An O’Fallon man was honored at the 23rd annual VOYCE Caregiver Awards Luncheon on Nov. 30, wining a Caregiver of the Year award.
“Lorenzo Coleman of O’Fallon is a caregiver who has displayed exceptional service in the setting of long-term care and who has positively affected the lives of the residents he serves,” Chelsea Nollau, spokesperson for VOYCE, a United Way agency and non-profit organization that provides free assistance to families and individuals seeking long-term care for loved ones, as well as advocacy for those currently living in long-term care settings.
VOYCE honored Coleman and other exceptional individuals in the field of caregiving at the Caregiver Awards Luncheon. Nearly 600 people were in attendance, and 97 caregivers nominated for awards. During this annual event, VOYCE (formerly the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program) recognized staff and volunteers who demonstrate excellence in person-centered care. A total of 18 local people were given awards who embody the voice of compassion by doing an outstanding job caring for and respecting the rights of those receiving long-term care. In addition, two individuals were given awards for lifetime achievement.
Award recipients were chosen from long-term care communities, as well as home care providers, hospice agencies and adult day programs in a 21-county service area. All award recipients represent service in areas such as nursing, certified nursing assistants, social services, certified medical technicians, therapy, activities, housekeeping, food service and volunteers.
“It is inspiring to honor these people who give of themselves and make a difference in the lives of those they care for in long-term care,” said Mary Lynn Faunda Donovan, executive director of VOYCE. “It is so important to us to recognize these individuals making such a positive difference by what they do. Each of the nominees knows all too well treating those in their care with dignity, respect and compassion does more than provide good service; it nourishes the soul and uplifts the spirit.”
Today, as many as 29,000 individuals reside in long-term care communities in greater St. Louis and northeast Missouri.
For more than 35 years VOYCE has strived toward a high quality of life for those living in the long-term care continuum by providing advocacy and support.
“In the future, it is estimated that 70 percent of those 65 and older will need long-term care and 43 percent will spend some time in a long-term care community,” said Donovan. “VOYCE will continue to recognize those caregivers that go above and beyond to advocate for and provide the very best care to those requiring long-term care. It is very touching to see not only how these honorees impact lives but how deeply their lives are also impacted.”
Last year, VOYCE helped over 1,000 individuals find long-term care and resolved over 5,082 complaints in long-term care settings, the agency said.