Vol. 8, No. 10
October 10, 2017
Dear Friends:

What if family caregivers ran the country? In these times of political turmoil, it feels like we seem to take two steps back for every step forward. I often wonderwhat qualities our country needs to embrace to help get us back on track. Having the privilege of serving family caregivers as a part of FCA, I have to ask, what about the qualities caregivers exhibit every day? So, what if family caregivers ran the country? Well, I know that caregivers are masters at managing time and resources and they can summon an immense amount of patience. They can improvise and know how to compromise and they definitely look beyond their own needs to care for others. Caregivers are constantly weighing options looking for the best solution to difficult situations. They are indomitable and they face the unknown with courage, and grit, and determination. These are some of the many qualities I'd hope for in someone representing my town, state, and country.

As much as I'd wish for a whole cohort of caregivers in all levels of elected offices, caregiving is of course a full time job, which is often layered on top of a full time job, and then there are the children that sandwich generation caregivers are also raising. So if there isn't the time, money, or energy to run for office, caregivers can still promote change by advocating for themselves and the person for whom they are providing care. FCA's Policy Digest highlights important caregiving legislation in all states and the District of Columbia. Our Twitter and Facebook accounts also highlight legislation that benefits, and harms family caregivers. Connections will also always feature important national legislation that affects you. Your advocacy will help all caregivers, and in interacting with government, perhaps some of those caregiver traits might just start to rub off on those in power.


Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator
“The one thing I am not is her daughter-in-law. Now I have become her best friend. Just when I think I cannot continue another moment, she will grab me, hug me tight, tell me she loves me and that she loves it when I am there. Like I said, the hardest but most rewarding job ever. My primary goal is for her to leave this earth with all her dignity intact and knowing that she is loved. If you know a caregiver, let them know they are appreciated.”

Lora Worthan , caregiver
FCA Statement on Defeat of the Graham-Cassidy Bill to Repeal the ACA

The latest effort to repeal the ACA was defeated just as the CBO released its analysis that millions of persons would lose coverage among other deleterious consequences of the Graham-Cassidy bill. Aside from repealing basic healthcare protections, this effort would have had an enormous impact on caregiving families as it severely limited Medicaid services through block grants, and thus would have curtailed community-based services and supports. Again, advocates from the disability and aging communities rallied protests against policies that would harm those with disabilities, seniors, children, and women. We thank all those who contacted their Senators to voice their concerns about this bill.

Home Alone Alliance Releases Wound Care Video Series

Do your caregiving responsibilities include helping your loved one with wound care? The Home Alone Alliance, a collaborative from AARP and featuring partners including FCA, has published a new video series on tending wounds for caregivers. These videos offer straightforward and clear instruction on managing these difficult tasks. Videos are available in both English and Spanish and cover topics including tears, pressure ulcers, ostomy bags, and diabetic foot care.
Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers

Self-care is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of caregiving. Practicing self-care will help with mental, emotional, and physical health and will also benefit the person for whom you are providing care. Reading Taking Care of YOU is a useful first step in practicing self-care. Some of the topics covered in this fact sheet include identifying personal barriers, reducing stress, seeking goals, and starting to exercise.
Dementia Proofing Your Home
Accidents in the home are one of the major reasons for the hospitalization of someone with a dementia. Hospitalizations are particularly fraught for an individual with dementia and their caregiver, as they may result in negative outcomes, including speeding up the disease itself.

This webinar will identify common dangers in the home for an individual with dementia, and explain ways that a home can be made safer so that accidents and medical emergencies can be prevented. Rooms in the house where the greatest danger is found are specifically addressed, in addition to strategies to combat wandering outside the home.
Can You Get Paid to Take Care of Your Mom?

One of the most common questions caregivers ask FCA is if they can get paid for their caregiving work. Carol Levine, writing in Next Avenue, seeks to provide an answer to this common question. The author notes, however, that even if a caregiver is able to receive payment, it will not be sufficient to replace income from full-time employment.
One Last Visit to See My Patient

Danielle Ofri, Bellevue Hospital physician and associate professor of medicine at New York University, writes of a moving account of her last visit with a patient of 20 years. After experiencing a range of emotions, Dr. Ofri ultimately concludes, that her patient was in fact very fortunate, being surrounded by family, spending her last days at home, and benefited from the assistance of palliative care.
It Takes Two! A Refreshing Approach to Understanding and Coping With Dementia Behavior

This four-week class offers skills and tools for family caregivers, friends, or partners who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. It Takes Two! offers the opportunity to learn more about your relative or friend’s ability to understand and communicate, as well as skills to handle troubling behavior and how to feel more confident and positive about your caregiving role.

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. 

When:  Thursdays, October 12, 19, 26, and November 2, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Where San Leandro Senior Center    
13909 E 14th Street, San Leandro 94578
Cost:  No Charge
Registration:  Calvin Hu,  chu@caregiver.org , (415) 434-3388 x 313
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 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, a mental health condition, traumatic brain injury, or are in the terminal phrase of their condition, are unfortunately not eligible.

Please contact FCA, (415) 434-3388, for more information.
13th Annual Circle of Care Retreat

The Circle of Care Retreat is for family members, family caregivers, and those with MCI or early stage Alzheimer’s. The retreat includes presentations on brain health, fighting cognitive decline, and finding joy in everyday life. The retreat also features an exhibitor fair.

Limited Scholarships Available. Please contact Blanca Vazquez-Arias, (408) 372-9922 to request a scholarship.

When: Tuesday, October 31, 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Where:   Crowne Plaza
1221 Chess Drive, Foster City 94404
Cost: $30
Registration: Click here
Contact: (408) 372-9922
Faith Community & City: Coming Together to Support Older Adults and Persons With Disabilities

This workshop, presented by the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services and the San Francisco Interfaith Council, will engage faith communities in a discussion on serving the needs of older adults and adults with disabilities. There will be a panel discussion, breakout groups, and a resource fair. Presentations will be given by the Pastor of Glide Memorial Church, the Executive Director of the Department of Aging and Adult Services, and the Executive Director of the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

When: Monday, October 16, 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Where: Saint Mary's Cathedral , Saint Francis Room
1111 Gough Street, San Francisco 94109
Cost: No charge
Registration: Click here
SB-449 Skilled Nursing and Intermediate Care Facilities: Training Programs

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law SB-449 . The law includes new training requirements for Certified Nurse Assistant students. The passage of SB-449 means Certified Nurse Assistant students who are studying to work at a nursing facility, assisted living, home care, or hospital will receive increased instruction in dementia care.
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Published monthly, this e-newsletter focuses on legislation (federal and state) 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
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
Catherine Lelong
Rajiv Mehta
Chris Park
Scott Peifer
Kathleen Raffel
Wyatt Ritchie
Celine Takatsuno