Riverside County Sees Shortage in Caregivers

Carmela Karcher

“I’m just basically getting old and need help.”

Two years.

That’s how long he has been waiting to find a caregiver with the In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS) here in Riverside County.

He wanted to stay anonymous, but he wanted to share how difficult it’s been to even find someone who can help him since he knows others are struggling too.

“I’m qualified for this program but maybe the program can’t help me. I question maybe I’m being perhaps discriminated against because I’m just old. I don’t have any particularly difficult diseases or anything.”

He says all he needs help with is fairly standard, like driving to appointments, cooking and helping around the house.

Still, there seems to be no one available to help.

But, IHSS also has its own struggles.

“We lost a lot of caregivers during the pandemic,” Tiffany Nelson, Supervising Program Specialist with IHSS, explained. “A lot of people didn’t want to go into each other’s homes. We were quarantining, right? We are steadily trying to increase the number of registry providers to fill the need.”

Because of that, Nelson said it’s challenging to match patients with the right caregiver since both patients and caregivers have their own requirements and needs.

But they are hoping for the same thing: to shine a light on the struggles that the elderly community is facing.

“I am hoping that other clients who are frustrated with the same problem will call you and tell you the same thing,” he said.

“We definitely want people to know that this is a fulfilling position and that there are people in their community that could use their help even for a few hours,” Nelson shared.

IHSS had their job fair Wednesday, but they are always hiring and looking for people who can help.

If you’re interested in applying to help those in need, you can visit https://riversideihss.org/ and select Become a Caregiver.

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