Riverside County Social Services Celebrates In-Home Caregivers at November Events; Essential workers recognized at two drive-through resource fairs this week
When COVID-19 emerged last spring, Diane Long, a manicurist in Corona, found herself on a very tight budget. A friend encouraged her to consider working for a man who needed help to live safely at home. Long rolled up her sleeves, stepped in to help as one of the caregivers and says caregiving is a truly rewarding profession.
“I just like helping people,” Long said in a recent interview at her client’s home.
November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize persons like Long and over 32,000 In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers who serve older and disabled residents throughout Riverside County.
Representatives from Riverside County Social Services (DPSS) and partnering organizations, such as United Domestic Workers of America and Office on Aging, celebrated caregivers at two separate resource fairs in Indio and Moreno Valley on Nov. 18 and 19.
During the drive-thru events, nearly 500 IHSS caregivers received personal protective equipment, fresh groceries, and other tokens of appreciation, loaded into open car trunks and handed through rolled-down windows.
“This means a lot to me, and they made it convenient for us,” said one caregiver named Bobbie Owens.
The ongoing pandemic required supporters to find a new way to thank these essential workers for their hard work all year long, said Eva Krottmayer, executive director for IHSS Public Authority. “People who care for our vulnerable community members have never been more vital than right now,” added Krottmayer. “Yet, finding caregivers is a real challenge, especially in desert and rural areas.”
IHSS is a statewide program that provides care to eligible residents to live safely, independently and with dignity in their own homes. Countywide, there are more than 39,000 IHSS recipients.
For those interested in becoming a Riverside County IHSS caregiver, please call (888) 960-4477 or visit RiversideIHSS.org. Phones are answered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding county holidays.
Lead photo caption:
Vehicles drive through the parking lot at the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority office in Moreno Valley on Nov. 19, 2020. Hundreds of in-home caregivers received personal protective equipment, fresh groceries, and tokens of appreciation.
- Caregivers receive tokens: RivCo DPSS
- Caregivers: RivCoDPSS