Caregiver honored with Homestead Hospice award

by Bradley Hartsell

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Erina McAfee, left, with Corinth Road Assisted Living owner Elizabeth Williams, right, receives her Caregiver's Award from Tracy Holcomb (middle) of Homestead Hospice. The award honors family caregivers' work in the community.

Last Thursday, Homestead Hospice honored family caregivers by presenting the Caregivers Award.

Among the recipients was Erina McAfee at Corinth Road Assisted Living.

Local homes such as Autumn Square and Benton House nominated multiple people who received recognition, but Corinth Road, due to the small staff, nominated just McAfee as its ultra-compassionate caregiver. 'I was shocked. I really didn't know I was receiving the award,' says McAfee of the welcomed surprise.

National Family Caregivers Month is actually November but Homestead Hospice, a home hospice agency throughout Georgia, South Carolina and Arizona, saw fit to honor those like McAfee who go above and beyond to provide care and comfort to limited seniors.

McAfee came to caregiving later on, something she stumbled into but excelled at. She worked in a warehouse for 25 years before her job downsized. Fiveand- a-half years ago, she found a job working with Corinth Road and it's been a blessing ever since.

'I never thought I would be in this type of field. It was surprising,' she explains. 'But I love it. I love working with the elderly. They're fun to be around. They have great stories.'

On a daily basis, family caregivers like McAfee assist their patients with everyday necessities like maintaining diets and medicines, cooking for them and washing them. It's often a thankless job, something Homestead Hospice hoped their certificate of honor helped shed at least some light on.

'[Caregivers] become family to these people,' says Tracy Holcomb of Homestead in Newnan. 'We just wanted to say thank you.'

Holcomb spoke passionately about the work those like McAfee do. To her, the award wasn't just a fuzzy act of goodwill for some good PR, it was something she was humbled to be a part of and something she truly believed in.

'You hear patients say, 'she's like my daughter.' They trust their caregivers. Sometimes that's the only person they see all day long. They become family.'

Holcomb pauses before adding, 'I don't think caregivers are recognized enough. They make such a difference. I think they're chosen people.'



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