.”

  • Second-Place Finalist is Sara Smith, who sings with her clients, reads scripture, takes them for lunch, dinner and ice cream in Salem, Ohio, outside of Youngsville. When her client was depressed, she drove him back to his hometown so he could reminisce about his school and business. When another client was dying, Sara would rub her back, and brush her hair and sing “Precious Lord Take My Hand” until the woman died. The woman’s daughter says with Sara there, her mom’s passing was “beautiful and peaceful and something she’ll remember for the rest of her life.”
  • Third-Place Finalist is grandma, Doris Carriere, who has 15 grandkids of her own, and loves to care for seniors in Mandeville, Louisiana, outside of New Orleans. Doris once laid down all night next to her elderly woman client who had bad hallucinations and wouldn’t go to sleep. Doris never moved because she didn’t want to wake the woman, and the family watched on camera, amazed at Doris’ dedication to their mom.

Both Sara and Doris will receive $2,500 checks and an award at their separate ceremonies.

“We are proud and thankful for all our caregivers, but these women go above and beyond to help our clients live a life of dignity as they age gracefully at home,” says Larry Meigs, president and CEO of Visiting Angels. “For these women, caregiving is not a job, it’s a calling, and they deserve recognition for their tireless work ethic and passion, especially during the pandemic as they care for our most vulnerable seniors like family.”

About Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services:

Visiting Angels began franchising in 1998 in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Today, Visiting Angels has more than 600 private-duty agencies throughout the United States. Visiting Angels agencies employ only experienced caregivers and conduct the most comprehensive background screenings to ensure that their caregivers meet or exceed the company’s high standards. For companion care, Alzheimer’s care, dementia care, and the country’s best palliative care program, make Visiting Angels your choice in senior in-home care. For more information on Visiting Angels or to find a location near you, please visit

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Nancy Bostrom
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