HCAOA announced the 2023 National Caregiver of the Year last week at the National Home Care Conference in Chicago. Eulodia Ortiz, a dedicated caregiver from Visiting Angels in Matawan, NJ, was recognized in front of more than 700 industry leaders. Eulodia's exceptional commitment to her clients and their families stood out among more than 500 nominees from across nearly all 50 states.
Tim McAloon, Owner of the Visiting Angels franchise in Matawan, who nominated Ortiz for the national award, said, “Eulodia represents the greatest traditions of Visiting Angels. She performs her duties from her heart, guided by her faith, her personal experiences, and a dedication to the dignity of each client she serves, many of whom are military veterans. She volunteers for our most challenging cases, and her client-families invariably report that Tootsie (that’s what clients call her) is irreplaceable to them like family. Eulodia spreads compassion and kindness in every home she enters.”
Ortiz is a tireless worker and teammate. “During a recent winter blizzard, many of our caregivers were forced to call out sick because they could not get to their cars in the deep snow. Eulodia, up at 4:30 a.m. to dig out her own car, received from the office a list of bed-bound clients and those who absolutely needed a visit. She not only completed her own client visits but also visited clients of other caregivers to be sure that all Visiting Angels clients, who were most desperately in need of personal care and a meal, received the assistance they needed. She was incredible,” McAloon said.
Ortiz, who recently became a U.S. citizen, provides assistance with activities of daily living to clients living with MS, ALS, Parkinson's, and similar conditions. She also serves as a training mentor for newer caregivers.
During Ortiz’s speech at the conference, she eloquently summarized what being a caregiver is: “Being a caregiver is not a job, it is a calling. It requires compassion, empathy, and a genuine desire to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Each day, I have the privilege of providing care, support, and comfort to those who need it most. It is a responsibility that I do not take lightly.”