Vol. 12, No. 7
July 2021
Dear Friends:

Caregiving can be very difficult and thankless work. Unfortunately, as it is done “behind closed doors,” caregivers are often “invisible” and their work taken for granted. Part of FCA’s mission is to advocate for family caregivers so that policy makers will enact legislation that will support you. One of the most effective ways to educate both the public and politicians is for caregivers to share their experiences with the media.

FCA regularly fields requests by the media to be connected with a family caregiver for a news story or article. If you are comfortable sharing your story with the public, please let us know via this form. We’ll use it to contact you if a news organization is looking to talk to someone in your situation. For those uncomfortable or unwilling to share their story with the media, there are a number of additional ways for you to advocate for yourself and the person who is receiving your care.


Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator
“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.” 
― Helen Keller
Caregiver Stories: Share Your Experience

If you’re providing care to an adult family member or friend and you’re open to talking with reporters and others about your experience, please let us know. By sharing your caregiving experience, you can help raise awareness and push elected officials to create policy that supports you and other caregivers.

FCA might also use your caregiving stories to continue advocating for and maintaining the services and resources that you and other caregivers rely on. This might include sharing parts of your stories in letters to elected officials, on our website, and in promotional materials for our services.
Oral Health Techniques for Caregivers Q&A With Dr. Rosa Mathai

Good oral health contributes not only to quality of life, but it also plays an important part in the overall health of a person. For a caregiver, maintaining the oral health of a family member may require knowledge and skills they do not posses. FCAs Oral Health Techniques for Caregivers (webinar) seeks to provide some guidance and information for caregivers in this situation. Webinar presenter Dr. Rosa Mathai, a geriatric and special needs dentistry expert, answers some questions in advance of the webinar, including the importance of good oral health techniques, and the risks in neglecting oral health.

The webinar will be broadcast on Tuesday, July 27, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT). To register for the webinar, please click here.
¿QUÉ PASA? boletin

¿Qué Pasa? Es un nuevo boletín electrónico enfocado en información y recursos relevantes a los cuidadores familiares de adultos del Área de la Bahía de San Francisco. La segunada edición incluye consejos para como ayudar a un cuidador, como reducir y controlar el estrés, la presentación de Stella Lazo, Consultora Familiar, y una lista de eventos gratuitos para todos los cuidadores.

¿Qué Pasa? Será publicado bimensual y para suscribirte, haz clic aquí.

¿Qué Pasa? is a new Spanish language newsletter focused on information and resources relevant to family caregivers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The second edition includes tips on how to help a caregiver, how to reduce and manage stress, a presentation by Stella Lazo, Family Consultant, and a list of free events for caregivers.
Let’s Get Away Together — Late Summer Session

This series is comprised of interactive sessions focusing on a place or cultural activity, while incorporating storytelling, music, poetry writing, and/or a simple craft. Let’s Get Away Together is intended to be an enjoyable activity for family caregivers and the person they care for. Late summer topics include: culture and heritage sites of Mexico, Italian art, let’s go to Iceland, and let’s travel to Indonesia.

To view a full list of destinations and activities, or to register, please click here.
American Society on Aging Legacy Interviews

American Society on Aging (ASA) in partnership with organizations including FCA is producing a series of 12 webcasts on the trailblazers in the fields of aging, health, and social services. These webcasts will cover issues such as how healthcare systems can better support older adults and their caregivers, ageism in the workplace, and the opportunities and obligations of today and tomorrow’s elders. The series is moderated by Dr. Ken Dychtwald.

Please visit the ASA website to learn more or watch the webcasts.
Not Going Quietly in Theaters

A rising star in progressive politics and a new father, Ady Barkan’s life is upended when he is diagnosed with ALS. But after a confrontation with Senator Jeff Flake goes viral, Ady and a crew of activists ignite a political movement called “Be a Hero.” Together, they barnstorm across the country and empower people to confront their elected officials with emotional, personal stories to demand healthcare justice.

Please click here to purchase your tickets to Not Going Quietly.
FCA is Hiring

We’re looking for qualified and interested applicants to fill current openings in our San Francisco office. The positions are: Family Consultant, and Community Engagement Specialist. FCA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Please click here for more information or to apply.
Get Your Own Personalized Caregiving Resource Dashboard

Go online to complete a brief questionnaire and get a personal dashboard loaded with information that matches your unique caregiving needs. CareNav, our secure online service, offers quality information, support, and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses.

To learn more, click here or register here.
SPARK Panel Discussion Recording and Resources

In June, FCA presented a screening of SPARK - Robin Williams and his Battle with Lewy Body Dementia, sponsored by the Lewy Body Dementia Association and Brain Support Network. A panel featuring Bruce L. Miller, MD (Director, Memory and Aging Center, University of California, San Francisco), Robin Riddle (Board Member and CEO of Brain Support Network), and Lewy Body Dementia caregivers followed the screening and a recording of the panel can be viewed here. Additionally, FCA has provided a list of resources for Lewy Body Dementia caregivers here.
Caregiver Resource Center Classes 

The California Caregiver Resource Centers (CRC) serve families and caregivers of adults affected by chronic and debilitating health conditions (FCA is the San Francisco Bay Area CRC). FCA is now hosting a calendar of classes, workshops, and events compiled from each of the 11 CRCs and open to family caregivers across the country.

More information on August events can be found here. For July events please click here.
Oral Health Techniques for Caregivers

Good oral health is synonymous with good overall health, and the ability to speak and eat remains relevant well into old age. Many caregivers are tasked with the responsibility of taking care of a loved one’s teeth once they are no longer able to for themselves. In this webinar you will learn how to care for someone else’s mouth as if it is your own.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the caregiver’s role in maintaining oral hygiene even for patients who do not express a desire for dental care.
  • Have a basic understanding of oral health and hygiene.
  • Understand why dentistry is relevant to good health.
  • Review oral hygiene techniques.
  • Recognize which mouths require professional intervention and how to get it.

Presenter: Dr. Rosa Mathai, DMD is a general dentist in private practice in San Francisco. She was formerly the chief of house call services with House Call Dentists and on staff at Kaiser Permanente and CPMC hospitals in San Francisco, providing dental care in their operating rooms and emergency care to inpatients. Dr. Mathai’s clinical experience spans nearly a decade of practicing safe and comfortable dental care for geriatric and special needs adults, especially those with complex medical needs.

When: Tuesday, July 27, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT)
Cost: No Charge
Contact: [email protected]
Registration: Click here
Younger Adult Family Caregivers - a Discussion with Aisha Adkins and Jenn Chan

Over a quarter of all family caregivers are Millennials or Gen Z, often facing unique challenges from those providing care later in their life. Managing careers, maintaining friendships and relationships, and planning for their own futures and families add to the stresses and difficulties of caregiving. Join FCA for a discussion and conversation with Millennial caregivers Aisha Adkins, Co-Executive Director of Love Labor Project, and Jenn Chan, founder and CEO of Senior Shower Project. Aisha and Jenn will share their experiences as current and former caregivers (respectively), discuss the obstacles they face, and explain how they cope during their caregiving journeys.

About the speakers:
Aisha Adkins, MPA, CNP is the Constituency Organizer for Caring Across Generations, Co-Executive Director of Love Labor Project, and a full-time caregiver to her parents. She is a storyteller and advocate who is passionate about building an equitable, inclusive, and comprehensive public health and care infrastructure using media, storytelling, and culture and policy change. Her versatility has enabled her to publish works both in academic journals and popular publications. When she not trying to affect positive systemic change, she enjoys classic film, orchestral music, and the great outdoors, and is an aspiring tea connoisseur.

Jenn Chan is the Founder of Senior Shower® Project, a startup with a mission to celebrate family caregivers of older adults with a party. She sells caregiver greeting cards, creates senior shower party kits, curates caregiver gift boxes, and hosts virtual caregiver dance parties. Inspired by caregiving for her grandma, Jenn dedicates her career to elevate the family caregiver role with fun, love, and positivity. Jenn also facilitates support groups for LGBTQ seniors, dementia caregivers, and young caregivers.

When: Wednesday, August 4, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon (PT)
Cost: No Charge
Contact: [email protected]
Registration: Click here
When a Loved One’s Paid Caregiver Doesn’t Show Up for Work

Many family caregivers rely on paid helpers to assist in managing the work of caregiving. Unfortunately, there are often times when a scheduled paid caregiver misses a shift. Barbara Mantel, writing for AARP, gives tips and advice on what to do if faced with this situation.
A New Alzheimer’s Drug Offers More Questions Than Answers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Aduhelm to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the first such drug in 20 years to clear the FDA. While greeted by the public with hope and relief, the drug’s effectiveness and price have proven controversial among the medical and scientific community. Recently, the FDA has decided to limit the suggested use to adults living with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer’s. The New York Time’s columnist Paula Span explains the controversies around the drug.
Let’s Get Away Together 

This series is comprised of interactive sessions with each week focusing on a new place or cultural activity, while incorporating storytelling, music, poetry writing, and/or a simple craft. Each session will include a follow-up message filled with tips, activities, and recipes for families to continue to enjoy after the virtual trip. The focus of each group is to explore a new world, experience a variety of engaging opportunities, and enjoy a sense of camaraderie and community.

Let’s Get Away Together is intended to be an enjoyable activity for family caregivers and the person they care for. Those receiving care who are able to participate in the discussion and activities are encouraged to attend with their family caregiver.
August 3
Culture, food, and heritage sites of Mexico! 
Let’s travel to Mexico to explore its diverse world heritage and cultural sites, where tacos were born, tequila is made, and festivals are celebrated year-round!

August 10
Art Around the World - Italy: Home of the Masters
Explore Italian artists and contemplate how this nation managed to produce so many of the Masters!

August 17
Let’s Go to Iceland
Let’s go to Iceland to learn about and hear live (on zoom) traditional Icelandic and Nordic music, as well as exploring the beautiful natural areas, hot springs, and hikes.

August 24
Encore to India! Art and Food! 
Whether you’ve missed our travels to India in the past, or are just itching for a deeper dive into the arts and culture of this fascinating country, look no further! Join us as we enjoy traditional and modern visual and performance arts and food from popular destinations in the Indian subcontinent.
August 31
Americana Art: a Slice of the American Life 
Celebrate the rich flavors and stories of the United States, represented through Americana Folk Art.

September 7
no session

September 14
Art Around the World - Asian Art and the Breath of Life
Experience the many facets of Asian Art, from ceramics to printmaking to calligraphy to jade carving. We will learn what it is to breathe life while creating art.

September 21
Lets travel to Indonesia! 
Let’s travel to Indonesia to learn about this country’s expansive natural resources, animals, cuisine, and cultural history! 

September 28
Summer in Ireland: traditional Irish Music, and Summer Festivals!
Join Katrina for traditional Irish music while traveling Ireland. Learn about the traditional Irish Session and the many ‘trad festivals’ while having a ‘good craic’ together with live music over Zoom.
When: Tuesdays, August 3 to September 28 (no session on September 7th due to Labor Day), from 1 to 2 p.m. (PT)
Where: Online
Cost: No charge
Registration: Click here
Contact: Calvin Hu, [email protected]
Headlines From the July Caregiving Policy Digest

  • Alzheimer’s disease drug approval sparks hope and controversy
  • COVID-19 elderly survivors confront loss of physical strength
  • Caregiver annual out-of-pocket costs average $7,200

The most recent issue is available here.
AND ...
Thank you!
We would like to take a moment 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 40 years. Your donation makes all the difference!

You can also help support FCA by choosing us as your Amazon Smile charity.

Editors: Calvin Hu, Al Martinez
Contributors: Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director, Calvin Hu, Lana Sheridan, Leah Eskenazi

President: M Celine Takatsuno
Vice-Presidents: Catherine Lelong, Ian Tong
Treasurer: Wyatt Ritchie
Secretary: Amanda Breeden Warner

Athan Bezaitis, Deborah Kan, Shruti Kothari, Dan Lieberman, Scott Peifer, Kathleen Raffel, Tiffany Riser, Karen Sperling, Keely Stevenson.
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Phone: (800) 445-8106 | Email: [email protected]
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