The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center at Bella Vida hosted its 32nd annual Caregiver Retreat & Recharge event Saturday afternoon to honor family caregivers.
For the first time, the event was held in the parking lot to maintain safe distances among the event’s 75 attendees, who were spread out across approximately 50 cars.
The caregivers received a boxed lunch and a bag of informational pamphlets on caregiver resources. They also enjoyed music and listened to motivational speaker Alex Urbina.
Urbina called the family caregivers at the retreat “warriors” and “special angels” for the care they provide their loved ones.
He called on caregivers to acknowledge the qualities of patience, compassion and attentiveness that are within them.
“There’s some special things about you that are warrior status, you guys,” said Urbina, who cares for his 95-year-old mother-in-law. “Yes, you guys get in there and do some of the things that not many people are willing to do and I think that’s what makes you special.”
SuzAnn Nelsen coordinated Saturday’s event and every caregiver retreat and recharge event for the past 32 years.
“I have total respect and admiration for those people that are caregivers, because it’s not for everybody,” Nelsen said. “That’s why the Senior Center is also here to help give the support that caregivers need, whether it’s through counseling or support groups, or providing baths in their homes.”
Sandra Pineda, who works for a home support services company, drove from Sun Valley to attend Saturday’s event. She said she enjoyed the opportunity to relax and recharge.
“The speech, the raffles, the music, I enjoyed everything,” said Pineda. “We need a lot of patience to be caregivers.”