Family Caregiver of the Year Award Nominee: Rachel Hiles

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Family Caregiver of the Year Award Nominee: Rachel Hiles

Denise
Nominated by: Beth Suereth

Tell us about the nominee's caregiving story.
Rachel has been the primary caregiver for her grandmother for three years, and has used the knowledge and experiences gained over the past twelve years building a career helping disabilities at the individual, organizational, and systems levels to help her grandma have a good life and age in place. She also cared for her dear friend, Calvin, who died last year. Calvin's death changed Rachel's perspective on how she wanted to live. She now lives to help and support fellow family caregivers.

Rachel has shared her story in several media outlets, including:

How does the nominee complement his or her caregiving responsibilities with their own needs and interests?
Rachel has organized a team who cares for her grandmother so she can get regular breaks from caregiving. She loves music and good food and making a difference for others. When Rachel has spare time, she's out helping others because it feeds her soul.

Tell us about the nominee's problem-solving techniques.
Rachel recently lobbied her grandmother's long-term care insurance company to allow Rachel to hire and pay their caregivers. She lobbied for years to make this happen but never gave up.

She also actively recruits help for her grandmother on Facebook, posting messages like:

DREAM JOB ALERT 👇👇👇


I am looking for 1-2 ladies to add to the team over at my grandma’s to be available to fill in and pick up a couple shifts.


Currently I definitely have Saturday & Sunday 4-8pm open with potential for more hours. Please read the info below and if you think this is the gig for you, fill this out so we can get the ball rolling: https://bit.ly/barbarassidekick




I prefer crafty, crunchy, sociable, active people but TV buffs, book worms, and home bodies are also welcome. My priorities are quality of life and companionship, but light cleaning, cooking, and assistance with personal care is required. I need people who are sturdy, if you know what I mean. Serious inquiries only.





How does the nominee use online resources or community services?
Rachel leads a Twitter chat (#carechat) on Monday evenings at 10 p.m. ET. She also moderates the afternoon chat on Caregiving.com three days a week. In addition, she leads a monthly support group in her community. Rachel also blogs about her caregiving experiences on her website, takingcareofgrandma.com.

How does the nominee remain involved in his or her community (including online)?
Rachel uses social media to stay connected with her friends and colleagues. She also delivers Meals on Wheels as a volunteer and encourages others to get involved. Recently, she invited her FB friends to join her at an upcoming volunteer fair.

Truly, Rachel is a treasured friend to all who are lucky enough to know her.




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