Vol. 7, No. 12
December 19, 2016
Dear Friends:

Happy Holidays or “Bah! Humbug!”? For many the holidays mean feelings of joy, gratitude, and love. And often, feelings of regret, sadness, and anger are also present. And the holidays are known to be stressful. As caregivers, you face many of the same stressors that may add to the often, and already, overwhelming demands of caregiving. You may feel especially alone, exhausted, or paralyzed by the seemingly impossible task of caring for a loved one during the holiday season, while also trying to maintaining your own health, family, and career. Or maybe you are coming home for the holidays and find yourself shocked at the state of your parents’ declining health, and their once organized and tidy home, now cluttered, dishes overflowing in the sink, or the electricity shut off due to non-payment. And perhaps you have decided to take a more active role in their care. 

Are you looking to connect with other family caregivers who just “get it,” and can provide hard earned tips, guidance, and advice? Have you been arguing with siblings or relatives about the person you for whom you are providing care? Are you concerned about communicating effectively, in the future, with a loved one who is in the early stages of dementia? Are you struggling to figure out how to balance your own needs with your caregiving responsibilities?

If you are experiencing any of the feelings mentioned above or have answered yes to any of the questions above, FCA is here to provide help. San Francisco Bay Area caregivers, please call FCAs Bay Area Caregiver Resource Center, (415) 434-3388We provide information, referrals, counselling, and a personalized assessment of your individual caregiving situation, at no charge. You can also visit FCAs website for Fact and Tips Sheets, webinars, and instructional videosFor caregivers outside of the Bay Area, please use FCAs Family Care Navigator to be connected with your state and local agencies that can provide assistance. 


Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator
Mom has been my rock all my life. When Dad died she changed from being a ‘housewife’ to finding whatever job she could to provide for us and try to give us things other kids had and took for granted. I will always love her and care for her to the best of my ability. . . . There are so many aspects of family caregiving that so many don’t really think about — myself included before becoming a caregiver. It’s a 24/7 job without a paycheck ... but it’s love and giving back.
— Martin Meyerdierks, caregiver
Please Support FCA With Your Donation 

FCA has been working to aid family caregivers for almost 40 years. We would never have been able to provide these services without the help of people like you FCA relies on the financial generosity of individuals to grow and provide the best support and most up to date information possible. Your donation funds both our direct services and our advocacy efforts for family caregivers on the state and federal level. Please support caregivers and make a holiday donation to FCA today! 

If you missed FCA Executive Director  Kathleen Kelly’s letter, please read it here
Putting Your Family Caregiving on a Map With Atlas of Caregiving

Join Atlas of Caregiving and FCA for an upcoming San Francisco workshop, Putting Your Family Caregiving on a Map. Designed for family caregivers, care managers, social workers, and other caregiving and healthcare professionals, in these two-hour workshops youll discover how Atlas CareMaps™ can lead to a better understanding of each individual caregiver experience.

Atlas of Caregiving is a San Francisco nonprofit, working to make caregiving easier and more effective.

When: Wednesday, January 25, 10 a.m. to 12 noon (for family caregivers) and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (for professional providers)
Where: The Women’s Building - Room A
3543 18th Street, #8, San Francisco 94110
Cost: No charge
Registration: Click here
San Francisco LGBT Dementia Care Project Trainings  Beginning January

This special program is a collaboration between FCA, the Alzheimer’s Association, and Openhouse Free trainings for health and social service providers will be offered on the dementia care needs of LGBT seniors. Training topics include LGBT cultural humility, understanding dementia, LGBT caregiver concerns, compassionate communications, and best and better practices.  Free CEUs are available for RN, LVN, CNA, HHA, LMFT, LCSW, NHAP, and RCFEs

For more information and to schedule a training, please contact Pauline Martinez or call (408) 372-9951.
FCA Communications Update

FCA's fax line will be out of service until January due to complications related to our recent move. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you in advance for your patience. If you have any questions, please contact us
Not a Jolly Holiday? Use This Guide to Find Gratitude in the Season
“We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.”

FCA’s Leah Eskenazi has written a practical guide for caregivers during the holidays. This guide includes concrete steps and a number of exercises that are designed to increase satisfaction and gratitude for caregivers who might feel sorely lacking in both.     
Caregiving With Your Siblings During the Holidays

“I’m really worried about the holidays. I’ve got everything under control with my Mom and Dad. Then my sisters and their families come. I tell them that Mom and Dad tire easily and to make sure the grandkids don’t exhaust them. But they don’t listen to me. Mom and Dad can’t  say no, everything gets crazy, and I’m the one who has to deal with the resulting mess.”

This FCA blog post by guest blogger and author Francine Russo will help caregivers survive sibling visits during the holidays. Some tips include  learning to accept the inevitable disruption that accompany the holidays, being comfortable with delegating  tasks to your siblings before their visit, and making changes to meal traditions to make your own life easier. 
A Quick View on Technologies for Family Caregivers

Keeping up with all the latest tech products for caregivers can be a full time job, and  sorting reality from hype isn't always easy. This article by FCA Executive Director  Kathleen Kelly , originally published in Aging Today, newspaper of the American Society on Aging, provides information on websites you can use to learn about on the latest tech, tried and tested caregivers apps, and a short listing of established companies that manufacture in home sensors. 
Slowing Down Hospital Discharge Requires Fast Action

Judith Graham, contributing columnist for Kaiser Health News, explains how older adults and those on Medicare can appeal a hospital discharge. Any older adult or Medicare recipient who is admitted as an inpatient can appeal a discharge by calling a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO). This starts a process between the hospital and the QIO during which the patient stays in place while the QIO determines if the discharge was justified or not
How Family Caregivers Can Ease the Financial Burden

Geoff Williams, in an article for U.S. News & World Report, gives suggestions for caregivers to help reduce the financial costs of caregiving. These include talking to your utility company to see if they can lower your bill if you are using at-home medical equipment; using social media to reach out and find support, or advice; and finally, not moving too fast and taking the time needed to make sound financial decisions.  
Conversations About Dementia

At this Alzheimer’s Association workshop, caregivers will learn how to have conversations about difficult and challenging topics relating to dementia with family members. Getting a diagnosis, medical care, stopping driving, managing finances and legal documents, and care wishes will be discussed. 

When: Wednesday, December 21, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Davies Auditorium, North Tower, level B
45 Castro Street, San Francisco 94114 
Cost: No Charge
Registration: Rachel Main, (415) 463-8505
Dementia Awareness: A Path for Families

This panel discussion, by Seniors At Home, will feature expert advice from social workers, lawyers, physicians, and dementia experts. Participants will learn to identify the signs of dementia, understand its symptoms and behaviors, and get information on resources and support for caregivers. 

When: Wednesday, January 11, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo 94403
Cost: No charge
Registration: Click here
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 35 years.
Your donation makes all the difference!
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Phone: (800) 445-8106 | Email: info@caregiver.org
Visit FCA’s website
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state-by-state resources
Family Caregiver Alliance’s fee-for-service care management currently serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Click here for further information.
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Connections Credits
Calvin Hu
Michelle Venegas  

Kathleen Kelly
Calvin Hu
Lana Sheridan
Michelle Venegas
Leah Eskenazi

Communications and Layout
Francesca Pera

Executive Director
Kathleen Kelly
FCA Board of Directors

Jacquelyn Kung

Dan Lieberman

Jeff Kumataka

Athan Bezaitis
Wanda Borges
Herman S. Brown, Jr.
Tricia Dell
Ping Hao
Catherine Lelong
Rajiv Mehta
Chris Park
Scott Peifer
Kathleen Raffel
Celine Takatsuno
F. Burns Vick