When Michael Gonzalez went looking for the first employee at his Home Helpers Home Care office in DuPage Suburbs 11 years ago, he knew who his ideal Caregiver was. His instincts were rewarded recently when his own mother, Liz Gonzalez, was recognized as the 2019 Exceptional Caregiver of the Year in the Midwest by the Home Helpers national network.

Since 2008, Liz has been like family when family couldn’t be there for dozens of elderly and disabled residents in Lisle, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Addison and surrounding communities, supporting their independence in their own homes. Her compassion and professionalism certainly were noticed by the families she served—almost a dozen of them nominating her as Exceptional Caregiver.

“She has always been there for Mom through thick and thin,” wrote one family member. “We trust Liz even more than we would a family member,” wrote another. “Plus, just as important, she’s very good at keeping us informed.”

Home Helpers Owner Michael Gonzalez is obviously proud of Liz’s honor, but also grateful for the example she sets for her team and for the Caregiving profession.

“She looks out for the wellbeing of her clients and at the same time the professionalism of the team,” Michael Gonzalez said. “She knows how we work in people’s homes affects the peace of mind of the families we serve and our business reputation. She’s a leader in showing how your approach to Caregiving, with true commitment and a smile, can improve quality of life for our clients.”

The Exceptional Caregiver of the Year Award is presented at the annual Home Helpers National Conference. It recognizes one Caregiver professional from each region who best exemplifies Home Helpers’ mission to “be the extended family when the family can’t be there.” Individuals are nominated by colleagues and the families the Caregivers serve.

Liz received nearly a dozen separate nominations with more than half coming from the families she serves. Their stories and hers can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=646750959114872.