Lompoc Valley Medical Center is pleased to be an integral part of the new CaringTogetherLompoc public awareness campaign aimed at the thousands of caregivers in our community.
With an estimated 5,000 caregivers in the Lompoc Valley, systems must be in place to support caregiver needs.
The Caring Together Lompoc campaign aims to increase awareness, provide tools for caregivers to better understand the impact of caregiving on their lives, and point them to supportive resources already available in the community.
Led by the Lompoc Valley Community Health Care Organization, the collaboration includes LVMC, the Family Service Agency, Santa Barbara County Education Office and Santa Barbara County Promotores Network. Two years of funding was provided by the Santa Barbara Foundation.
LVCHO Executive Director Ashley Costa said that a recent caregiver survey showed that 16 percent of people in Lompoc over the age of 18 are caregivers. That’s 1-in-6 people in the community, she said. One-third of those are caring for a spouse or partner and are averaging 66 hours a week in that role. Their average age is 68.
Caregivers take on roles of helping with cooking, transportation, managing financial and legal help and doing total care that includes feeding and grooming.
The top three needs identified are the need for occasional respite care; need for support groups and help with transportation.
“Everyone in our community should have the support needed and the experience to enjoy love and joy of their family,” said Mayor Bob Lingl. “I am proud of this community in rallying around the well being of our caregivers and their seniors.”
LVMC Chief Operations Officer Dr. Naishadh Buch explained about the future LVMC Family Caregiver Support Network, which is slated to open in the fall at a location to be determined.
“We made a commitment that we will fund and provide a Caregiver Support Center for this Lompoc Valley,” Dr. Buch said. “With this better understanding -- as healthcare changes and as it becomes a community focus on healthcare as opposed to individual focus on healthcare -- that we have to do these sorts of things.”
LVMC, he said, will fund the center as a “service we need to provide to our citizens, so we will do that. We are extremely excited to be a part of this collaboration.”