The Technical Assistance Centers are a partnership between
Family Caregiver Alliance and the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center.
The Centers provide technical assistance to the Aging and Lifespan Respite Networks on
caregiver and lifespan respite program development.

Volume III, Number 7
March 2012

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In this issue


National Center for Creative Aging  


Creative expression is important for older people of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds, regardless of economic status, age, or level of physical, emotional, or cognitive functioning.  The arts can serve as a powerful way to engage elders in a creative and healing process of self-expression, enabling them to create works that honor their life experience. The National Center for Creative Aging in Washington, DC, is the national clearinghouse at the nexus of creativity and aging and focuses its efforts within three target areas: Health and Wellness; Lifelong Learning; and Community Engagement. The Center focuses on providing technical assistance, education, research, and advocacy through a variety of programs, such as the Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. Research Award in Creative Aging and the Veterans' Affairs Medical Center Community Living Center.


NCCA has collaborated with national, regional, and local organizations on a variety of publications, research projects, advocacy programs and strategic planning projects in an effort to further this fast-growing field.  Alecia Torres de Valdez, Operations and Development Manager, responded to the following questions about the National Center for Creative Aging . . . [Read more]

Upcoming Events - 2012 



April 23-25


The 2012 Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum will be held April 23-25 in Washington, DC. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius , the featured luncheon speaker, will discuss the progress of the National Alzheimer's Plan. Leading political commentator and pollster, Frank Luntz, will be the keynote speaker. . . . [Read more ]




May 3-4     


aahcp logoThe American Academy of Home Care Physicians' two-day conference: Bringing Home the Care Continuum: Harnessing High Tech, High Touch Home Care Medicine will explore key issues in clinical and practice management, present applicable emerging technologies and innovations in models and review clinical practice standards. Register at the AAHCP website.   


May 4-5

The American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference, formerly the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute, will be held May 4-5, 2012 in St. Petersburg Beach, FL. The AFB Leadership Conference seeks to improve the quality of programs and services to blind and visually impaired children and adults by providing a forum in which leadership personnel in education and rehabilitation have can increase their awareness of student and client needs, expand their knowledge, refine leadership skills, and share concerns and strategies. Register at the AFB website.



June 1 - (Registration Deadline) 


8th International Respite Conference - Registration Now Open. The 8th International Respite Conference will be held at the Le Meridien King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 10-12, 2012. ARCH is a member of the International Short Break Association, which is sponsoring the conference. ARCH serves on the conference planning committee and is supporting the effort. Early registration deadline is June 1, 2012. To register, visit the website at       

Research & Practice

$1.3 Billion Awarded to Help Improve Health and Independence of Older Adults in U.S.


Grants of more than $1.3 billion to every state, the District of Columbia, and five territories to continue implementing programs that help older adults live healthy, safely and independently in their communities were awarded recently by Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grants will help older adults avoid institutional care through home and community-based supportive programs with an emphasis on prevention and wellness, nutrition, family caregiver and respite services. "These services complement ongoing prevention-based efforts in the medical and health care systems, particularly since Medicare does not pay for them. They help prevent hospital readmissions. They provide transportation to doctor's appointments and support some of life's most basic functions," said Assistant Secretary Greenlee. "This assistance is especially critical for nearly 3 million seniors who receive intensive in-home services, half a million of whom would otherwise qualify for nursing home admission." These programs make a difference every day for millions of older adults and their caregivers:

  • Caregiver Services: The National Family Caregiver Support Program provides caregivers with access to services such as respite care and counseling. Families are the nation's primary provider of long-term care, but caregiving responsibilities demand time and money from families who too often are already strapped for both. The physical, financial and emotional demands of caregiving can lead to a breakdown of the caregiver's health. Research indicates caregivers suffer from higher rates of depression than non-caregivers and caregivers suffer a mortality rate that is 63 percent higher than non-caregivers. Nearly 800,000 caregivers are projected to receive services, helping them care for people with Alzheimer's disease or those with frailties that would qualify for nursing home admissions. [Read more] 


Mental Health First Aid Training


Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The program is managed, operated, and disseminated by three national authorities - the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.


Mental Health First Aid is offered in the form of an interactive 12-hour course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S. and introduces participants to . . . [Read more] 


Largest-ever Research Grant to the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network (DIAN) is Awarded by Alzheimer's Association  

The Alzheimer's Association announced today the awarding of its largest-ever research grant, almost $4.2 million over four years, to the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network-Therapeutic Trials Unit (DIAN-TTU), based at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, to enable the program to move forward more quickly with innovative drug and biomarker trials in people with genetically based, young-onset Alzheimer's disease. For more information, visit the Alzheimer's Association website    


Effects of Parenting Adults with Disability


Any caregiver is likely to be vulnerable to stress. However, parents who care for a child with a serious mental illness (SMI) are at increased risk for adverse physical symptoms resulting from stress. Those who care for an adult child with a SMI are even more likely to suffer the negative effects of stress because of the length of time that they have had to cope with the difficult task of caring for a loved one with SMI. Erin T. Barker, Ph.D. of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison addressed this specific dynamic in a recent study by examining the cortisol levels in individuals charged with the care of adult children with SMI. The goal of the study was to examine whether parenting an adult child with a serious mental illness (SMI) has a physiological impact on parents. . . . [Read more] 

Yoga Meditation May Lower Depression and Improve Brain Functioning In Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia


Research studies suggest that yoga not only can help people with a multitude of health problems, it can also help the person taking care of the person with the ailment. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles found that meditation from yoga can help lower depression in caregivers, and may also improve their cognitive functioning. The researchers also found that meditation was associated with a decrease in cellular aging from stress. . . . [Read more] 

Gender Differences in Caregiver Stress Syndrome


Women still outnumber men when it comes to family caregivers. However, the number of men caring for an older adult has doubled in the past 15 years, from 19 percent of caregivers in 1996 to 40 percent by 2009, according to a study from the Alzheimer's Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC). More men than women provided long-distance care in that same time period. Several factors have contributed to the increases. . . . [Read more]


Policies To Better Support Family Caregivers


In December 2011, the AARP Public Policy Institute hosted a forum in which ten authors came together and discussed the current state of caregiving in the US.  A recent policy brief from the Public Policy Institute captures ten themes from the written work of the authors and also includes a section focused on public policy options to better support family caregivers.  The policy proposals are grouped into several sections, including better communication, collaboration and coordination with healthcare professionals and also creating greater public awareness and education. . . . [Read more]


New NAC Study Looks at MS Caregivers


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, often times beginning in young adulthood. It presents in many different symptoms, at differing time frequencies and duration, requiring substantial caregiver assistance. One of the biggest challenges of living with multiple sclerosis is coping with the constantly changing state of the disease. . . . [Read more]



FCA Blogs!


Executive Director, Kathleen Kelly, and dedicated FCA staff writers provide insights on various issues and current trends in the FCA Blog and on other sites. You are invited to join the discussions and post a comment of your own. 


Innovations Clearinghouse on Family Caregiving


For additional research-based information and informed practices, visit FCA's  Innovations Clearinghouse/Online Technical Assistance Center. Search the Clearinghouse to identify best practices, specific tools and policy & advocacy efforts; connect with fellow professionals from the aging networks; and request specialized technical assistance.


Give Us Your Feedback


You can further shape the content of the Newsletter and the activities of the Technical Assistance Centers by telling us about your areas of interest. Please respond to


Lifespan Respite News

 Focus on Emergency Respite


In the ARCH 2012 assessment of the training and technical assistance needs of state Lifespan Respite grantees, partners, and state respite coalitions, survey respondents identified emergency respite as a priority area of need. Providing emergency, as well as planned respite is a requirement of the Lifespan Respite program. A few state Lifespan Respite grantees are developing strategies to increase provider capacity or improve funding opportunities for emergency respite. For additional results of the 2012 Lifespan Respite grantee/partner needs assessment,

click here.  


Respite is defined as temporary relief for the family caregiver and is most beneficial if used as early in the caregiving experience as possible and as frequently and regularly as resources will allow. Respite is meant to be preventive and to ensure the well-being of the family caregiver and the family as a whole. However, emergencies do arise when a family caregiver becomes ill or cannot provide care for another reason and must find a safe haven for the person in their care. Yet these services are difficult to find, especially if overnight or extended care is necessary, and payment sources for this type of care are extremely limited in most states. If no such services exist or no prior arrangements have been made in the event the family caregiver cannot provide such services, adult or child protective services may have to step in and temporarily remove the care recipient from the home.


In the children's arena, emergency respite services have traditionally been called crisis respite or crisis nurseries. These services not only provide the temporary care a family might need, but link families to more comprehensive support services if needed. When dealing with the most vulnerable families, these services have also been shown to help prevent abuse or neglect. While such incidents are not frequent, individuals with disabilities and the aging population can be at enhanced risk of maltreatment when the family caregiver has no support. . . . 

[Read more] 


New ARCH Resources


Enhanced and Updated ARCH National Respite Locator


The ARCH National Respite Locator now allows family caregivers, care recipients, and those assisting them, to search for respite services in their state by zip code and to designate the radius from an address as their search area.  Providers are then mapped for ease of location. Users can search by age, condition or type of respite preferred.  This is an interactive site where service providers may enter their own information and keep it updated.  Searchers are directed to the consumer information page, the ABCs of Respite, for background on respite and the types of respite that may be available.

New state-by-state information now displays at the bottom of each page of provider search results. . . . [Read more] 



Volunteer Respite Manual: Creating Valuable Options for Family Caregivers


ARCH recently released the "Volunteer Respite Manual: Creating Valuable Options for Family Caregivers" developed by Easter Seals in collaboration with ARCH under its cooperative agreement with the Administration on Aging. The purpose of the manual is to help community and faith-based programs assess their individual needs, to help them plan and implement volunteer respite programs, and to assist state Lifespan Respite programs as they address the requirements of the program to build respite capacity through volunteer training and recruitment. Interspersed throughout the document are additional resources for reading further on that topic, highlights of national volunteer respite initiatives, and examples of local volunteer respite programs. State Lifespan Respite programs which are charged with development of statewide systems of coordinated and accessible respite services, may use this guide to help them directly or through their subcontracts with faith- or community-based organizations to pursue respite expansion by using volunteers in an array of respite care options for families. The report is available online as a PDF


State Lifespan Respite News You Can Use


As state Lifespan Respite grantees make progress with implementation of their State Lifespan Respite Programs, new resources and tools are being developed. These states have offered to share their latest developments:

  • Delaware: Care Delaware and the Delaware's Lifespan Respite grant entered into a partnership with the Delaware Division of Libraries to share information about caregiving materials available throughout the library system in the state. In collaboration with the state's Lifespan Respite program, library staff developed an electronic 8-page Library Guide spotlighting caregiver issues for use by library patrons online. The guide also includes information about several agencies, including CARE DE, that readers can contact, in addition to the list of library materials that are available throughout the network. . . .  [Read more - Texas, Tennessee]


Give ARCH your Feedback


We Need Your Input! The AoA funded Lifespan Respite Training and Technical Assistance Project of the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center would greatly appreciate your input in planning its training and TA activities. Please take a moment to respond to our  online questionnaire.



Family Caregiver Alliance  |  National Center on Caregiving
785 Market Street, Suite 750
San Francisco, CA 94103
(800) 445-8106

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center
4016 Oxford Street
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 256-2084

This project is supported, in part, under a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions.  These contents, however, do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and endorsement by the Federal Government should not be assumed.

2012 Family Caregiver Alliance. All rights reserved.

The National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance works to advance the development of high-quality and cost-effective policies and programs for caregivers in every state in the country. The National Center is a central source of information and technical assistance on family caregiving for policymakers, health and service providers, program developers, funders, media and families. For questions or further information about the National Center on Caregiving, visit the Family Caregiver Alliance website at

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The Newsletter of the Technical Assistance Centers is a publication of the National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance, 785 Market Street, Suite 750, San Francisco, CA 94103.