Hillside Celebrates Longest Resident's Birthday

Hillside Celebrates Longest Resident's Birthday title=
Barbara and Ricardo Martinez, LVN/DSD, Director of Staff Development
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Source: Hillside

Hillside, the residential care community for adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Santa Barbara, is pleased to announce the birthday of its most senior resident. Today, June 10, 2021, Barbara, who has made Hillside her home since 1953, is turning 77 years “young” and celebrating with her fellow residents and staff members.

At the Veronica Springs Road residence, Barbara holds a special place in the hearts of staff members given her endearing qualities and warm smile. She has the double distinction of being the oldest resident and the one who has lived at Hillside the longest – 68 years and counting!

What most people do not realize is that Hillside first opened its doors on North Ontare Road in Santa Barbara in 1943 as a home for children with cerebral palsy. Barbara was one of those children, coming to the North Ontare location in 1953, when she was nine years old. In 1955, when the new Hillside building was completed, she moved to Veronica Springs Road. It was a heartbreaking decision for her mother, who by then was raising her daughter alone with the help of her own mother. Barbara had grown to the point where her mother and grandmother could no longer lift or care for her, so they turned to Hillside.


Barbara (left) and other Hillside residents, circa 1953

Ashley Lucero, Skills Development Specialist, describes Barbara as having an enormous heart and an abundance of enthusiasm. Barbara is eager to advocate for those in need who may not be able to communicate for themselves. She enjoys attending the Hillside Women’s Group where she helps teach the class. Barbara loves to share tips on being present, communicating needs, and relieving anxiety.

Lucero admires Barbara’s selflessness – especially in today’s world, which can sometimes be unkind. “Luckily for us, Barbara has done a meticulous job restoring hope for both residents and staff members at Hillside,” says Lucero. Happy 77th Birthday to you, Barbara, from your Hillside family!

At this time, Hillside would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to residents like Barbara, their families and loved ones, staff members, supporters, donors, friends, volunteers, community partners, vendors, and so many others for their continued support. It makes all the difference in the world.

Hillside continues to plan and advocate for the Community Project, which will create state-of-the-art, adaptive homes for residents in an integrated, mixed-ability neighborhood, incorporating much needed senior housing. It will be the first of its kind in Santa Barbara, and offer residents more dignity, independence, and privacy.

For information, please visit hillsidesb.org or contact Michael Padden-Rubin, Director of Development, at 805-687-0788 x115 or mpaddenrubin@hillsidesb.org. To make a gift to benefit Hillside and the residents, please visit hillsidesb.org/donate. Thank you.

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