Caregivers are brought to forefront at special event

Caregiver Appreciation Day
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 12:33 AM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The second Caregiver Appreciation Day event was held at Bay High School on Sunday.

“Like I always said, we’re often overlooked and overwhelmed,” caregiver Stephanie Grady Cole said. “That’s why I’m trying to bring it to the forefront that we keep families together.”

Cole co-hosted the event with DADSRA-Panhandle in the Bay High School cafeteria from 2 p.m. - 6p.m.

She said her mom’s death made her think of those who are often overlooked.

“After I lost my mom I realized there’s something I could do to show people from all my years of being a caregiver,” Cole said.

The event is meant to shed light on everything caregivers do for others.

“That’s one of the roles that’s least celebrated,” DADSRA-Panhandle Executive Director Michelle Clay said.” It’s one of those roles where you don’t get to prepare for it. You kind of wake up one day, and you find out that a loved one needs 24-hour care.”

Cole said her efforts are finally coming to fruition.

So much so, the audience even heard from a city leader.

“As the Mayor of the City of Panama City, Florida, I hereby proclaim Mildred Grady’s birthday, Oct. 02, 2022, as Caregiver Appreciation Day throughout the City of Panama City, Florida,” Greg Brudnicki said.

The event also emphasized the importance of taking a break.

“It seems like it wants to give me a chance to one thing, get a break,” caregiver Renee Pope said. [I can] be with other people doing the same thing I’m doing and get some ideas on different things to be done. It’s just a time to relax.”

Cole said she plans to grow the event every year.