Peninsula Home Care, a locally owned and operated home health care agency serving the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Lower Delaware, is pleased to announce the winners of the “Unsung Heroes Caregiver Makeover Contest.”
“Our search is over,” said Nancy Bagwell, Vice President of Operations for Peninsula Home Care. “While every single one of the caregivers nominated were deserving of being honored as Unsung Heroes, our two winners have very unique stories of how they dedicated themselves to putting others first. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize them for their endless devotion and selflessness.”
During National Caregiver Month in November, Peninsula Home Care launched the first annual Unsung Heroes Caregiver Makeover Contest through a multi-media campaign, including radio, print, television and Facebook. The goal was to entice community members across the Peninsula to nominate caregivers and share stories about why they were deserving of winning a much deserved makeover.
“One of the most important – but often forgotten tasks for caregivers is caring for themselves,” added Bagwell. “A caregiver’s physical, emotional, and mental health is vital to the well-being of the person they are caring for. We wanted to spoil them with a makeover because we know to be a good caregiver, you must be good to yourself.”
A team of judges selected one winner from Maryland and one from Delaware while PHC solicited donations from local businesses for the makeovers and to shower them with various other prizes like restaurant gift cards and event tickets.
And the winners are!…
Stephanie Dubrel, Princess Anne, Maryland
Stephanie Dubrel was nominated by her husband Louis for taking on the role as caregiver for her mother since she was just 17 years old, after she suffered a brain aneurysm that left her paralyzed.
“Valerie, Mom, Grandma, GeeGee can’t stand to have Stephanie out of her site so they are together all the time. Stephanie gave up her dream of becoming a police officer to care for her mother and years later her father became ill so ended up taking care of them both. They love each other unconditionally and look like twins. I know exactly what my beautiful wife will look like when she is in her 70’s.”
“I was so surprised and thrilled to death,” said Stephanie. “I have been caring for my mother so long that I don’t know life any other way. Lifting mom in and out of the truck to take her to appointments isn’t easy but my husband and I figure it out. Back in the day, my mother was known as the Wild Irish Rose because of her spirit and even at 75 years old, I know that spirit still lives within her.”
Maria Rendina, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Maria Rendina has always gone out of her way to help care for family members. When her sister passed away, Maria took in her brother-in-law, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, to care for him. Along with buying him a new wardrobe and making his meals, Maria takes him out and makes sure he is comfortable and as engaged as he can be.
“I actually wasn’t surprised my aunt took in my Uncle Norman because she has always been a selfless person, said Samantha Maloney-Gracie, who nominated her for the contest. “She took care of my grandparents for a long time. It’s just who she is. He may not be blood related but he is family. He goes where ever she goes. She went out of her way this year to surprise him with something he kept talking about. Aunt Maria who is 100% Italian Catholic went out and bought Uncle Norman a menorah for Hanukkah. We learned so much that we didn’t know about the holiday and enjoyed watching Uncle Norman light the candles and get his gifts. What a wonderful world we would live in if more people were like my Aunt Maria.”
“I was honored when I found out my niece nominated me for the caregiver contest,” said Maria Rendina. “I don’t really look at it as doing anything special – it’s just what I should be doing. Many people think it’s odd I would be a caregiver for my brother-in-law but family is family. We do what we have to do for each other. I truly believe that it takes a village and that’s why I do what I do for Norman.”
Peninsula Home Care would like to extend a special thanks to the following businesses who donated to the Unsung Hero Caregiver Makeover Contest Winners, as revealed on WBOC’s Delmarva Life:
- Etch Art Awards
- About Faces
- Delmarva Shorebirds
- Regal Cinema
- Vernon Powell Shoes
- Restaurant 213
- Dogfish Head
About Peninsula Home Care
Providing skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy for more than 30 years, Peninsula Home Care ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 39,000 patients in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties in Maryland and Sussex and Kent counties in Delaware. In 2017, PHC and PHCN were designated as Preferred Home Care Provider by Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Nanticoke Health Services. For more information, visit www.peninsulahomecare.com.