Vol. 10, No. 2
February 21, 2019
Dear Friends:

In recent weeks, dreadfully cold weather has swept through the United States breaking records with jaw dropping temperatures. For caregivers of older adults, and caregivers who are themselves older, freezing and subzero temperatures can complicate caregiving tasks and even be a risk to life.

Fortunately, getting informed about the dangers of wintertime can help mitigate the risks of injury or worse. A wealth of information is freely available online. For general wintertime caregiving concerns, Forbes has published a helpful article; you can learn about the dangers and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite from the CDC’s website; and the National Safety Council gives tips and advice for safe winter driving.


Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator
“You miss 100% of the shots you don t take.”
 — Wayne Gretzky, ice hockey player and head coach
2018 Winners of the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Award

FCA is pleased to join funding partners, the  Helen Daniels Bader Fund, A Bader Philanthropy, and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, to announce the winners of the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding programs that address the needs of caregivers and those they care for, living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related condition. Prizes of $20,000 are given in the categories of creativity, diversity, and public policy.

This year’s award winners are: the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra – Charlotte, North Carolina, Healing Hands; Down Syndrome Network, Inc. – Tempe, Arizona, Aging Matters: Growing Older with Down Syndrome; and Mental Health America of the MidSouth – Nashville, Tennessee, Tennessee Coalition for Better Aging. Each award recipient will be honored at the 2018 Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards Reception on  Tuesday, April 16, 2019 , at the  2019 Aging in America Conference in New Orleans.
Share YOUR Caregiving Story

Do you want to share your caregiving experience with the media? We are looking for current and former caregivers living throughout the country interested in sharing their story. Your story of caregiving can help impact the lives of countless other caregivers and care recipients.

If you would be interested in speaking with the media, please fill out our media request form: California Caregivers | National (49 States and Washington, D.C.). Thank you for your ongoing support!
Ensuring Congress Includes Family Caregivers in National Paid Leave

More than a quarter-century after the Family and Medical Leave Act first guaranteed many family caregivers the right to take time away from work without losing their jobs, the United States is still one of just a few countries without a national paid leave policy. After drawing more attention than ever before last year, from a first-ever hearing in the Senate to an unprecedented level of support from candidates in the midterm elections, paid leave is sure to be on the agenda of the new Congress. But family caregivers’ needs are not always considered. For example, the  Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act , recently re-introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, would provide up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement for family caregiving leave as well as leave for new parents and individuals’ own serious health conditions. But proposals floated  last year by the White House and by  Sen. Marco Rubio  would limit access to paid leave to only new parents, and could result in harmful cuts to other programs such as unemployment insurance and Social Security that caregivers rely on.

CALL TO ACTION: Family Caregiver Alliance  and the  National Partnership for Women & Families  request readers to share their paid leave or experience with work and family balance story. As members of Congress consider legislation this year, they need to hear stories from caregivers like you about why they cannot exclude family caregiving from a national paid leave plan.

If you are interested in sharing your story, please respond here >  California (CA)  |  National (Other States) .
Aging With Pride: IDEA

IDEA ( Innovations in Dementia Empowerment and Action ) is a program designed to improve the quality of life of LGBTQ adults living with memory loss and their caregivers. Participants will meet with a coach to learn exercises and strategies related to memory loss. The program includes nine in-person sessions and participants are compensated for their time.

To be eligible for IDEA, the adult with memory loss or their caregiver must be LGBTQ . Participants must live in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Seattle metropolitan areas. 

For more information, and to apply to participate in IDEA, please contact  Aging with Pride , (888) 655-6646, or  ageidea@uw.edu .
Dementia: Is This Dementia and What Does it Mean?

Dementia is a widely used term commonly understood to indicate problems of thinking and memory. But dementia is a symptom, not a diagnosis. FCA’s fact sheet explains dementia causing diseases and conditions such as Alzheimers disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and frontotemporal dementia.
Discharge Planning is a Family Affair

For most hospital patients and their families, being discharged from the hospital is good news. Yet this announcement often means a new set of challenges to consider. This webinar will describe hospital discharge planning—who does it, what it’s intended to accomplish, and what a family caregiver should know to be fully prepared for the transition, whether a patient goes home, with or without formal home care, or to a Skilled Nursing Facility for short-term rehab or further care. 

Topics for the webinar include typical family caregiver’s roles in discharge planning, a hospital’s obligation to patients and families to inform and educate about hospital discharge and post-discharge care instructions, and new research from the United Hospital Fund on choosing a post-acute care setting when going home is not feasible.


Carol Levine directs the Families and Health Care Project at United Hospital Fund in New York City, where she led the development of Next Step in Care, a suite of educational materials for family caregivers and health care providers to help them work together during care transitions. A former caregiver for her late husband, she is a researcher, writer, and advocate for family caregivers. Her latest books are Navigating Your Later Years For Dummies (Wiley and AARP, 2018) and Living in the Land of Limbo: Fiction and Poetry about Family Caregiving (Vanderbilt University Press, 2014). She holds an MA from Columbia University in Public Law and Government.

Kristina Ramos-Callan is a program manager at United Hospital Fund in New York City, where she works to promote improvements in the health care delivery system around patient and family experience, and to foster clinical-community partnerships to address social determinants of health. Kristina is also a life-long family caregiver. She holds an MA in Urban Studies (Health Care Administration) from the Murphy Institute of the City University of New York.

When: Wednesday, February, 27, 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT)
Cost: No charge
Contact: Calvin Hu,  chu@caregiver.org, (415) 434-3388 x 313
Registration: Click here
New Voices at Patients’ Bedsides: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple

Voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are becoming commonplace in homes. Medical facilities are also using these technologies for simple tasks, allowing patients to order lunch or access medical records, for example. But hospitals and companies are looking to a future where voice assistants are an integral part of medical care and the medical care team. STAT’s Casey Ross delves into the possible future applications where these technologies can help diagnose diseases, offer advice to doctors on treatment, and fill in for nurses when patients have questions.
The Special Challenges That Men Face as Family Caregivers 

The responsibilities of caregiving are becoming more equally divided between women and men, according to research by AARP. To help support this fast growing group of male caregivers, health journalist Liz Seegert writing in Considerable, highlights the potential stumbling blocks that these caregivers can face. For this article, Seegert interviewed a number of individuals for their expertise and experience, including FCA’s Christina Irving and Tony Tran.
It Takes Two! A Refreshing Approach to Understanding and Coping With Dementia Behavior

This FREE four week class offers new skills and tools for family caregivers who care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.

It Takes Two! offers the opportunity to learn more about your relative or friend’s ability to understand and communicate, new skills to handle troubling behavior, and how to feel more confident and positive about your caregiving role.

Pre-registration is required. This class is for family caregivers specifically, not providers. Click  here   to download the flyer.

When:  Wednesdays, March 20, 27, April 3 and 10, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Where: San Bruno Senior Center , 1555 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno 94066
Cost:  No charge
Registration:  Christina Irving,  cirving@caregiver.org , ( 415) 434-3388 x 303
Burning the Candle at Both Ends: Managing Stress for Family Caregivers

Stress is a normal physical response to the many challenges family caregivers face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, chronic stress can also lead to problems with your emotional and physical health. There are ways to manage this stress, by practicing techniques designed to boost resilience. At this workshop, family caregivers will learn about the sources of stress, how to manage stress, stress relievers and coping tools, and stress reduction techniques.

Pre-registration is required. Please let us know if you have a disability and require specific accommodations. This class is specifically for family caregivers, not providers. Click  here   to download the flyer.

When:  Wednesday, February 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
4340 Redwood Highway, Suite F-138, San Rafael 94903
Cost:  No charge
Registration:  Contact Amanda Hartrey, (415) 434-3388 ext. 334. Feel free to leave a message with your name, number, and the name of this workshop.
Communicating and Advocating
With Medical Professionals

Navigating our health care system for the first time can be a daunting experience, often leaving family caregivers confused and frustrated by an unsympathetic and bureaucratic system. This workshop will help to clarify the current realities of the health care experience for caregivers. Participants will learn to use effective communication techniques and powerful communication tools to be a better advocate for the person for whom they are caring for with health care professionals.

Click  here   to download the flyer.

When:  Monday, March 25, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
620 Correas Street, Half Moon Bay 94019
Cost:  No charge
Registration:  Calvin Hu,  chu@caregiver.org , (415) 434-3388 x 313
Save the Date —   Caregiver Retreat in Antioch

FCA and the   Bedford Center  are hosting a free retreat for family caregivers. Participants will enjoy a day of rest and relaxation, with activities that include massage, yoga, and meditation.

When:  Saturday, April 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
1811 C Street, Antioch 94509
Cost:  No charge
Registration:  Evie Christou,  echristou@choiceinaging.org , (925) 778-4171 
Family Caregiver Education Series

The City of Fremont Family Caregiver Support Program is 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.


  • February 21: Stress Management for Caregivers
  • February 28: Communication Strategies 
  • March 7: 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:  Thursdays, January 24 to March 14, from 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
Loneliness and Isolation in Seniors: What You Need To Know

Seniors who are isolated and lonely may be at greater risk for a number of serious heath conditions including inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and increased rate of mortality. This problem has been linked to isolated and lonely seniors from every background.

To shed light on this serious and growing problem, Seniors At Home will convene a panel of experts, including FCAs Christina Irving, for an enlightening discussion on the causes and impacts of senior isolation, as well information on prevention, identification, and solutions.

Light refreshments will be provided.

When: Monday, March 11, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
800 Foster City Boulevard, Foster City 94404
Cost: No charge
Registration: Click here
Take Charge!

Take Charge! is an advance care planning workshop by  Mission Hospice for anyone over the age of 18. At this workshop, participants will learn how to create an advance care plan. This plan includes thinking about what matters most, explaining wishes to family and friends, choosing a health care agent, writing down wishes, and sharing the plan.

Please register before attending this two-part workshop.

When: Wednesdays, March 20 and 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
800 Middle Avenue, Menlo Park 94025
Cost: No charge
Registration: Click here

FCA’s tip sheet  Making End-of-Life Decisions: What Are Your Important Papers?  is a helpful summary of the legal documents needed to ensure, that if you are incapacitated, your wishes are honored.
Mother Lear 

This moving two-person play follows an irascible scholar with dementia who communicates with her daughter using only the text of King Lear, as they struggle with aging, love, and more. A discussion about aging, dementia, caregiving, and end of life will follow the performance.

When: Saturday, March 30, 7:30 p.m.
1670 South Amphlett Boulevard, #300, San Mateo 94402
Cost: $25
Registration: Click here
21st 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. 

When:  Thursday, May 9, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
255 South Airport Boulevard, South San Francisco 94080
Cost:  $90 (early bird) general admission, $50 (early bird) seniors (age 65+) and students (with ID)
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 February 2019 Caregiving Policy Digest
  • Prescription Drug Costs: What’s Ahead
  • Guide to Nursing Home Problems from Justice in Aging
  • The Struggle to Afford Insulin
The entire February 2019 issue is available  here .
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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.
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Connections Credits
Calvin Hu
Paria Dea

Kathleen Kelly
Calvin Hu
Lana Sheridan
Leah Eskenazi

Executive Director
Kathleen Kelly
FCA Board of Directors

Jacquelyn Kung

Dan Lieberman

Wyatt Ritchie

Kathleen Raffel

Amanda Breeden
Athan Bezaitis
Shruti Kothari
Catherine Lelong
Rajiv Mehta
Chris Park
Scott Peifer
Tiffany Riser
Keely Stevenson
Celine Takatsuno