Vol. 8, No. 12
December 15, 2017
As the 29 members of Congress’  Tax-Bill Conference Committee work out the details of the final bill—likely to be voted on next week—we are sharing the first four abstracts from our monthly e-newsletter, Caregiving Policy Digest:

Tax Bills and the Impact on Social Programs
Two tax bills careening towards a conference committee merger process and on to a White House signing ceremony held center stage as 2017 drew to a close ...  link to Caregiving Policy Digest

Elimination of the Medical Deduction Impact on Middle-Class Families
The tax legislation’s short-term projected $25 billion Medicare cut and medical expense deductibility could be averted if Congress, in the first matter, follows previous precedents and ...  link

Advocates Continue to Raise Alarm Over Cuts to Programs for Older Americans in Proposed Tax Overhaul
Advocacy organizations believing they had finally won a decisive health coverage victory with the Senate’s earlier failure to repeal Obamacare found themselves having to raise their voices once again ...  link

Federal Tax Plan’s Punch to California and Other States
This week, the California Department of Finance issued a letter to the Members of the California Congressional Delegation on the impact of a proposed federal tax plan on the state ...  link

Many family caregivers and those they are caring for, young and old, will face cuts to the safety-net programs they depend on, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Join FCA, along with other national organizations such as  Families USA and  Justice in Aging, in opposing tax reform that will increase the deficit and reduce access to healthcare for those with disabilities, older adults, and their families.

Reach out today to your Senators and Representatives at (202) 224-3121.

Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible .”
Francis of Assisi
FCA 40th Anniversary Blog Posts

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, FCA has published a series of blog posts on the history of the organization. Legacy of Survival details FCA’s co-founders, initial beginnings, and early years. In addition to Legacy of Survival, FCA has also published a new series of caregiver stories.

Watch for further posts in the next few months.
FCA s Tony Tran Interviewed by Vietnamese Journal
Tony Tran is FCA’s Community Outreach Specialist, a new position created to address the unique cultural and linguistic concerns of Asian Pacific Islander family caregivers. To connect to a large audience of Vietnamese speaking family caregivers, Tony appeared on Vietnamese Journal, a production of KTSF, hosted Anthony Nguyen. During the interview (Vietnamese language), Tony explained the support and services offered by FCA, and touched on ways to encourage Vietnamese speaking caregivers to seek help though government programs and non-profit organizations.
The San Francisco LGBT Dementia Care Project Training Dates

This program is a collaboration between FCA, the   Alzheimer’s Association , and  Openhouse . Free trainings for health and social service providers are being offered on the dementia care needs of LGBT seniors. Training topics include understanding dementia, LGBT caregiver concerns, compassionate communication, and best/better practices.  

Upcoming Sessions:

When: Tuesday, January 9, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: San Francisco Public Library Latino/Hispanic Room (lower level)
100 Larkin Street, San Francisco 94102
Cost: No charge
Contact: Pauline Martinez, pmartinez@alz.org, (408) 372-9951

When: Friday, February 9, 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Where: Openhouse
65 Laguna Street, San Francisco 94102
Cost: No charge
Contact: Pauline Martinez, pmartinez@alz.org, (408) 372-9951
Caregiving and the Holidays: From Stress to Success!

The holidays are often a time of increased stress and frustration for many family caregivers. The influx of relatives, social obligations, and the desire to be an accommodating host pile additional chores on top of already existing caregiving responsibilities. To provide support and guidance to family caregivers during this time, FCA has written this short article on how to manage caregiving during holidays.
Surprise Ambulance Bills: A Consumer’s Guide

Kaiser Health News’ Melissa Bailey has written a handy guide for understanding “surprise” ambulance bills. Not all health insurance policies cover ambulance services, but for those that do, not all ambulance companies are covered. For policies that include ambulance services, there are both “in” and “out-of-network” ambulance providers. When someone uses the services of an out-of-network ambulance company, health insurance pays a certain amount, and the individual is billed the remainder. This remaining bill can exceed thousands of dollars.
Caring for a Parent From Far Away

Long distance caregiving presents a unique set of challenges for family caregivers. Perhaps most apparent is the inability to easily check on the well-being of a parent or relative needing care. Mary Kane, Associate Editor for Kiplinger, has written an in-depth article on how to fulfill caregiving responsibilities from a distance. FCA’s Leah Eskenazi was one of the experts interviewed.

FCAs webinar, Closing the Gap: How to Care From Afar, is available to view on our webinar archive.
Problems With Your Hospital Care? Speak Up!

Emily Bazar is a columnist for California Healthline specializing in health care and insurance issues. Recently, her father underwent major surgery successfully at a well resp ected hospital. Unfortunately, Ms. Bazar noticed the post-surgery care was seriously lacking, but was unsure how to advocate for her father to improve it. In this article, Ms. Bazar explains some of the tools and tactics family caregivers can employ if they don’t feel the person they are caring for is receiving quality care.
There Must Be a Better Way Than This!  
(A Free One-Day Class for Dementia Caregivers)

In this FCA class, you’ll have the opportunity to learn tips and strategies for understanding and communicating effectively with someone affected by 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.

Pre-registration is required and group size is limited. This class is specifically for family caregivers, not providers.  

When: Friday, February 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  
4340 Redwood Highway, Suite F138, San Rafael 94903 
Cost: No charge
Registration: FCA Family Consultant, Amanda Hartrey, ahartrey@caregiver.org, (415) 434-3388 x 334
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 face-to-face 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, 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.
Family Caregiver Education Series

The City of Fremont Family Caregiver Support Program will be offering an 8-week caregiver educational series starting in January. These workshops will cover a wide range of topics and are offered at no cost to all family caregivers of the Tri-City area.


  • January 17: Caregiving 101
  • January 24: Normal Aging and Ways of Improving Memory
  • January 31: Caring for Loved Ones With Alzheimers and Memory Problems
  • February 7: Caring for Loved Ones With Parkinsons Disease
  • February 14: Stress Management for Caregivers
  • February 21: Communication Strategies
  • February 28: Taking Care of Yourself
  • March 14: Caregiving and Forgiveness
Pre-registration is required. Refreshments begin at 9:30 a.m. Special accommodations for those with disabilities can be provided with three weeks advanced notice. These workshops are specifically for family caregivers, not providers.  

When: Wednesdays, January 17 to March 14, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont 94538
Cost: No charge donations to City of Fremont are greatly appreciated
Registration: Frishta Sharifi, fsharifi@fremont.gov, (510) 574-2035
Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behaviors

This Alzheimer’s Association workshop provides participants with a four-step model to address the behavioral aspects of dementia. The workshop explains the model and then applies it to some of the common problem behaviors associated with dementia.

When: Thursday, February 15 , 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where:   Palo Alto Medical Foundation, 2nd floor conference room
301 Old San Francisco Road, Sunnyvale 94086
Cost: No Charge
Registration: Evangeline Vargas, vargase@sutterhealth.org, (408) 730-2810
FCA’s  Facebook page offers articles and posts of interest for family caregivers. Please follow our page at www.facebook.com/FamilyCaregiverAlliance.
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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.
‘Eviction Defense Guide’ for Nursing Homes and Assisted-Living Facilities Published

The National Center on Law and Elder Rights ( NCLER ) offers free consultation assistance to attorneys and professionals who serve older adults. NCLER also produces training materials and information for advocates, and has recently published a guide to defend against evictions in residential care facilities.The guide is free to download and includes both federal and state laws.
Donate to FCA
Your Donation Helps FCA Support Family Caregivers

FCA, as a public voice for caregivers, shines light on the challenges caregivers face daily and champions their cause through education, services, and advocacy. The services, education programs, and resources FCA provides are designed with caregivers’ needs in mind and offer support, tailored information, and tools to manage the complex demands of caregiving.

With your support, FCA will continue to provide services to family caregivers and work to advance policies and programs in every state. Please make a tax deductible donation to FCA this holiday season and help us support family caregivers, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and across the country.
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 40 years.
Your donation makes all the difference!
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Phone: (800) 445-8106 | Email: info@caregiver.org
Visit Family Caregiver Alliance’s  NEW secure   online solution for information, support, and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions.    FCA CareJourney  provides a personalized dashboard loaded with information useful for your unique caregiving needs.
Visit  caregiver.org   today and  JOIN!
Visit FCA’s website
Family Care Navigator
Caregiver tool for
state-by-state resources
Family Caregiver Alliance’s fee-for-service care management program currently serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Click here for further information.
Connections Credits
Calvin Hu
Francesca Pera
Michelle Venegas 

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