Vol. 9, No. 1
January 17, 2018
Dear Friends:

Frigid temperatures, decreased daylight, and an outbreak of the flu are unmistakable signs that winter is in full swing. This season can be particularly challenging for family caregivers as it entails increased vigilance and attention when fulfilling caregiver responsibilities.

Everyday activities like shopping for groceries, picking up medications, or taking a family member to the doctor can be complicated by snow and ice that increase the risk of falls or vehicle crashes. The family, relatives, partners, or friends you are providing care for, may also require additional attention, to make sure they are well nourished, in good spirits, and warm.

For this first month of 2018, we at FCA wish you all to stay safe, stay warm, and stay healthy. We also hope you’ll be able make some time to focus on your health and happiness.


Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator
“Done is better than perfect.”
— Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook
New 40th Anniversary Blog
 1977 to 2017: Caregiving Then and Now

FCA is celebrating its 40th Anniversary with a series of blogs by current and former staff, as well as family caregivers. In 1977 to 2017: Caregiving Then and Now , Bonnie Lawrence, former FCA Manager of Communications and Media Relations, delves into the scrappy, early years of FCA. Bonnie also brings the reader to the present day, discussing the many techniques, methods, and innovations created and pioneered by FCA in serving and supporting family caregivers.
10th Year Winners of the Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards

The  Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation   and FCA are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Gilbert Caregiving Legacy Awards . The awards honor outstanding nonprofit programs that address the needs of Alzheimers disease caregivers. Winners each receive $20,000 in support for their programs. 

The 2017 winning programs include: Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Percolator Memory Café Network; Florida State University Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine’s ACTS 2 Project : African-American Alzheimer’s Caregiver Training and Support; and ARTZ Philadelphia’s ARTZ @ Jeff: An Arts and Dementia Mentoring Initiative.

Awards will be presented at a reception held at the 2018 Aging in America Conference in San Francisco, on Tuesday, March 27, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the  Parc 55, Market Street Room (Level 3). The awards reception is open to the public.
A Year-end Update on the National Healthcare Debate from Caregiving Policy Digest

Throughout 2017 President Trump and the Republican Congress promised to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (nicknamed Obamacare or shortened to the ACA). By the end of the year—as the tax overhaul passed and was signed into law—the ACA remained the law of the land though hobbled with the phase-out of the individual mandate and potential further destabilization in 2018. FCA's Caregiver Policy Digest provides a good  year-end update of a tumultuous year in healthcare policy. For more from Caregiver Policy Digest, visit the  archive and consider  subscribing.
The San Francisco LGBT Dementia Care Project: Next Training in February

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.  

When: Friday, February 9, 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Where:  Openhouse
65 Laguna Street, San Francisco 94102
Cost: No charge
Registration:  http://bit.ly/LGBTdementia
Contact: Pauline Martinez,  pmartinez@alz.org, (408) 372-9951
Residential Care Options 101 Webinar
Many family caregivers come to the realization that a parent or relative can no longer live safely on their own. At this point, families can face difficult decisions. Options include moving a loved one into a residence or facility that offers the care they need. This webinar will provide a basic overview of residential care options to help you make informed decisions.

Readers may find FC A’s tip sheets on Residential Care Options of interest as well.
How to Get Compensation When Caring for Aging Parents

Caregiving can be physically demanding and emotionally draining. Caregiving is also often very expensive. While there are currently no options to recover all the costs and expenses related to caregiving, there are ways to mitigate, in part, these expenses for some caregivers. Consumer Reports’ Mary C. Hickey lists five potential ways family caregivers can get paid to offset caregiving expenses.
‘The Problem Child of Seasonal Flu’: Beware This Winter’s Virus 

Flu season is here and H3N2 is the strain of the virus that is sweeping across the country. This variant, in particular, affects older adults. STAT’s infectious diseases and public health reporter, Helen Branswell, explains the reasons why this flu season is impacting more people and more severely than in years past.
What to Do About Unintentional Weight Loss in Older Adults

Unintentional weight loss is a concern for older adults as it is often a warning sign of an underlying illness and can lead to falls or injuries. Dr. Leslie Kernisan, writing in Next Avenue, explains some of the potential causes and remedies for this type of weight loss.
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 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.

Pre-registration is required and group size is limited. Please let us know if you have a disability and require specific accommodations. 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
Powerful Tools for Caregivers

This free, six-part class offers new skills and tools for family caregivers of those with a chronic health condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, or stroke. At Powerful Tools, you will have the opportunity to learn how to reduce stress, make difficult caregiving decisions, communicate more effectively during challenging situations, and prevent caregiver burnout.

Pre-registration is required and group size is limited. Please let us know if you have a disability and require specific accommodations. This class is specifically for family caregivers, not providers.  

When: Mondays, April 16, 23, 30, and May 7, 14, and 21, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
50 Broad Street, San Francisco 94112 
Cost: No charge
Registration: Annie Roche,  aroche@caregiver.org, (415) 434-3388 x 317
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 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.
Free Computer Classes in San Francisco

The Community Living Campaign is offering computer classes and tutoring at its new Mission street Hub for Computer Learning. Classes are also available at computer labs and senior centers throughout San Francisco. Languages of instruction include English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi. For more information, please click here, or contact Judy Auda , (415) 821 -1003 x 109, or judyauda@yahoo.com
Family Caregiver Education Series

The City of Fremont  Family Caregiver Support Program began an 8-week caregiver educational series today, January 17.These workshops will cover a wide range of topics and are offered at no cost to all family caregivers of the Tri-City area. Attendance at all workshops is not required.


  • January 17: Caregiving 101
  • January 24: Normal Aging and Ways of Improving Memory
  • January 31: Caring for Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s and Memory Problems
  • February 7: Caring for Loved Ones With Parkinson’s 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
The Power of Music

Join Rosener House for a special, interactive workshop facilitated by music therapist Genessee Flynn. Participants will learn and experience how music can be a pathway to memory, communication, movement, and engagement. Family caregivers and their family members will enjoy drumming, group singing, movement, and songwriting. Refreshments will be served.

When: Wednesday, January 24, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
500 Arbor Road, Menlo Park 94025
Cost: No charge
Registration: kminden@penvol.org, (650) 322-0126
Living With Alzheimer’s: For Persons Living With Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Care Partners

Join the Alzheimer’s Association for a free three-part education program for those living with early stage Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers. Topics covered in this class include: the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, how to cope, legal concerns, and financial issues.

This class is for those living with early stage Alzheimers disease and their caregivers. Pre-Registration is required.

When: Wednesdays, January 31, and February 7, and 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: San Francisco, exact location provided upon registration
Cost: No charge
Registration: Rachel Main , rmain@alz.org , (415) 463 -8505
Silicon Valley Reads

Silicon Valley Reads is an annual community program that selects books focused on a contemporary theme and offers free events throughout Santa Clara County to engage the public of all ages in reading, thinking and discussing the topic. This year’s theme is caregiving. Silicon Valley Reads is free, and includes author discussions, panels, film screenings, art exhibits, and workshops. Participants can choose to attend over 100 events, including activities for children and teenagers.

When: Starting Thursday, February 1, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Multiple locations, Santa Clara County
Cost: No charge
Take Charge!

Take Charge! is an advance care planning workshop 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.

This one-day workshop will be offered on multiple dates. Please register before attending.

When: Wednesdays, February 10, March 14, June 13, and July 11, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. or Thursdays, April 19, and May 10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
800 Middle Avenue, Menlo Park 94025
Cost: No charge
Registration: Matt Savage, msavage@penvol.org, (650) 272-5045

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.
FCA’s  Facebook page offers articles and posts of interest for family caregivers. Please follow our page at www.facebook.com/FamilyCaregiverAlliance.
RAISE Family Caregivers Act Passed in Senate

Both chambers of Congress have passed the bipartisan RAISE Family Caregivers Act. The bill will become law once signed by the President. The RAISE Act, short for “Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage,” will support family caregivers by creating a national family caregiving strategy. This strategy seeks to ascertain the best ways the government, local organizations, and businesses can support caregivers. The RAISE Act will also establish a Family Caregiving Advisory Council that will offer guidance to the Department of Health and Human Services on how to best support caregivers.

For more information, Lynn Friss Feinberg, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor at AARP Public Policy Institute and former FCA National Center on Caregiving Deputy Director, has written an informative blog piece on the RAISE Act.
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Published monthly, this e-newsletter focuses on legislation and policy, caregiving research, and media coverage of caregiving issues. The recent December 2017 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