Vol. 9, No. 4
April 16, 2018
Dear Friends:

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a time to highlight the importance of advance care planning. Advance care planning involves deciding the care choices you’d want to be made if you were unable to care for yourself, and taking the steps needed to assure your wishes are respected. Advance care planning also removes the burden on families and friends, who will not have to guess at what care or treatments you would approve of.

Advance care planning is for everyone over the age of 18. If you haven’t already made arrangements for the possibility of losing capacity, FCA provides several fact sheets that can help you get started, including


Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator
“ As caregivers, we sometimes get caught in the mindset that we can do this alone, or that we do not need any additional help. Along the way I learned reaching out for help was not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”

FCA Learning Center Launched

Family Caregiver Alliance is excited to announce the launch of the FCA Learning Center ™. This new resource works on your schedule, providing personalized, high quality caregiver education materials direct to you on your computer or mobile device. All of FCA’s practical fact and tip sheets, informative webinars, and recorded audio stress reduction exercises are now available in one convenient location. The Learning Center, which is fully integrated with FCA CareJourney , is also home to FCA’s new online classes; the first two, Basics of Medication Management and Understanding and Communicating with Someone with Dementia, are available on demand.

Check back often, the FCA Learning Center ™ will be continually updated with helpful information from FCA and new content from our partner organizations. Please visit today and let us know what you think.

The San Francisco LGBT Dementia Care Project: Additional Sessions and Summit

The LGBT Dementia Care Project is a collaboration between FCA, Openhouse, and the Alzheimer’s Association, funded by the San Francisco County Department of Aging and Adult Services. The goal of the project is to educate health and social service providers on how to best serve and address the unique concerns of LGBT seniors with dementia and their caregivers.

One-day training sessions for providers continue this spring and are offered on three dates:

  • Wednesday, April 25, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (in Cantonese) at Institute on Aging, 3575 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco 94118.

  • Friday, May 18, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Openhouse, 65 Laguna Street, San Francisco 94102

The project will also host an  LGBT Dementia Summit. This gathering will convene service providers, members of the community, and policy makers to encourage networking among stakeholders, and to examine the state of dementia care in the LGBT community. CEUs will be available.

LGBT Dementia Summit: Thursday,  June 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Milton Marks Conference Center, Hiram W. Johnson State Office Building, Lower Level, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco 94102. For more information contact  kwaggoner@alz.org, or (800) 272-3900.
New Medicare Cards Arriving in the Mail Starting This Month

Older Americans with Medicare will begin receiving new Medicare cards over the course of the next 12 months (April 2018 to April 2019). The new cards will no longer include Social Security numbers and were rolled out to combat fraud and identity theft. The Social Security number on older cards has been replaced by a new Medicare Number.

No action is required to receive a new card, and there is no charge. Many scams have been reported. Please note that Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Spouse Caregiver Support:
How to Keep the Glass Half Full

In this webinar, we will identify the issues and challenges that confront the spouse/partner caregiver of a person living with dementia at each stage of the illness. Common themes will be highlighted and the importance for family caregivers to appreciate and respect individual differences—as they chart the course of their caregiving journey—will be demonstrated.

When:  Wednesday, April 25, 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT)
Where:  ONLINE
Cost:   No Charge
Contact:  Calvin Hu,  chu@caregiver.org , (415) 434-3388 
Registration:  Click here
New Cottages Designed for Older Adults With Dementia

Live-in facilities that provide care for adults with dementia are not all designed around an institutional-like model. Next Avenue’s Bill Ward writes about the benefits of a new person-centered model that prioritizes resident quality of life and functionality. In Cedar Falls, Iowa, Western Home Communities has completed a new cottage style home for 16 residents living with dementia. These mimic the feeling of being at home, dispensing with cavernous rooms, harsh or insufficient light, and complex or contrasting floor patterns. Also, unlike many regimented facilities, residents are given the freedom to wake, sleep, and eat when they please.
Single? No Kids? Don’t Fret: How to Plan Care in Your Later Years

A growing number of older Americans have no adult children or family to care and provide assistance for them as they age. Sometimes referred to as “elder orphans,” The New York Times’ Susan B. Garland details ways these older adults can attempt to compensate for the missing support that family members normally provide. Forging ties with church groups and neighbors who can do wellness checks, moving to a community where daily essentials are within walking distance, and planning for incapacity are some of the ideas recommended in the article.
Tech Tools for Caregivers

This workshop will offer a practical overview of how technology tools may help family caregivers provide care for a frail or ill family member, partner, relative, friend, or spouse at home. Technology products like smart phone apps, communication aids, in home sensors, and webcams can help make a home safer, and reduce the caregiving workload. The class will include information on how to determine what your needs are, the costs of tech tools, privacy considerations, and ease of use.

When: Thursday, April 19, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where:  Veterans Memorial Senior Center, Gold Star room
1455 Madison Avenue, Redwood City 94061
Cost: No charge
Registration: Calvin Hu,  chu@caregiver.org, (415) 434-3388 x 313
Fremont Retreat

You are invited to join FCA and the City of Fremont for a FREE one-day retreat designed especially for you, the family caregiver. Enjoy a visit to Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, located in the historic Mission San Jose district of Fremont. The tree lined campus includes the largest mission-era olive grove in California, a labyrinth, and numerous gardens and green spaces throughout. You’ll enjoy a complimentary breakfast and lunch, educational presentations for caregivers, a therapeutic group activity, and a chance to share your experiences with other family caregivers.

The retreat will be located in the Dominican Center, click  here to view a campus map.

Pre-registration is required. Please let us know if you have a disability and require specific accommodations. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate professional caregivers at this event. 

When: Friday,  April 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
43326 Mission Circle, Fremont 94539
Cost: No charge
Registration:  Click here
Contact: Calvin Hu,  chu@caregiver.org, (415) 434-3388 x 313
Understanding Memory Loss and Dementia

Occasionally misplacing keys, forgetfulness, and sometimes failing to remember which word to use can be common experiences among older adults. While aging may include an increase in memory problems, dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. At this free workshop, participants will learn the differences between dementia and normal age-related memory loss, some warning signs of dementia, how dementia affects thinking and mood, and the importance of obtaining a diagnosis.

When: Monday,  May 21, from 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Where:  Belmont Library
1110 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont 94002
Cost: No charge 
Registration: Calvin Hu,  chu@caregiver.org, (415) 434-3388 x 31 3
Enroll in the SHARE Program

FCA is seeking San Francisco Bay Area family caregivers to enroll in the SHARE program (Support, Health, Activities, Resources, Education). Over the course of five telephone or in-person home visits, SHARE counselors will help you get the most out of today while planning for tomorrow. The goals of SHARE include learning effective communication skills, reducing stress, promoting health, and learning about long-term care management. The SHARE program is offered at no charge.

SHARE is specifically for caregivers of adults (close family or partner/spouse), with a confirmed diagnosis of a chronic health condition, 60 or older, living at home, and with intact cognitive abilities. Eligible conditions for SHARE include, but are not limited to: heart disease, diabetes, COPD, arthritis, kidney disease, stroke, or HIV-AIDS.  Care receivers with a neurocognitive disorder like Alzheimer’s disease, a mental health condition, traumatic brain injury, or are in the terminal phrase of their condition, are unfortunately not eligible.

Please contact Michelle Venegas, (415) 434-3388, for more information.
Reimagine End-of-Life in the San Francisco Bay Area

Reimagine End-of-Life is a  week-long exploration of big questions about life and death. Join in the conversation with multiple workshops, art exhibits, films, performances, and installations listed in the schedule.

When: Thursday April 16 to Sunday April 22
Where: San Francisco Bay Area
Cost: Varies, many free events
African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum

Family caregivers, friends, and providers are invited to join the Alzheimer’s Association and UC Davis for the 10th annual African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum. Attendees will learn why African Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, ways to reduce risk, and the latest caregiving techniques and research findings.

This free event includes a complimentary lunch and health screening. Free respite care is available to attendees. Please register to attend.

When: Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley 94703
Registration:  Click here
Annual Alzheimer’s Latino Conference ( 5ta Conferencia Latina Anual de Alzheimer)

All are welcome at this free Spanish language Alzheimer’s Association conference. Topics include, Alzheimer’s disease myths and realities, caregiver self-care, communication skills, and paying for long-term-care. The conference includes free breakfast, lunch, and free diabetes and blood pressure screening.

When: Sunday, April 22, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose 95116
Registration: Click here
San Francisco Mayoral Candidate Forum

The  Dignity Fund Coalition, of which FCA is a member, will be hosting a town hall featuring San Francisco mayoral candidates. The forum will focus on seniors and people with disabilities, and seeks to clarify how the candidates will support these groups. The event is free ( registration required), and will be held at the accessible Herbst Theatre with Spanish, Cantonese, and Sign-language interpretation. Other languages of interpretation will be provided if requested. To download the flyer click here.

When: Thursday, April 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Where:  Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco 94102
Registration:  Click here
Connect with Tech Week

The goal of Connect with Tech Week is to reduce digital disparity in San Francisco by teaching computer skills and providing access at no charge to community members. Connect with Tech is a San Francisco Public Library led initiative that includes classes, an expo, film screenings, and panel discussions. A schedule is available to download or print listing the week’s events.

When:  Monday, May 7 to Saturday, May 12
Where:  Various locations in San Francisco
Cost: No charge
20th Annual Updates on Dementia Conference

Join the   Alzheimer’s Association for the largest  dementia-specific ​educational conference on the West Coast. Researchers and clinicians will present the latest research on the biological, social, psychological, and cultural aspects of aging and dementia, with emphasis on practical applications. Presenters include FCA contract attorney  Matthew O’Donnell, specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law, and elder law.

When: Thursday, May 10, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
255 South Airport Boulevard, South San Francisco 94080
Cost: $90 general admission, $50 seniors (age 65+) and students (with ID)
Registration: Blanca Vazquez-Arias,  bvazquez@alz.org, ( 408) 372-9922
Caregivers Count! Conference

The  Aging Services Collaborative  of Santa Clara County invites family caregivers to the  8th Annual Caregivers Count Conference . Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from expert speakers as well as visit resource tables to learn about supportive services available in Santa Clara County. Highlights of the conference include presentations on self-care, h ospital discharge planning, and a caregiver panel.  

On-site care will be provided by the  Alzheimer’s Activity Center .

When:  Saturday, May 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where:  Campbell Community Center, Orchard City Banquet Hall
1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell 95008  
Cost:  $15 (limited scholarships available)
Registration:  Click here  
FCA’s   Facebook page   offers articles and posts of interest for family caregivers. Please follow our page at www.facebook.com/FamilyCaregiverAlliance .
Headlines From the March 2018 Caregiving Policy Digest

  • ACA Premium Increases on the Horizon
  • Too Old for Surgery?
  • Benzodiazepines: Another Prescription Crisis?
  • States Move to Address Out-of-Network Charges
  • Access to Your Healthcare Data Offers Knowledge and Control

The entire March 2018 issue is available  here .
Do You Get Caregiving Policy Digest?

Published monthly, this e-newsletter focuses on legislation and policy, caregiving research, and media coverage of caregiving issues. The recent, issue is available   here. Visit the  archive  for past issues and click  here   to subscribe.
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Connections Credits
Calvin Hu
Francesca Pera

Kathleen Kelly
Calvin Hu
Lana Sheridan
Michelle Venegas
Leah Eskenazi

Executive Director
Kathleen Kelly
FCA Board of Directors

Jacquelyn Kung

Dan Lieberman

Wyatt Ritchie

Kathleen Raffel

Athan Bezaitis
Catherine Lelong
Rajiv Mehta
Chris Park
Scott Peifer
Celine Takatsuno