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Community Comes Together to Support Caregivers in Lompoc

Left to Right: Maribel Landeros, North Santa Barbara County Lead Promotora and Health Advocate, SBC Education Office Health Linkages, Mayor Bob Lingl, City of Lompoc, Joyce Ellen Lippman, Executive Director, Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens-Area Agency on Aging, Ashley Costa, Executive Director, Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization; Phylene Wiggins, Senior Director of Community Investments, Santa Barbara Foundation; Naishadh Buch, Chief Operations Officer, Lompoc Valley Medical Center

With the support of community leaders and partners, the City of Lompoc has launched Caring Together Lompoc, a public awareness campaign to help people self-identify as a “caregiver” and understand they are not alone in their efforts.

In Santa Barbara County, there are 70,000 unpaid caregivers that provide long-term care to their loved ones or family members suffering from a physical or mental illness, disability, or other serious condition. The care they provide is valued at $624 million annually – a responsibility and expense that would otherwise be placed on our healthcare facilities and community care organizations.

However, the impact of family caregiving goes beyond the economics. Each and every caregiver makes a commitment of love and service that requires significant investments of time and finances that often go unnoticed. The juggling of work schedules and medical appointments, being a health care advocate maneuvering an often complex healthcare system, administering doses of medication, preparing and serving meals, and being a source of mental and emotional support for their loved one. The types of support are countless.

The City of Lompoc and its network of healthcare organizations and community partners are stepping up to champion the commitment being made by local caregivers. The city and its partners are declaring “you are not alone” through a network of partners and resources available to support family caregivers.

“The journey of caregiving is personal,” said Ashley Costa, Executive Director of the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization. “No two circumstances are alike, and often that feeling can be isolating, but we are standing up as a community to care together and provide support to those that are nurturing our most vulnerable residents.”

Caring Together Lompoc is part of the Community Caregiving Initiative (CCI) at the Santa Barbara Foundation working to establish caregiver support systems through the development of cross-sector networks of community organizations, including the health, social, and education sectors.

“Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care nationwide and this will only continue to expand given our extended longevity and growing senior populations,” shared Phylene Wiggins, Senior Director of Community Investments at the Santa Barbara Foundation and CCI lead. “It is not only important for Santa Barbara County to make proactive and significant investments in building these support systems, but it is critical to the sustainability of our national healthcare infrastructure and economic growth.”

Wiggins’ knowledge and expertise in health and human services is positioning Santa Barbara County and the Community Caregiving Initiative at the center of national dialogue on this work which includes collaborations with the American Federation for Aging Research, Alzheimer’s Association, and the National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine, Health and Medicine Division, as well as engagement with the Atlas of Caregiving which is conducting in-depth research on family caregiving funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

CCI is in the beginning stages of engaging and investing in network partners, as well as creating a shared vision for success. Your support is needed to ensure that family caregivers and community healthcare organizations have the resources they need. If you would like more information or are interested in donating, please contact Jan Campbell or donate here.
North County Headquarters:  (805) 346-6123  |   2625 S. Miller Street, Suite 101, Santa Maria, CA 93455
South County Headquarters:  (805) 963-1873  |  1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101