Family Caregiver Support Network (FCSN) Coordinator Adrianna Rojas is an advocate of researching and providing the appropriate resources and services to fit each caregiver’s need.
Adrianna, who runs the Network for caregiver resources, encourages those providing care for a friend or loved one: Come in and learn about the resources, services, and opportunities for education available before you experience an emergency.
“We want them to seek out the resources available in our community now, instead of waiting for a crisis,” she says.
The FCSN, located at 223 S. C St., offers information and referral services based on the individual client needs – at no cost. There are opportunities for:
- Referrals to dementia education
- Healthcare navigation assistance
- Caregiver education classes
- Funds and resources for respite care
- Transportation vouchers
- Support group referrals
- And more
Since the Network opened, she has been actively educating people about the definition of a caregiver.
The person cared for is not always a blood relative, but can be a friend, coworker or neighbor. A caregiver helps another person with household tasks or errands; provides personal care or medication assistance; offers transportation or financial help; gives emotional support and more. Some caregivers live in another state, yet that person is still the primary source of support. In Lompoc, 1 in 6 people identify as a caregiver.
“Caregivers play an important role in another’s life,” says Adrianna, who earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Long Beach. “The act of service provided may seem small, but it’s something the care-receiver depends on. They depend on the role you play in their lives. You’ve made yourself irreplaceable and a necessity in a person’s life.”
To support each caregiver who seeks assistance, Adrianna determines what the care receiver needs and what support is required. She asks questions as a way to determine the best approach for assistance.
“Tell me about who you are providing care for,” she says. “I sometimes connect people with resources they didn’t know they needed. We look at resources on a local and national level. There are resources across the U.S. related to a person’s diagnosis. Asking about these services comes at no cost to the caregiver.”
The FCSN does not offer employment to caregivers. For people inquiring about a job as a caregiver, Adrianna offers contact information to the local professional agencies. The Support Coordinator role is non-clinical and non-emergency based, so no medical advice, medications or direct patient care of any kind are dispensed.
Adrianna offers extensive outreach to employers and their workers, to explain the specific impacts of caregiving on the workforce. She’s also been collaborating with groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Family Service Agency and doing outreach with the Spanish-speaking community through the Promotores Network. These agencies have collaborated with Lompoc Valley Community Health Organization (LVCHO) to continue the Caring Together Lompoc Campaign initiated in 2016.
Grant funding was awarded to the FCSN and collaborating partners, in partnership with the LVCHO, from the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Community Caregiving Initiative Grant. It is also funded by grants from LVMC's Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal program, or PRIME. The five-year initiative is part of the Medicaid 2020 waiver approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
To acknowledge the efforts of Lompoc’s family caregivers, the FCSN will be hosting a Caregiver Appreciation Reception from 4:00pm to 6:00pm Nov. 9 at 223 S. C St. Clients of the Network and members of the community can obtain resources, meet other family caregivers and will be entered into a drawing to win a gift basket.
This free event is sponsored by LVMC and the Santa Barbara Foundation.