Weekly Newsletter

February 21, 2024

Recap of Caregiver Webinar Presented

by Dr. Lucia Kim, MD, MPH (2/15/24)

We hope this newsletter finds you well. On February 15, 2024, Dr. Lucia Kim, MD, MPH, delivered an insightful webinar covering essential topics for caregivers.

We've summarized the key points below for your reference:

1.  Understanding dementia

2.  What are some of the important daily needs and decision making for caregiver

3.  How to help preserve brain health

4.  Goals of care — prioritizing

5.  Managing difficult behaviors — non-medication approaches

6.  Taking care of yourself - prevent caregiver burnout

Here’s the link to the webinar recording:

1. Dementia — defining, understanding 

A syndrome with decline in one or more areas of cognitive functioning severe enough to result in functional decline; Not normal aging

Progressive and disabling: 

  • Early stages - mild
  • Middle stages — moderate
  • End stages — severe

2) The basics of care — Understanding daily needs:

Nutrition & hydration: Changes in appetite; Difficulty with chewing and swallowing; Decreased thirst. With risks for dehydration and malnutrition.  

Hygiene: Commonly, resisting bathing. With added urgency related to incontinence issues.

Physical activities: Helps with physical health, mental health, and brain health.

Medication: Important - The number of medications and complicated scheduling of medicines frequently requires ongoing assistance of caregivers.

Sleep: Vital for cognitive functions such as memory consolidation, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making.

3. Important Tips for Caregivers — Managing Loved-ones Daily Needs:

Prioritize Needs — Understand Your

Goals of Care:

  • Safety For caregiver and care-receiver, this is a priority.
  • Comfort — Maybe high on the list.
  • Independence/dignity — when safety and comfort are met.
  • Happiness — where and whenever possible.
  • Longevity — Maybe not as important as other goals.

How to get there:

  • Small steps, maybe 3 forward and 1 back, at times.
  • Patience and encouragement
  • Overall positivity — “you’re doing great!”

4. Not always so easy; Challenging behaviors.

Challenges to communication — With progression of dementia using language to communicate thoughts, ideas and needs becomes more difficult

  • Important unmet and unstated needs could be: hunger, pain, boredom, loneliness, fatigue, fear.

Good example: “Sundowning” Commonly late in day, increased confusion and agitation. Likely related to decreased light and fatigue and possibly hunger.

5. Deciphering — What are the unmet needs? 

What are they trying to tell you?

  • Understanding triggers: External — e.g. noise, commotion; Internal — Fatigue, hunger, thirst and pain.
  • Put yourself in their shoes — You might even be feeling the same thing, they are feeling — fatigue, hunger, lack of sleep, boredom, frustration

6. Don’t! and Do!

  • Don’t get agitated, yourself — stay calm.
  • Don’t crowd them — give them enough physical space. 
  • Don’t speak too fast or too loud
  • Don’t show fear or anxiety (not so easy!)

  • Do remove any threat in the environment
  • Do distract with calming words, music, something they like to do. (This could help you too.)
  • Do use empathy. (What might you feel or need?) 
  • Do try to address those unmet needs.

7. Take care of yourself — What are YOUR UNMET needs?

Do you have unmet needs you haven’t spoken of, shared, or allowed yourself?

If you don’t, that is very unusual!  

Caregiving can be a very challenging job! Isolating and exhausting.

Here are some helpful suggestions:

  • Ask for and get help from friends, family, community resources.
  • Connect with other caregivers — Can make a huge difference!
  • Remember who you are, what you enjoy, and take time for yourself to do those things.

Resources for Family Caregivers

This webinar and newsletter has been brought to you by: DayBreak Adult Care, Alameda County:

  • For more information and assistance contact (510) 834-8314
  • Weekly newsletter, monthly webinar, no-cost caregiver support groups, Home Modifications & DME Program; connection to community resources.

Presenter of this webinar February, 15, 2024: Dr. Lucia Kim — who highly recommends this website for caregivers: 

  • Health In Aging:
  • Presented by American Geriatric Society to educate the public on issues related to healthy aging, including and importantly — caregiver support.

Alameda County Area Agency on Aging:

  • Website: Alameda County (AAA)
  • Phone: (510) 577-1900
  • Services: Provides information and assistance to older adults and their families, including caregiver support services.

Alzheimer's Association - Northern California:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900
  • Services: Offers support, education, and resources for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Alameda County Social Services Agency:

Upcoming Events & Workshops:

Empower Change Through Giving

Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of

elders and family caregivers who selflessly support them.


DayBreak is committed to empowering elders and supporting caregivers. If you know an elder in need of our care and coordination services, or a family caregiver seeking assistance, encourage them to reach out to us at:


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