Being a caregiver, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone

Mauricio Rivera and his mother, Daisy Samoza. Photo credit: Mauricio Rivera

Family members turned caregivers undoubtedly face a host of new responsibilities when it comes time to assist an aging, sick or disabled loved one. Bay Area resident, Mauricio Rivera, takes care of his mother, Daisy Somoza, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011. Since that time, her mental capacity continued to decrease, so Mauricio and his husband moved her into their San Francisco home.

With Daisy’s around-the-clock care needs presenting Mauricio – who also works full-time – with a multitude of new challenges, assistance via On Lok Lifeways has been a lifesaver. Every weekday morning, an On Lok driver picks up and transports Daisy to the 30th Street PACE Center, one of the Bay Area’s seven On Lok Lifeways PACE Centers. At the Center, Daisy has access to everything from physician-driven medical care and health specialists to healthy, cooked meals and myriad personal care opportunities.

When Daisy is not at 30th Street PACE Center, an On Lok Lifeways specialist visits their home to deliver prepared meals and help with such daily activities as dressing, bathing, toileting, etc. As a result, Mauricio has developed a special relationship with the On Lok Lifeways home care team and even considers them family.

Like most caregivers, Mauricio never anticipated he’d be in his current situation. The good news is that taking on this role doesn’t require someone to be a nursing expert or a superhero in order to be a good caregiver. With the right help and support, one can be an effective and loving caregiver without having to sacrifice their own life in the process.

On Saturday, May 6. The 7th Annual Caregivers Count conference is taking place at the Campbell Community Center. This conference is tailored specifically for family or informal caregivers who are caring for older adults. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from informative speakers as well as visit resource tables to learn about supportive services in Santa Clara County. To learn more, please visit: