Thank you, caregivers: Home Care Provider Appreciation Month 2016

December 1, 2016

Home Care Provider Appreciation Month 2016 has come to an end, but our gratitude for caregivers continues far beyond November. Together with our clients and families, we’ve been thanking fellow caregivers for their hard work at Home Care Provider Appreciation Month events in UDW counties around the state, and showing our thanks for the positive impact in-home care has in all of our lives.

When asked about the importance of the care her husband Gary provides her son who lives with bipolar disorder, Barbara Ashworth from Butte County said, “If it wasn’t for him, my son wouldn’t be with us. We wouldn’t have our family unit, and we wouldn’t be together.”

IHSS provider Gary Ashworth with his wife Barbara at the Home Care Provider Appreciation Month event in Butte County

IHSS provider Gary Ashworth with his wife Barbara at the Home Care Provider Appreciation Month event in Butte County

Christine Yarbrough from Stanislaus County, who is 94-years-old, echoed Barbara’s feelings when speaking about the care she receives from her daughter Norma Richardson. “She’s excellent,” she said. “I couldn’t do without her. It would be very hard.”

UDW caregiver Norma Richardson with her mother and client Christine at the Home Care Provider Appreciation Month event in Stanislaus County

UDW caregiver Norma Richardson with her mother and client Christine at the Home Care Provider Appreciation Month event in Stanislaus County

UDW home care providers like most caregivers give our clients the best care possible, and make their needs our top priority. “Home care means protecting my son and allowing him to live a better quality of life,” said Orange County provider Suely Hale who cares for her son Brian.

Our job as caregivers is often our most important. But we don’t stop there. We are also advocates for our clients because we believe home care is the best option for them, and we know that everyone deserves the option to remain at home and receive quality care. “He’s my son,” said Leticia Ruelas, another IHSS provider from Orange County who cares for her son Jonathan. “I prefer to provide care for him and I know he feels the same way.”

IHSS provider Leticia Ruelas with her son and client Jonathan at the Home Care Provider Appreciation Month event in Orange County

IHSS provider Leticia Ruelas with her son and client Jonathan at the Home Care Provider Appreciation Month event in Orange County

As advocates, we work together to protect IHSS, and ensure the program is strong. Together, we’ve stopped potential cuts to the home care program like the proposed 20% cut in 2013. We’ve rallied, lobbied, and marched in order to fight back when elected leaders have tried to eliminate IHSS or put unfair limits on who would qualify. And through our UDW Advocacy Councils we are there to help IHSS clients win back the care they need and deserve when their hours are unjustly cut. We are dedicated caregivers, but we are also a union of home care providers who believe in the importance of in-home care and work together to protect it.

Here’s what more UDW caregivers and IHSS recipients had to say about why they fight for IHSS, our clients, our families, and fellow providers:

san-diego-elke-shafer-w-her-son-client-emilio

“For me, IHSS means my life; it’s our lifeline. Without it we would be on the streets.” -IHSS provider Elke Shafer from San Diego

san-diego-rose-beltran-cassandra-sambrano-camilla-bradford

“IHSS means security for my client. It means reassurance that he can stay home because the program allows me to care for him.” -IHSS provider and UDW’s Riverside County Representative Cassandra Sambrano (middle)

imperial-leticia-partida-and-her-client-rosa-martinez

“IHSS means a lot to me and many others because it helps people. This work has opened the doors to a lot of elderly and disabled people who need it.” -home care recipient Rosa Martinez from Imperial County

To all the UDW caregivers, whether you care for your spouse, your child, a parent, a neighbor, or a friend – THANK YOU! Thank you for the quality care you provide, and for always standing together to keep home care strong.

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