April 2015

Vol. 6, No. 4


(800) 445-810

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Newsletter Credits


Calvin Hu

Michelle Venegas 


Kathleen Kelly
Calvin Hu
Lana Sheridan
Michelle Venegas
Leah Eskenazi

Andrea Orvik

Executive Director
Kathleen Kelly

Board of Directors 


Ping Hao, President
Wanda Borges
Herman S. Brown
Katy Thomas Fike
Moira Fordyce
Jeff Kumataka
Jacquelyn Kung
Dan Lieberman
Michael Malewicz
Rajiv Mehta
Chris Park
Kathleen Raffel
F. Burns Vick
Deborah Wolter


New Donate Now Btn 2011
A caregiver in the 1960s may have daydreamed, during a quiet moment, that in the far future of the year 2015, a host of specially designed domestic machines would be invented to aid in or alleviate the often times challenging and time consuming responsibilities and tasks that define the daily grind we call caregiving. But despite the unprecedented advances in microprocessors, wireless communication, and digitization, no equivalent technological revolution has come to the aid of the family caregiver. Caregiving continues to be a labor intensive, physically taxing and emotionally draining job.

However, with an aging population in America and around the world, universities and corporations are now directing their researchers and engineers to introduce modern technology to caregiving. This month we'd like to take a brief look at some of the recent innovations that might make caregiving 2.0 possible.

"Carebots," like Paro and JustoCat and apps like GreyMatters and GeriJoy (part of FCA's Tech4Care advertising program) are designed to engage and lift the spirits of those diagnosed with any type of dementia, who are struggling emotionally with sadness, depression, anxiety, fearfulness, etc. In Canada, the University of Toronto is testing ways to use low cost but high-tech robotic helpers to aid those suffering with dementia to complete basic tasks at home.

Additionally, we've included articles about the potential consequences of more technology in caregiving. High-tech solutions are seen by many as a positive development. Espoused by Dr. Louise Aronson in a New York Times editorial, this optimism is tempered by those who see a tech heavy approach to caregiving as almost amoral. Both viewpoints are shared in our final articles.

We would appreciate any feedback you have for us about our monthly newsletters. Please email us at [email protected].


Calvin Hu
Education Coordinator, Family Caregiver Alliance



Family Caregivers, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Join us in urging state legislators to restore funding for the California Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs), which were aggressively cut by $7.6 million, 74%, in 2009 - one of the largest cuts of any health and human services program! The total CRC allocation has gone from $10.5 million to the current funding level of $2.9 million to serve 6 million California family caregivers!

Actively show your support by writing a letter, emailing, and/or calling Assembly Budget Sub Committee Members 1 and 3; Assembly Member Cheryl Brown, and your local State of California representatives. Contact links follow:

-Assembly Budget Sub Committee 1 Members, Health and Human Services

-Assembly Budget Sub Committee 3 Members, Resources and Transportation

-Assembly Member Cheryl Brown

-Find your local State Assembly and Senate Representative

Click here for the letter template.

Another way to show your support is by joining us on May 11 in Sacramento to testify at the Assembly Budget Sub Committee Hearing. Family caregivers who are willing share their caregiving experiences and how FCA has been instrumental in providing support to improve their situation is critical. If you want to testify, please call Michelle Venegas, Director of Programs at FCA directly at 415.434.3388 (ext. 323) for details.

For Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), the 2009 cut in funding forced us to severely reduce staff, programs, and services including respite grants, educational workshops, caregiver retreats, legal consultation, and in-home assessments. These programs and services provide much needed support for family caregivers (adult children, spouses, partners, and friends) caring for loved ones with chronic and progressive diseases or illnesses like Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia, stroke, ALS, Parkinson's disease, or Traumatic Brain Injury.

It Takes Two class this month in Half Moon Bay! 

Join FCA for a three week class where you will learn new skills and tools for caring for a loved one with dementia.

Starting: Thursday, April 23rd from 5:00pm-7:00pm

For more information: please see our FCA presentation and workshop section with more details and registration information.

*Respite scholarships are available.


States of Grace documentary returns to Bay Area theaters

For Dr. Grace Dammann, a routine commute across the Golden Gate turned tragic when another driver crashed head on into her. Though she miraculously survived, Grace spent more than a year in rehabilitation hospitals. States of Grace follows her return home. Family dynamics are turned upside down with new roles and responsibilities to negotiate. With humor and candor, the film intimately captures their story as Grace struggles to discover new purpose in her radically altered life.

FCA launches NEW program: FCA+(plus)  



As of January 1st of this year, FCA began accepting clients through its new signature program, FCA+(Plus), a new fee for service care management program.  Click on the link for more information about the program.   



Robotic seals comfort dementia patients but raise ethical concerns 


What is the Paro robot and how is it used? This article explains the benefits and some potential moral and ethical implications of the Paro.




GreyMatters App Aims To Help People Connect With Loved Ones Suffering From Dementia


GreyMatters is an iPad app designed by a granddaughter to better engage with her late grandmother, a tough independent woman who lived through the Holocaust but was unable to stave off vascular dementia.


Dementia patients may one day get assistance from robot helpers      


Researchers at the University of Toronto are testing in-home robots that employ sensors and give verbal instructions to help individuals with dementia perform simple daily activities, like hand washing.



10 Reasons Why Robot Caregivers Might Not Be So Bad


Dr. Louise Aronson, Professor of Medicine at UCSF, outlines ten arguments in favor of using robots in caregiving roles.


Technology and elder care: the good, the bad and the robots?


Carol Bradley Bursack, a journalist and caregiver, argues that technology in caregiving must be carefully thought through before being employed as it lacks human judgement and expertise, and can also be very intrusive.


Caregiving Takes Two Hands: High Touch & High Tech 


How will the advance of technology, in particular, caregiving robots affect the family caregiver? Joseph Coughlin,  Director of the MIT AgeLab argues that robotic helpers will be nothing more than another tool in the caregiver's toolbox, helping to alleviate stress and the financial burden that caregiving entails. 



Quote of the Month.

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. 

Joseph Campbell.



Parkinson's Disease & Caregiving (Fact Sheet)- Family Caregiver Alliance

April is National Parkinson's Awareness Month. Read and pass along FCA's fact sheet on Parkinson's Disease and Caregiving.

Tips for health and sanity that every caregiver needs 

FCA's Leah Eskenazi  gives the Newshour a primer on caregiving, from associated risks, to some basic tips to prevent burn out and maintain health.


Four Things to Do When Your Parents Are Resisting Help

When adult children feel the need to step in take an active role in the care and health of their parents, they may find resistance or outright refusal to cooperate.
Dr. Leslie Kernisan offers some strategies to help parents and children come to a mutually satisfying agreement on care.

Caring for Adults with Cognitive and Memory Impairment (Fact Sheet)- Family Caregiver Alliance

A detailed fact sheet to get you started on the basics of caregiving.  

Dementia Preparedness Checklist - NYU School of Medicine

A helpful road-map for caregivers and the care receiver who has been diagnosed with dementia.  

Walk and Talk for Caregivers Program - 
El Camino Hospital

Meet and Move is free and open to adults who provide some level of caregiving to an aging relative or friend, have access to the Internet and currently live in Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Cupertino and surrounding communities. For general information and information about the next orientation please call 650-934-3556.


April 23rd, 30th, and May 7th, 2015; 5:00pm-7:00pm in Half Moon Bay, CA


It Takes Two!


This three week class offers new skills and tools for family caregivers who care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. In It Takes Two, you will: 

-Learn more about your relative's ability to understand and communicate
-Learn new skills to handle troubling behavior
-Feel more confident and positive about your caregiving role

First class- Thursday: April 23, 2015, 5-7pm

Coastside Adult Day Health Center, 925 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA

Christina Irving, LCSW, FCA Family Consultant

To Register: Contact Christina Irving at 415-434-3388 ext. 303; Feel free to leave a message with your name, number and the name of this workshop.

Respite scholarships are available.

April 29, 2015; 1:00pm-2:00pm PST Online


Medi-Cal Planning: Former Eligibility Worker Offers an Expert Insiders Perspective of DHS (Webinar)


Kathryn Humphres shares her unique perspective of the Department of Health Services. Her webinar will focus on the help available for senior health related costs. She draws from her 30 years of experience to provide instruction related to programs associated with Long Term Care, In Home Support, Assisted Living Waiver Program, etc. 

*This webinar costs $15 (please purchase ticket at least 24 hours before this webinar). You have the option to register to view it live OR as a recording. CEU's are available through the Board of Behavioral Sciences (MFTs, LCSWs, Ed. Psychologists, & Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors). REGISTER ONLINE  

May 27, 2015; 1:00pm-2:00pm PST Online 

In's and Out's of Long Term Care (Webinar)


The purpose of this webinar will be to address and inform family caregivers and professionals about the realities of Long Term Care (LTC). What is LTC? What are the chances of anyone needing LTC? How long does LTC typically last? How are LTC expenses paid? These are some of the questions that often come up, so in this webinar a seasoned professional will provide insight into this complex system.

*This webinar costs $15 (please purchase ticket at least 24 hours before this webinar). You have the option to register to view it live OR as a recording. CEU's are available through the Board of Behavioral Sciences (MFTs, LCSWs, Ed. Psychologists, & Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors). REGISTER ONLINE  


April 17, 2015; 8:30am-12:00pm in Irvine, CA


The Diverse World of Family Caregiving 


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Family Caregiving for Older Adults will be holding a public workshop on the diversity of family caregiving issues. The event will be held at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies in Irvine, CA. Three expert panels will explore:

-Changing Faces in America: Implications for Older Adults and their Families

-Perspectives from Providers: How Social Service Agencies Address Issues of Cultural Diversity

-Beyond Race and Ethnicity: Additional Issues of Diverse Populations

This effort is part of a larger project to develop and release a report at the end of the 18 month project that will set the benchmark for caregiver support efforts in the future. Be part of the solution and attend this public workshop! 

Friday: April 17, 2015, 8:30am-12:00pm (PST)

The Beckman Center, Auditorium,
100 Academy Drive, Irvine, CA 92617
This event will also be webcast

To Register:
Register here if you would like to attend the event in person or participate via webcast. If you're participating via webcast, please visit the study website at the time of the event, where you will find a link to access the live stream.

For more information, please contact Katye Magee.

April 23, 2015; 3:00pm-4:00pm EST Online


Behavioral Symptom Management Training for Family Caregivers (webinar)


The webinar will provide participants with information on behavioral symptom management training for family caregivers of people with dementia and how one program was implemented into the community. Linda Teri, PhD will speak about the importance about behavioral symptom management training and the ABC approach for addressing behavioral symptoms. Jennifer Mead, MPH will speak about the implementation of the ABC approach into the STAR-C program in Oregon and practical considerations when implementing this type of program. 

To Register:
Visit RTI International online.

April 24, 2015; 9:00am-12:30pm in San Jose, CA


Fourth annual Health and Aging conference


CHAMP (the Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations) at SJSU cordially invites you to our fourth annual Health and Aging conference. This year's conference, co-sponsored by SJSU and the City of San Jose Department of Parks, Recreation, & Neighborhood Services, is an exciting multidisciplinary event (Anthropology, Engineering, Gerontology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology, and Social Work) involving several CSU's in Northern California.

The research presentations address Working with Diverse Ethnic Populations; LGBT issues; Training Future Professionals in Aging; Skeletal & Joint Health; Mental Health of Older Veterans; and University/ Community partnerships to promote healthy aging in senior living communities. Poster presentation topics include cognitive functioning; physical activity; senior peer coaching; assistive devices; and alternative therapies (music, art, dance, and animal assisted therapies). 

Friday: April 24, 2015, 9:00am-12:30pm

San Jose City Hall Rotunda
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

To Register:
Visit the CHAMP website to register and preview the Conference Program. Note that registration is FREE for students, and $20 for faculty and professionals. 

April 25, 2015; 8:00am-5:00pm in San Francisco, CA  


Coping with the Unique Challenges of Adults with Brain Disease: A Caregiver's Workshop



In this free UCSF workshop,caregivers will receive practical information from nurses, physicians, and other professionals on caring for patients with illnesses that affect the brain, including brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and injuries to the brain caused by trauma or stroke. Topics include: 

  • Effects of Brain Disease on Loved Ones and Our Relationships
  • Caring for those with Neurological Impairments
  • Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction: Less Stress, Better Care
  • Expressive Art
  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Values-based Living
  • Journaling
  • Fitting in Fitness
  • Caregiver Panels and Support Groups
Saturday, April 25th, 2015, 8am-5pm

Fisher Banquet Room, Mission Bay Conference Center, 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco

Pre-Registration is required, space is limited. Call the Caregiver Program at 415-514.5674.

April 25, 2015; 8:30am-2:30pm in Oakland, CA

The African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum- Focusing on Brain Health and Disease Management 

African Americans continue to be twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, and more likely diagnosed in the late stages of this disease. Join us for the free 7th Annual African American Caregiving and Wellness Forum:
  • Learn more about Alzheimer's disease
  • Interact with other caregivers in similar caregiving situations
  • How to respond when Alzheimer's causes unpredictable behaviors
  • How to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's
  • Ways to stay strong during stressful caregiving experiences
North Oakland Senior Center, 5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 8:30am-2:30pm

Register ONLINE HERE or call 800.272.3900.

For more information, please email Gwen Gates or Alicia Okoh or call 800.272.3900.

April 27th, May 4, 11 and 18th, 2015; 6:00pm-8:00pm in San Rafael, CA


Caring for Those You Care About


Are you caring for a family member or friend who is older or ill? Do you have concerns about your own care as you age? Join Seniors At Home for a four-part workshop series offering understanding, solutions, and support. Each session will be devoted to a different aspect of caring for someone while still caring for yourself. You are welcome to attend one or all sessions. 

Workshops will be held from 6:00 - 8:00 pm, at Jewish Family and Children's Services. Light snacks generously donated by Hospice by the Bay and AlmaVia San Rafael. Pre-registration is required. $25 suggested donation for the series. CEUs provided.

  • April 27th, 6:00pm - Being an Effective Healthcare Advocate-for Yourself and Others
  • May 4th, 6:00pm -Setting Boundaries and Dealing with Changing Roles
  • May 11th, 6:00pm -Coping with Difficult Diseases
  • May 18th, 6:00pm-Care and Compassion at the End of Life

Jewish Family and Children's Services, 600 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael

To Register:
For more information or to register, please call 415-449-3777 or email Seniors At Home.

May 13, 2015; 8:00am-4:15pm in Foster City

17th Annual Updates on Dementia Conference: Translating Research Into Practice

Tailored to health care professionals, researchers and clinicians present the latest research in the biological, social, psychological, and cultural aspects of aging and dementia with particular emphasis on practical applications to clinical practice.  Continuing Education Units available.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City

Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 8:00am-4:15pm 


For questions related to registration, please email Blanca Vazquez-Arias or call 800.272.3900



Paired Integrative Home Exercise for Seniors with Dementia and their Caregivers (Paired PLI� Study)

UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry

UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry Caregivers and their loved ones are invited to participate in a research study to test a new home exercise program designed to help people with memory loss maintain function and independence.

The program integrates exercises from Western and Eastern traditions and will take place at Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay (ASEB) in Berkeley. Classes will meet twice per week over 4 weeks, then once a month for 3 more months. The study will include a comprehensive assessment of physical and mental function.

Write to Dr. Mehling, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, 1545 Divisadero St, 4th floor, San Francisco, CA 94115 or call 415-353-7342.

Caregiver Skill Building Intervention for Family Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer's Disease Living at Home

A Rush College of Nursing study provides new information about caring for your relative with dementia and caring for yourself.


-Age 21 or over
-Caring for your relative with dementia at home
-Read and speak English
-High-speed internet


-Participate in 30 minute online training modules weekly, for 6 weeks
-Complete 3 online surveys

Receive a $50 Target gift card.

Help us improve this training program so it can help others!

Contact: Janie Urbanic or call 1-312.942.2566

Funded by the National Institute on Aging (R42 AG032159), collaboratively conducted by Rush College of Nursing and Grand Marketing Solutions, a small business, in association with the Rush Community Caregiver Outcomes Alliance.

Whole brain radiation therapy informational study

Adelphi Values is conducting a study to explore the ways that whole brain radiation therapy can affect individuals with brain metastases of non-small cell lung cancer. Adelphi Values would like to conduct some interviews with individuals who have received whole brain radiation therapy to discuss their experiences with the treatment. We would also like to conduct interviews with people who care for individuals who have received whole brain radiation therapy to discuss their perspective on the patient's experience after receiving the treatment. Each interview will last approximately 60 minutes. Each person who participates in an interview will receive $100. Please contact Kas Severson.


Relationships, Grief, and Life Satisfaction of Spousal Caregivers

My study aims to shed light on how grief over potential losses might affect the connection between caregivers' relationships and life satisfaction. Little is known about this area, and such information may help improve the types of support provided to this ever-growing population of individuals. This study is entirely anonymous, collects no identifying information, and should take 20 minutes or less to complete. At the end you have the chance to provide additional information that you believe is important for me to know. Thank you so much for your time and contribution to this important area of research!"

Study link

Steven Pote, MA, LPC
Doctoral Candidate, Counseling Psychology
University of Northern Colorado

Seeking Family Caregivers for UC Berkeley Study

Are you a family member of an older adult living alone or in a community/assisted living environment? We are graduate students conducting research at UC Berkeley into the challenges faced by the family members of older adults. Our aim for this study is to develop a service offering that can help address some of these issues.
If you are willing to speak with us (a short phone conversation), please contact Rory Costello.

Thank you so much for your support.


donorsOUR DONORS . . .
heart-shaped money-box with ribbon

A quarterly thank you to our donors and supporters . . .

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.

For over 30 years, Family Caregiver Alliance has offered programs to support and sustain the important work of families and friends caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions. FCA offers programs at national, state and local levels. The National Center on Caregiving was established at FCA in 2001 to advance the development of high-quality, cost-effective services and policies nationwide. A wealth of caregiving advice, resource listings, newsletters, fact sheets, research reports, policy updates and discussion groups are available free on the FCA website. Visit www.caregiver.org or call (800) 445-8106 for more information.


� 2013 Family Caregiver Alliance. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced without the express permission of Family Caregiver Alliance.


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