Vol. 8, No. 6
June 15, 2017
The Time is Now: Let Senators Know the AHCA is Bad for Family Caregivers

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is moving swiftly through the U.S. Senate and heading to a vote by the end of June. To date there have been no hearings on the specifics of the bill and development has been behind closed doors with just a handful of Senators taking part. The CBO score on the bill is expected within the next week that will provide an analysis of bill prior to a final vote.

For family caregivers and for their relatives or friends, the cuts and changes in Medicare and Medicaid will be devastating. Every day we counsel families on long-term services and their costs and in turn hear stories of parents working hard to buy a house and save for retirement, only to find themselves out of money within a few years due to a stroke, diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, or multiple chronic care conditions.

—Kathleen Kelly
Executive Director
Read the entire blog here.

If you know your Senator will vote no, they should still hear from you. Find your Senator’s direct contact information here:  www.contactingcongress.org
A list of targeted Senators is available on the  Trumpcare Toolkit
I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” 

—  Audre Lorde
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day ( WEAAD ). Often elder abuse is hidden from public view, behind closed doors in homes or facilities.  WEAAD seeks to fight elder abuse by shining a light on the issue and raising awareness.  For more information on an event happening in your community, please visit the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment .
Webinar for Military Caregivers — Caring for a Veteran With ALS and Anticipating Their Future Needs

ALS, or Lou Gehrigs disease, effects veterans at twice the rate of the general population. This increased risk holds true for all branches of the military and doesnt discriminate between w ar or peacetime service. The correlation between veterans and ALS has led the  Department of Veterans Affairs to categorize ALS as service-connected disease.

In this webinar, participants will get a comprehensive overview of ALS and the treatment options. The webinar will also discuss how assistive technologies can be used for the safely and comfort of the veteran with ALS and their caregiver. 

The Military Caregiving Webinar Series is presented by Easterseals, with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and partners including FCA. 

When:   Thursday, June 22, 11 am to 12 noon (PT)
Where: Online
Cost: No charge  
Registration: Click here 
FCA Executive Director Kathleen Kelly Quoted in Ask Emily

Emily Bazar, senior correspondent and “Ask Emily” columnist for California Healthline, recently wrote a piece on caregiver self-care,  Caring For A Loved One? Care For Yourself, Too. In it, she explains the services and information the California Caregiver Resource Centers (CRC) provide. FCA is the San Francisco Bay Area CRC, and FCA Executive Director Kathleen Kelly is quoted on the frequently asked questions FCA is asked by caregivers.
California SB 177 Fails to Pass Appropriations

SB 177, which would have reinstated funding for respite to family caregivers in California, did not get the votes needed to pass the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Unfortunately, for the current legislative session, the bill has failed.

FCA would like to thank all the caregivers, family, friends, and providers who sent letters in support of SB 177. FCA is dedicated to advocating for caregivers, so they receive the recognition and support they need and deserve. We will continue to fight for bills like SB 177 which provide much needed help to caregivers.
Spring into Spring with FCA

For 40 years, FCA has been helping families and friends who are caregivers for adult loved ones with chronic, disabling conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury, and stroke.

There is still time to Spring into Spring and help FCA help family caregivers!  Your donation helps FCA advocate for caregivers on the state and federal level, helps support our local services that are offered at no charge to caregivers, and helps fund our 50 state 800 number that provides information and assistance to caregivers across the county.  Make your tax deductible donation, by clicking here.
FCA CareJourney, Online Service for Family Caregivers

For the first time, caregivers like you—who are caring for adult loved ones with  chronic, disabling health conditions—can get valuable information, resources,  and support tailored specifically to your unique caregiving situation. And it’s free,  completely private, and accessible by computer or mobile device 24/7.

Please visit FCA CareJourney to join today.
Enroll in the SHARE program

FCA is seeking San Francisco Bay Area family caregivers to enroll in the SHARE program. Over the course of five face-to-face home visits, SHARE will help you get the most out of today while planning for tomorrow.  The goals of SHARE includes learning effective communication skills, reducing stress, promoting health, and receiving education on 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 at (415) 434-3388, for more information.
FCA Webinar Archive: Domestic Employer Training: Best Practices for Employing a Home Attendant/Paid Caregiver
For many caregivers, hiring a home attendant is their first experience being an employer. This webinar will explain the basic rights and responsibilities family caregivers must keep in mind when hiring a home attendant. The webinar will also give tips on creating a positive work relationship, as well as highlight the challenges and concerns of being a first-time employer.

Additional FCA caregiving and professional webinars can be viewed at the FCA webinar page .
The Blessing Scam: The Ugly Fraud Haunting Older Chinese Women

In a Sing Tao Daily/New America Media report, April Xu explains the inner workings of the Blessing Scam The elaborate fraud involves a team of scammers tricking their victim into putting her cash savings and jewelry into a bag to be blessed. The bag is switched during the ritual, and the victim returns to find out their valuables have been stolen. The scam is done in-person, and relies on the victims sympathy, as well as the fear of a life or death situation of a loved one that can only be solved by blessing valuables.

The article can be also read in  Chinese . For information on other scams targeting older Americans, please view our free webinar on financial fraud.
Can Adult Siblings Get Along When Caring for Parents?

Family dynamics can be one of the more vexing aspects of caregiving. Parents with chronic health problems or dementia can bring simmering tensions between siblings into open conflict.  Liz Seegert, writing in Next Avenue, explains the benefits of storytelling and honest communication in managing conflict between caregiving siblings. 

FCA has a free webinar on family dynamics, and a Fact Sheet for sibling caregivers that can be viewed here.
Caregiver College in Pittsburg 
A workshop for gaining skills and sharing helpful care tips 

Caregiver College is a special program for individuals helping a family member or a friend who is frail, disabled, has a chronic health illness, or has a cognitive impairment. Join fellow family caregivers to learn more about: feeding, nutrition, incontinence, toileting, bathing, hygiene, transfer skills, dental care, and caregiver self-care. Learn from community experts, network, and share tips with other caregivers. A complementary lunch is included. 

Pre-registration is required. Please let us know if you have a disability and require specific accommodations. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate professional caregivers at this workshop.  

When:  Saturday, June 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
200 Marina Boulevard, Pittsburg 94565
Cost: No Charge
Registration: Click here
Taking Care of SoMEone Else
A workshop for those dedicated to the care of others, but who put their own health and social needs on the back burner

One of the greatest challenges of being a family caregiver is maintaining ones own physical and emotional health. At this FCA class, you’ll understand why those who care for others often feel sad, guilty, and alone, and how to change those feelings. You'll also learn specific tools to help you reduce stress, change negative thinking, ask for what you need from others, and take positive steps that will benefit YOU!

Light refreshments will be provided.

Pre-registration is required. Group size is limited. Please let us know if you have a disability and require specific accommodations. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate professional caregivers at this class.   

When:  Wednesday, June 21, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Agis Living
2280 Gellert Boulevard, South San Francisco 94080
Cost:  No Charge
Registration:  Call Aegis (650) 952-6100, or ssf.concierge@agisliving.com
Caregiver College en Español localizado en San Francisco

¿Ayuda a cuidar a un familiar o amigo que es frágil, discapacitado, tiene una enfermedad crónica o deterioro cognitivo?

Caregiver College es una clase GRATUITA para aprender y compartir. Es una clase  conducida por expertos en temas que incluyen: el cuidado personal del cuidador, cuidado  de la incontinencia / aseo, nutrición, baño / higiene / acicalo / vestirse, habilidades de  transferencia y cuidado dental.

Se incluye un desayuno y almuerzo. Se requiere un pre-registro.
Desafortunadamente, no podemos acomodar a cuidadores profesionales en este evento.

Cuando: Viernes, 30 de junio, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Donde: Log Cabin (en el Presidio)
1299 Avenida Storey, San Francisco 94129
Registro:   Adriana Sanchez, Especialista en Recursos,  (415) 434-3388 x316, asanchez@caregiver.org
Creative Aging: Dance for Life

Dance for Life is a movement class for adults and seniors of all abilities featuring live music. Participants will begin seated, and will eventually move to standing, if capable. Dance for Life focuses on balance, grace, and confidence and is appropriate for people in wheelchairs, those with balance concerns, Parkinson’s, and other movement challenges. 

Registration recommended, space is limited. Presented in partnership with On Lok Lifeways

Creative Aging at The CJM is a series of enrichment activities for older adults which support health, wellness, and quality of life. Offerings include dance, storytelling, films, classes, tours, and public programs. 

When: Tuesday, August 1, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
736 Mission Street, San Francisco 94103
Cost: No charge 
Registration: access@thecjm.org, or (415) 655-7856.
RAISE and Credit for Caring Acts

Two bills supporting caregivers are being considered in Congress.  T he RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage) A ct will direct the  Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a national strategy on caregiving. This strategy will be drafted with input from an advisory council that would include caregivers and service providers. The focus will be on supporting and recognizing the family caregiver. 

The Credit for Caring Act proposes a tax credit of up to $3,000 to working family caregivers to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving. The bill was introduced by a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators. 
2017 Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard

This annual report measures and grades each state and the District of Columbia on l ong-term and support services for older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. These services encompass the day-to-day help that frail, disabled, and the chronically ill require, and include the care that family members, spouses, neighbors and friends provide. Some of the goals of the report are to track state’s progress and to highlight areas in need of improvement.  
Long-Term Care Poll Results Released

The AP-NORC have recently published the results of a poll of Americans 40 and older on long-term care. In general, respondents favored more federal monetary support for long-term care — 56% think it should be covered under Medicare.  More than 75% of those surveyed would also support a tax break for family caregivers to save for long-term care costs.  While the majority of those polled favored more financial help for long-term care,  67% admit they havent planned enough, or havent planned at all for their own long-term care needs. 
Proposed Single-Payer System in California

The California Senate recently passed SB 562. If signed into law, the bill would create a single-payer health system, Healthy California. Enrollees would have no out of pocket costs, and Healthy California would replace private insurance through employers, individual plans, and Medi-Cal. Healthy California i estimated to cost $400 billion annually, which would require California to raise taxes, and re-purpose federal money earmarked for existing state health programs.  For more information, Mother Jones has published and article explaining the single-payer efforts in more detail. 
Texas Passes CARE ACT

HB 2425 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. This legislation is the Texas version of the CARE Act, which is now on the books in 39 states. The bill received overwhelming support from legislators, and requires hospitals to allow a patent to designate  a caregiver to receive aftercare instructions before the patient is discharged.

FCA has a Fact Sheet on discharge planning for caregivers that can be viewed here.
Subscribe to FCA’s Caregiving PolicyDigest

Caregiving PolicyDigest is a publication of the National Center on Caregiving, a program of FCA. The newsletter offers a fresh look at the rapidly changing world of caregiving policy―at the local, national, and international levels.

To subscribe, please click here .
We would like 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 Family Caregiver Alliance’s NEW online solution for secure information, support, and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions.  FCA CareJourney provides a personalized dashboard loaded with information that matches your unique caregiving needs.
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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
Tricia Dell
Catherine Lelong
Rajiv Mehta
Chris Park
Scott Peifer
Kathleen Raffel
Wyatt Ritchie
Celine Takatsuno
F. Burns Vick