New ‘Young Caregiver Award’ recognizes Taylor Allen, 15 – Toronto Observer


New ‘Young Caregiver Award’ recognizes Taylor Allen, 15

Taylor Allen taught her younger brother Alex how to talk, walk and crawl. These are seemingly normal-sounding duties for an older sister, but if your brother has high-functioning autism like Alex, things can sometimes be more complicated.

Although Alex is only three years younger than Taylor, he has mental and physical challenges that require a lot of extra support and care.

“Alex is 12, going on five,” his mother, Lisa Knechtel, explained with a laugh.

VHA Home Healthcare (VHA), a non-profit charitable organization, selected Taylor as the recipient of the Young Caregiver Award at its 13th annual Heart of Home Care Awards. The new award was created to acknowledge the younger caregivers in the community.

Every year, the Heart of Home Care Awards ceremony is held to honour the outstanding efforts of friends or family members who’ve gone above and beyond to care for a loved one at home. This year’s ceremony took place at The Forth, an event space located at Pape and Danforth avenues in East York. It was held on April 3, also National Carers Day, a day to acknowledge caregivers across the country.