Vol. 11, No. 4
April 2020
Dear Friends:

This time of year I would normally talk about how great it is that spring has arrived, with summer just around the corner. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has changed everyone's plans, and we must all now adapt to a new reality. Coronvirus or not, family caregivers know that the show must go on, and they are doing their best to provide essential care to family members, friends, and relatives.

FCA is working hard to provide additional support for caregivers during these uncertain times. Our website now includes an up-to-date roundup of coronavirus resources for caregivers. We are also hosting weekly webinars on topics related to caregiving during the coronavirus, and are offering live online classes and workshops. FCA's online resource center CareJourney allows caregivers from coast to coast the ability to get personalized resources that fit their unique situation. Finally, for San Francisco Bay Area residents, we are offering family consultations and counselling via video calls.

Please stay safe,

Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator
We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
 — Helen Keller
In Memoriam: Richard P. Essey

Family Caregiver Alliance is sad to report the passing of Richard P. Essey, San Francisco entrepreneur, philanthropist, and former FCA board member. Mr. Essey was the chairman and founder of TemPositions and a pioneer in the staffing industry. Mr. Essey’s involvement with caregiving causes began after he became the caregiver to his late wife Sheila Essey, diagnosed with ALS in 1995.

Mr. Essey formed the Bay Area chapter of the ALS Association, and later joined the board of directors of Family Caregiver Alliance. Together with FCA, Mr. Essey developed and privately funded the Claremont Caregiver Retreat, a three-day, all expenses paid respite retreat for caregivers at the Claremont Club and Spa. Richard Essey’s advocacy and generosity will be dearly missed. Our condolences to his children Tina Mikkelsen and James Essey, and their families.
Caregiving and the Coronavirus: Tips for Caregivers

See our new tip sheet on family caregiving during the coronavirus. Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese (traditional), the tip sheet includes information on planning, prevention, and coronavirus symptoms.

FCA's website also has an up-to-date list of resources for caregivers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Join FCA’s Young Adult Caregiver Support Group

This group focuses on the needs and unique challenges faced by caregivers 40 and under. FCA’s Young Adult Caregiver Support Group meets monthly online (via Zoom) on the 1st Thursday, and 3rd Thursday — 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Zoom login details will be provided with registration. To register contact Rachel, (415) 434-3388 ext. 331 or email [email protected].
Social Isolation and Well-Being for Caregivers Webinar: Recording and Slides

Being a caregiver to family member or friend can be taxing physically, emotionally, and financially. Because of the many responsibilities family caregivers face, social isolation is a common experience. This can mean celebrating holidays alone, not spending time with friends, or giving up the enjoyment of entertaining. Social isolation has become an even more pressing problem as the majority of the country is now practicing physical distancing. This webinar discusses tools and tips to help caregivers cope with the isolation, stress, and anxiety of providing care during the coronavirus epidemic.

To view a recording of the webinar, please visit FCA's website. The webinar slides can be downloaded in English here. The slides are also available in Traditional Chinese , Spanish , Russian , and Tagalog .

This webinar was co-sponsored by the San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services .
Staying Well Together Webinar: Recording and Slides

These are challenging times for all of us and this is especially true for those caring for someone who needs functional or cognitive support. This webinar reviews the basics of the coronavirus (COVID-19), how to take precautions against its spread, how to be well while sheltering in place, and how to adjust to caregiving responsibilities during this time. The end of the webinar will focus on ways to feel connected and supported despite having to observe physical distancing.

To view a recording of the webinar, please visit FCA's website. The webinar slides can be downloaded in English here. The slides are also available in Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Tagalog.

This webinar was co-sponsored by the San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services .
How to: Joining an Online Zoom Meeting

California is under a shelter in place order for the foreseeable future. To continue to provide support for family caregivers, FCA is using technology products to offer services remotely. If you are having difficulties joining an FCA meeting, class, or webinar hosted using Zoom, please read our step-by-step guide.
Palliative Care on the Front Lines of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home the importance of training on palliative care and the need for advanced planning for those with serious illness and their families. In this webinar featuring Dr. Diane E. Meier, we will explore:

  • how COVID-19 has impacted medical decision-making for those in palliative care,
  • how families can better communicate with health professionals at this time, and
  • how COVID-19 has shaped future recommendations for palliative care practice.

Join us for this hour of conversation that will cover these and other issues facing family caregivers, persons with serious illness and professionals who work with both. We will set aside time for your questions to Dr. Meier and provide practical resources to help guide your own conversations about these important topics.

Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, is CEO of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), a national organization devoted to increasing access to quality palliative care for people living with a serious illness and their families in the United States. The Center (CAPC) is located in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Under her leadership the number of palliative care programs in U.S. hospitals has more than tripled in the last 10 years.

This webinar is sponsored by the California Caregiver Resource Centers .

When: Thursday, May 14, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT)
Where: Online
Cost: No charge
Registration: Click here
Caregivers and Coronavirus: Dealing With Forced Isolation

Much of the county is now under some form of stay at home order. Residents are urged to shelter in place and all but the most essential services are closed. For many dementia caregivers, activities in the community like adult day programs serve as a temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities but these facilities are now closed. AARP's Barry J. Jacobs and Julia L. Mayer offer suggestions and strategies for someone living with the person they care for, and how to minimize conflict and promote well-being.
Sick at Home With COVID-19: How to Care for Your Loved Ones Infected With Coronavirus

Many family caregivers face the prospect of having to care for a loved one with the coronavirus, but how is one supposed to do this safely? USA TODAY's Adrianna Rodriguez, Veronica Bravo, and Janet Loehrke give detailed information on the many precautions and steps to help protect your health while tending to someone quarantined at home with the coronavirus.
Let’s Get Away, Together!
A six-part armchair travel series for caregivers

This series is comprised of six interactive travel activity sessions. Each week will focus on a new part of the world, while incorporating storytelling, music, poetry writing, and/or a simple craft. Each session will include a followup message filled with tips, activities, and recipes for families to continue to enjoy after the virtual trip. The focus of each group is to explore a new world, experience a variety of engaging opportunities, and enjoy a sense of camaraderie and community. Let’s Get Away, Together! destinations include: Ecuador, Ireland, Greece, Hawaii, the National Parks, and a unique "anything goes" session about travel and music. Register for one or more sessions.

Let’s Get Away, Together! is intended to be an enjoyable activity for family caregivers and the person they care for. Those receiving care who are able to participate in the discussion and activities are encouraged to attend with their family caregiver. Registration is open, but priority will be given to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties).

When: Tuesdays, May 5, 12, and 19, from 1 to 2 p.m.

May 5, “Let’s Travel Together!"
Registration: Click here

May 12, “Let’s Go to the National Parks!”
Registration: Click here

May 19 “Let’s have a Hawaiian Luau Party!”
Registration: Click here
Sustainable Caregiving — Online Class

Sustainable Caregiving is a live, online class of eight weekly 90-minute sessions. In each class, participants will learn skills to help make caregiving sustainable and to reduce burnout. The class will also include smaller structured break-out groups in addition to the normal full sized class. The class topics include: attentional balance, positive intention setting, stress responses, difficult emotions, self-compassion, challenging relationships, chronic sadness, and growth in adversity.

This class is open to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. This class is specifically for family caregivers (someone taking care of a family member, friend, or loved one), not providers.

When: Thursdays, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18, and 25, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Online via Zoom (link to join will be sent after registration)
Cost: No charge
Registration: Calvin Hu, [email protected], (415) 434-3388 x 313
There Must Be a Better Way Than This! 

In this FCA class, you’ll have the opportunity to learn tips and strategies for understanding and communicating effectively with someone living with dementia. This class will also cover how to handle difficult behaviors, how dementia impacts a person’s ability to understand and communicate, and how to feel more confident in your caregiving role.

This class is open to residents of Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, San Francisco County, and San Mateo County. This class is specifically for family caregivers, not providers.  

When: Wednesday, May 20, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Online
Cost: No charge
Registration: Stella Lazo, [email protected], (415) 434-3388 ext. 323
Senior and Disability Survival School For Family Caregivers in San Francisco

Attend our classes for information about housing, transportation, healthcare, safety, and other community resources in San Francisco for caregivers of seniors and people with disabilities. Join us for one or more dates.

May 5: Housing and Food - Keeping the house safe, eviction moratorium, rent and mortgage, Meals on Wheels / CalFresh / food bank / grocery deliveries

May 12: Aid programs - IHSS and Mutual aid

May 19: Mental health and healthcare - friendship lines (IoA) and HICAP, and Healthcare Action Team from SDA

When: Tuesdays, May 5, 12, and 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. (PT)
Where: Online
Cost: No charge
Registration: May 5 click here | May 12 click here | May 19 click here
FCA’s   Facebook page   offers articles and posts of interest for family caregivers. Please follow our page at www.facebook.com/FamilyCaregiverAlliance .
Do You Get Caregiving Policy Digest?

Published monthly, this e-newsletter focuses on legislation and policy, caregiving research, and media coverage of caregiving issues. Visit the  archive  for past issues and click  here   to subscribe.
We would like to take a moment to extend a warm thank you to the many generous supporters who make the work we do possible through thoughtful donations to Family Caregiver Alliance.

FCA has led the way in supporting family caregivers for over 40 years.
Your donation makes all the difference!
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Connections Credits

Calvin Hu
Al Martinez

Kathleen Kelly
Calvin Hu
Lana Sheridan
Leah Eskenazi

Executive Director
Kathleen Kelly
FCA Board of Directors

Celine Takatsuno

Dan Lieberman

Wyatt Ritchie

Kathleen Raffel

Amanda Breeden
Athan Bezaitis
Deborah Kan
Shruti Kothari
Catherine Lelong
Rajiv Mehta
Scott Peifer
Tiffany Riser
Keely Stevenson
Ian Tong