Sydney resident Alison Gotch has been named Home Instead National CAREGiver of the Year for 2014.

Alison is a CAREGiver for the Sydney Lower North Shore Home Instead office and received a standing ovation upon receiving her award at the Home Instead Australian conference at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast on 7 November.

James Trude, owner of the winning Sydney Lower North Shore office shared that Alison was a real star.

“Alison’s client testimonials are filled with glowing reviews and beautiful anecdotes,” explains James.

“One particular client who stands out to me was suffering from a wide range of physical ailments including cancer. He was very anxious and resistant to receiving home care services.

His doctor believed he should go into residential care but he was adamant that he wanted to return home, which was where Alison came in. When she first met him, Alison walked straight over to him and said, ‘You want to go home, then I am going to do whatever it takes to make sure you can do that.’ She gained his trust immediately,” says James.

The first test that this gentlemen faced when returning home was to get from a wheelchair into his lounge chair. The second step was to make sure he could get out of it again; otherwise he would have to go back to hospital.

After hours of trying and failing, finally Alison was able to break through and he allowed her to assist him onto the hoist and stand.

“Alison set clear expectations that he was to get out of his chair, and walk two laps of his hallway – three times per day. He knows that if he doesn’t, he will have to explain himself to Alison.

“He also knows that this tough love comes from a place of professional dedication to his cause, a dedication that has allowed him to remain at home,” says James.

“The client said that he wouldn’t be living at home without Alison’s expert care. She took his personal goals on as her own and exhibited all the characteristics of an outstanding CAREGiver who builds trust, takes the lead and shares her heart.”

Alison said she felt incredibly humbled to receive the award.

“In this role you get to understand the difference that you can make to the lives of others, assisting them to maintain a quality of life and supporting their loved ones.

“It’s not something I set out to be recognised for and I am very humbled to be the 2014 National CAREGiver of the Year,” says Alison.

Each year, each Home Instead office awards four CAREGivers of the Quarter and from them, awards their local CAREGiver of the Year. Each office then nominates their CAREGiver of the Year for the National CAREGiver of the Year, which Alison has been awarded for 2014.

A panel of industry professionals review all National CAREGiver of the Year nominations to ultimately select the most exceptional CAREGiver to receive the honour.

Home Instead Australia General Manager Sarah Warner said these awards recognise the quality and compassionate care that Home Instead CAREGivers provide to their clients around Australia.

“It is always an extremely difficult task to select just one CAREGiver for this award each year, Mrs Warner said.

“The National CAREGiver of the Year represents the wonderful service all Home Instead CAREGivers provide each and every day and Alison was the first to express that she accepted her award on behalf of all her peers.”

Home Instead was founded in Australia in 2004 and is now a global home care franchise. With 21 offices in Australia, Home Instead is a growing business that prides itself on providing much-needed care to enhance the lives of ageing adults and their families.