Vol. 8, No. 3
March 16, 2017
Changes to Medicaid: A Bad Deal for Family Caregivers

By Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director, Family Caregiver Alliance

As of this writing, the policy battle over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues in Congress. The issue that gets the most coverage at the moment is how big the loss of health insurance coverage for individuals will be under the proposed Republican sponsored American Health Care Act. Just released estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office state that 24 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage within a decade.

Also included in the repeal bill are dramatic changes to Medicaid which currently provides community long-term services and supports to disabled and older adults and acts as a safety net for all of us in the future. These changes directly affect family caregivers as they relate to the availability of home and community-based services for disabled and older adults.

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”   

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson
Action Alert: California SB 177 — Family Caregiver Respite Support

Respite is crucial for maintaining the health and well being of family caregivers, numbering a staggering 4.5 million in California alone. SB 177, introduced by California State Senator Janet Nguyen, would appropriate $3.3 million to provide desperately needed respite care services for family caregivers in California. 

P lease help caregivers and FCA by writing a letter in support of SB 177.
All letters will be hand delivered to legislators in Sacramento, and must be received by Tuesday, March 21. You can email, fax, or mail your letters:    

Fax:  ( 415) 434-3508

Mail:  Family Caregiver Alliance
Attn: SB 177
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 950
San Francisco, CA 94104

A sample letter can be viewed here
FCA CareJourney, a Secure, Online Service for Family Caregivers

FCA CareJourney is an online tool that provides quality, personalized information tailored to your specific caregiving situation, based upon your location. To join CareJourney , simply answer a breif series of questions, and gain access to your online dashboard. The dashboard provides easy access to fact and tips sheets, videos, webinars, local and national resources, and the ability to meet other caregivers online (via the Smart Patients’ Caregivers Community). An integrated messaging feature also allows you to directly contact FCA resource specialists and family consultants. CareJourney is offered at no charge to family caregivers, and is available 24/7.

Please visit the FCA website  to become a CareJourney member today. 
New Online Support Community at Smart Patients

FCA has partnered with Smart Patients, an online community for patients and caregivers, with the online Caregivers Community.  Family caregivers and other loved ones can join the community at no charge to share, interact, and learn from one another in a safe, supportive environment. 

To join the Caregivers Community, visit FCAs website, or join via FCA CareJourney
FCA at AiA17 —  Aging in America Conference

FCA will be giving two presentations at the annual Aging in America conference on March 20 to 24  at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The National Forum on Family Caregiving will discuss trends, programs, and policies in caregiving.  Care Compass: Online Services for Family Caregivers, will provide an  overview, initial data findings, and experience to date of FCAs new online program, FCA CareJourney.

If you are attending AiA17 or live in the Chicago area, p lease join FCA for a reception honoring the awardees of the 2016 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards, on Wednesday, March 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Crystal C Room. L ight refreshment will be served. Click here to download the reception flyer.
FCA Executive Director Kathleen Kelly Quoted in California Health Report Article

Kathleen Kelly was quoted in “Lost in the Fog: Family Caregiving in California,” as part of the new 12-member California Task Force on Family Caregiving. The article, by Matt Perry, explains the mission and challenges of the task force, the current state of caregiving in California, and includes an interim report by the group.
Caregiver Satisfaction Survey for San Francisco Bay Area Caregivers

During the past year, have you talked with an FCA Family Consultant or attended a caregiver skills building class or workshop? Have you received a grant for respite, legal assistance, or therapeutic counseling, or had a family member attend Camp for Caring in the San Francisco Bay Area? We want to know, were the service(s) you received helpful for your caregiving situation? Please tell us by completing the brief caregiver satisfaction survey that you have received in your email inbox or your mailbox. Many thanks in advance for taking the time to give us your valuable feedback!           
San Francisco LGBT Dementia Care Project T rainings   

This program is a collaboration in San Francisco 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 communications, and best and better practices.  Free CEUs are available for RN, LVN, CNA, HHA, LMFT, LCSW, NHAP, and RCFEs

THE LGBT Dementia Care Project has also created a downloadable infographic on the many and unique challenges of LGBT seniors. 

For more information and to schedule a training, please contact  Pauline Martinez  or call ( 408) 372-9951.
Dementia, Caregiving and Controlling Frustration

Frustration is a normal response to the very difficult job of dementia caregiving. However, extreme frustration is physiologically and mentally unhealthy, and can even lead to being physically or verbally aggressive. This FCA Fact Sheet will discuss some of the warning signs of frustration, how to remain calm, how to modify your thoughts, and other strategies to keep frustration under control.
FCA Webinar Archive: Keeping Safe From Financial Fraud
Financial fraud is unfortunately a billion dollar “industry,” with seniors being deliberately targeted. This FCA webinar is for caregivers who want to help protect their loved ones who are older from financial fraud. Viewers will learn how to  identify the signs of elder and dependent adult financial abuse, understand common strategies that scammers use, and be empowered to help safeguard the finances of their loved ones.

Additional FCA caregiving and professional webinars can be viewed at the FCA webinar page .
Wading in Emotional Quicksand
The Powerful Role of Anticipatory Grief and Ambiguous Loss in Dementia Care

Anticipatory grief is the emotional pain and sadness that arises in advance of an expectant loss or death. Ambiguous loss is the confusing feeling of interacting with someone who is not fully present mentally or socially, as often happens to family caregivers who are closely involved with a person living with dementia.

This webinar will provide information and practical coping strategies to enable caregivers to understand their own unique journeys of grief, and to learn ways to remain calm and hopeful in the process. 

Kay Adams, LCSW, is an educator, writer, clinician, consultant, advocate, and trainer. Kay currently works as a clinician in the diagnostic Memory Clinic and Geriatric Psychiatry Department for Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Denver. Kay has an extensive background in hospice, mental health, grief counseling, geriatric psychiatry, and dementia. 

When: Wednesday, March 29, 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT)
Cost: No Charge
Contact: Calvin Hu, chu@caregiver.org, (415) 434-3388 
Registration: Click here
Seven Common Drugs Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia 
Leslie Kernisan, M.D., writing in Next Avenue, lists a number of drugs which studies suggest can adversely affect senior brain health. Often components of over the counter medications, t hese drugs include sedating antihistamines, medications for over-active bladder, and muscle relaxants.
The Unique Challenges of Millennial Caregivers

Millennial caregivers are often forgotten in the discussion about caregiving and aging. While public and policy makers have begun to acknowledge the incredible work that caregivers do, much of the support, understanding and empathy is focused on caregivers of the Baby Boomer generation . Feylyn Lewis, writing a blog post for Daughters Unite, seeks to explain how the Millennial caregiving experience can differ from Baby Boomer caregiving,  and how to better support Millennials who are providing care.  
Coping with Caregiving
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 one’s own physical and emotional health—all too often, caregivers neglect their health and well being. We cannot stop the impact of a chronic illness on a loved one. However, we, as caregivers, need to be responsible for our own self-care.

At this one day workshop, you will l earn specific tools to help you reduce stress; deal with uncertainty and change; access support and resources; and take positive action steps that will benefit YOU!

When:  Wednesday, April 12, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where:  Catholic Charities
Adult Day Services—San Mateo County
787 Walnut Street, San Carlos 94070
Cost: No Charge
Registration: Email or call Adult Day Services, San Mateo County, (650) 592-9325
Stress Management and Movement Retreat for Family Caregivers

You are invited to join FCA for a free, one-day retreat designed especially for you, the family caregiver. Caregivers will learn about stress management and participate in therapeutic group activities including yoga, dance, a walk, and meditation. Network and share your experiences with fellow caregivers, and enjoy a enjoy a  catered lunch.

Click here to download and share the flyer.

Pre-registration is required. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate professionals caregivers at this event.

When: Thursday, April 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where:  Log Cabin (in the Presidio of SF)
1299 Storey Avenue, San Francisco 94129
Cost: No Charge
Registration: Jaleesa Jeffery, (415) 434-3388 ext. 304 
There Must be a Better Way Than This!
A Special One Day Class for Dementia Caregivers

At this FCA class, you’ll learn tips and strategies for understanding and communicating with someone affected by dementia. You’ll also learn how to handle difficult behaviors, how dementia affects a person's ability to understand and communicate, and how to feel more confident in your caregiving role.

Pre-registration is required. Group size is limited. Please let us know if you have a disability and require assistance. We regret  to inform you that we are unable to accommodate professional caregivers at this event.  

When:  Friday, April 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
4340 Redwood Highway, Suite F-138, San Rafael 94903
Cost: No Charge
Registration: Amanda Hartrey, (415) 434-3388 ext. 334
The Art of Aging Gracefully Resource Fair

At this JCCSF resource fair, participants will have the opportunity to engage with local businesses and organizations, to access valuable resources to help maintain health and stay  energized. The Art of Aging Gracefully includes presentations by medical professionals on stress, mobility, and aging. The fair also includes free yoga, mindfulness,  Pilates, and fall prevention workshops.

Advance registration is recommended. 

When: Thursday, April 6, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where:  JCCSF
3200 California Street, San Francisco  94118
Cost: No charge
Registration:  Click here
9th Annual African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum

The African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum is an annual Alzheimer’s Association event that provides caregivers the chance to learn more about how Alzheimer’s disease impacts the African African community, and how to care for someone with the disease.The forum links caregivers to  information, organizations, and support that will help manage the challenges of caregiving.

When: Saturday, April 29, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where:  Ed Roberts Campus
3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley 94703

Cost: No charge
Registration:  Click here
 7 th Annual Caregivers Count Conference

The Aging Services Collaborative of Santa Clara County invites family caregivers to the 7th Annual Caregivers Count Conference. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from expert speakers as well as visit resource tables to learn about supportive services available in Santa Clara County.  Topics covered will include: s elf care, communication, m edication, and l egal needs. 

Limited on-site care will be provided by the Alzheimer’s Activity Center.

When: Saturday, May 6, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Orchard City Banquet Hall
1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell 95008
Cost: $15
Registration:  Click here
19th Annual Updates on Dementia Conference

Join the Alzheimer’s Association for the largest dementia specific ​educational conference  on the West Coast. R esearchers 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 11, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
255 South Airport Boulevard, South San Francisco 94080
Cost: $95 general admission, $50 seniors (age 65+) and students (with ID)
Registration:  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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235 Montgomery Street | Suite 950 | San Francisco, CA 94104
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.
Visit caregiver.org today and JOIN!
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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
Celine Takatsuno
F. Burns Vick