Saturday, February 17 , 2018, 9:59 pm | Fair 47º


Sarah Ilenstine of Santa Maria Honored for National Family Caregiver Month

Caregivers belong to one of the fastest-growing occupations in America. Every day they provide skilled care to the millions of Americans who require in-home support: seniors, children and adults with disabilities, and people who are injured or ill.

Caregiving is vital. And yet 34 million caregivers in America are unpaid, and those who are paid make poverty-level wages for the work they do.

On Monday, United Domestic Workers of America launched part two of a three-part video series for National Family Caregiver Month called "Thank You Caregivers."

The second episode features Santa Maria resident Sarah Ilenstine. She takes care of her granddaughter, Crystal, who was born with spina bifida and has intellectual disabilities. In spite of low wages, Ilenstine pours her heart and soul into Crystal’s care, and in addition cares for other home-care clients in Santa Barbara County. Click here to watch Ilenstine tell her story.

The stories we’ll share throughout the month are not unique. They are the stories shared by millions of caregivers and their families across the country. Today and throughout the month of November, UDW highlights and appreciates the selfless work caregivers do for our neighbors and loved ones.

United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a homecare union made up of over 66,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California, including over 2,411 in Santa Barbara County. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program, which allows seniors and people with disabilities stay safe and healthy at home.

— Kim Moore is a communications specialist for United Domestic Workers of America.

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