June 2015

Vol. 6, No. 6


(800) 445-8106

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Newsletter Credits


Calvin Hu

Michelle Venegas
Crystal Madriles 


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
Jeff Kumataka
Jacquelyn Kung
Dan Lieberman
Michael Malewicz
Rajiv Mehta
Chris Park
Kathleen Raffel
F. Burns Vick
Deborah Wolter


New Donate Now Btn 2011
June is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Month.
Those caring for someone who is part of the LGBT community often face unique and daunting challenges when dealing with federal, state, and local institutions, as well as private companies. Issues such as discrimination or outright abuse at care facilities, inability for same sex couples to take advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, or having no legal recourse when a non supportive family member interferes in care decisions are just some of these challenges. 

In celebration of Pride Month, we've included a wealth of information specifically for LGBT caregivers and people caring for LGBT individuals. Lavender Seniors, a well respected community organization dedicated to helping the underserved "gay and gray" community, has just released an innovative online training course. Designed specifically for medical professionals, the course teaches how to best serve the unique needs of LGBT patients. You can read about the program in the Special Announcements section, or find out how to register in our Events in the Community section. 

We've also included FCA's latest article for the PBS Newshour, "How to find care for LGBT seniors" in the articles section.  

Finally, you'll find a link to view all the presentations from the Preparing for the Changing Horizon: Dementia Awareness and Caregiving for LGBT Older Adults conference, in addition to three FCA fact sheets on caregiving for LGBT individuals in the Caregiving Information section:

-LGBT Caregiving: Frequently Asked Questions
-Special Concerns of LGBT Caregivers
-Legal Issues for LGBT Caregivers

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


CA Budget Committee Approves $3M for CRCs

The Budget Committee has approved $3 million of additional funding for the California Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs). The budget of the CRCs was cut by $7.6 million, a loss of 74%, in 2009. Thanks to your calls, emails, faxes, letters and testimony, this funding request will be placed in front of the Governor's desk. This is the last step in restoring part of our budget, so we ask that you call, email or write Governor Brown and express your support.

You can Contact the the Governor at:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Or by email using this online form

Lavender Seniors Releases First Training Film of its Kind

Lavender Seniors has just released a groundbreaking, free online training course for health care professionals on how to accommodate and sensitize their workplace to the special needs, and concerns of LGBT seniors in need of care:

"LGBT elders today grew up in a time where the laws could cost them their families, their careers and their safety. As a result, this group now suffers higher rates of isolation, poverty, and poor mental and physical health. when LGBT seniors get the message that they are safe and welcome, they are far more likely to access care, and receive appropriate care. They then disclose relevant health and support information; opening the window for achieving the best possible health outcomes."

To learn more or to register, click here.



Save the date: September 12, 10 a.m. to noon in San Francisco for innovative, hands-on tech workshop.

Home Alone: New tech products to help keep loved ones safe at home when you can't be there

Whether you live hundreds of miles away or are just across town in your office, chances are you worry about the safety of an ill or elderly relative or friend at home alone. It's always in the back of your mind: Why isn't mom answering the phone? What if dad fell or had a heart attack and no one knows? What if he turned the stove on and forgot? Will mom wander outside and lose her way?

New technology products for the home claim they offer peace of mind and the ability to alert you to activities or situations that are potentially dangerous. Are those claims true?

In this special new workshop for family caregivers, we'll go beyond the marketing materials and explore real (and not-always-so-real) benefits of these products and services.

The workshop will feature Richard Caro, Ph.D., of TangibleFuture, Inc. and co-author of "Caring from Afar: A Guide to Home Sensor Systems for Aging Parents."

Stay tuned for more information. 

The Lion's Mouth Opens

The award winning documentary has premiered on HBO:

"THE LION'S MOUTH OPENS, two-time Academy Award� nominee Lucy Walker follows courageous young filmmaker and actress Marianna Palka as she gathers her friends to find out if she has inherited Huntington's from her father.

For HBO subscribers, to find additional TV schedule times visit the HBO website, or watch anytime on your computer or mobile device at HBO Go.  

Jewish Home Acute Psychiatric Hospital

The Jewish Home Acute Psychiatric Hospital is open to the community, providing inpatient mental health treatment for persons 55 and older. It is our mission to deliver exemplary psychiatric care with a respectful and dignified approach. We offer an important resource not otherwise available in the Bay Area. Our friendly and enthusiastic staff are happy to assist with any questions at 415.469.2328 or you can visit our website.  


How to find care for LGBT seniors

FCA's Leah Eskenazi discusses the main issues that affect LGBT adults and healthcare: chronic health care, caregiving, financial security for long-term care, isolation, creating resiliency and where to turn for help in an article for PBS Newshour.  


How to let go when a loved one is dying  


When a loved one is dying from a chronic illness such as Alzheimer's, is understandable that family and friends would do everything in their power to prolong life. However, this might not be in keeping with the wishes of the person suffering. Bonnie Lawrence, from Family Caregiver Alliance, explains what end of life questions should be asked, and once the answers to these are known, how family and friends can accept and respect these wishes.  


Millennials make up substantial share of America's caregivers

A new study on caregiving reveals some surprising statistics on family caregivers in the United States. While the average caregiver is "a 49-year-old female who balances a full-time job with at least 20 hours each week of helping an older or sick family member who lives nearby," Millennials now account for 25 percent of caregivers. Within this demographic group, women and men share in caregiving duties, duties that have been historically done by women.


80 Minutes That Can Brighten Your Life     


Expressive writing may help you reduce your caregiving stress, keep your memory fit and strengthen health. It works because you commit to paper your most private thoughts and feelings, those same thoughts and feelings that many caregivers do not share to avoid burdening others or to avoid feelings of guilt or shame. Follow the guidelines and write for four days for 20 uninterrupted minutes to see if it works for you.


Reflections of an Alzheimer's Spouse... Acceptance 


As part of a ten article series, Allan S Vann writes about the recurring emotions he feels for his wife, diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. In the latest installment, he writes about acceptance. You can also read his first article here.



Quote of the Month.

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing it anyway.  

-Emory Austin.



Family Caregiver Alliance LGBT caregiving fact sheets

Preparing for the Changing Horizon: Dementia Awareness and Caregiving for LGBT Older Adults from Diverse Communities

Watch all the presentations from the February 2015 conference organized by Senator Mark Leno, the City and County of San Francisco, and number of partners including FCA. Some of the topics include: Dementia Care: Considerations for LGBT Affirming Assessment and Support, Health Equity and Aging of LGBT Older Adults, and Substance Use and Effects on Cognition in the LGBT Senior Population.

Compare Long Term Care Costs Across the United States

Genworth provides a robust database to estimate the cost of long term care across the 50 states. Visit the website, or download the app. Calculate the cost of care annually, monthy, or daily by state or by county.   

Caring for Mom and Dad

In case you missed it, watch PBS' Caring for Mom and Dad on you PC or mobile device at PBS.org:

"Americans are living longer than ever before. Who will take care of those who can no longer care for themselves? CARING FOR MOM AND DAD seeks to answer these questions as it explores the emotional, health, and financial challenges that many caregivers face every day."  

Planning for diminished capacity and illness

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published a new bulletin on diminished capacity and personal finances:

"Diminished financial capacity" is a term used to describe a decline in a person's ability to manage money and financial assets to serve his or her best interests, including the inability to understand the consequences of investment decisions.

Learn how you can protect yourself or a family member or friend from financial abuse and fraud stemming from diminished capacity by clicking on the bulletin here.   


June 24, 2015; 1 to 2 p.m. PST Online 

Seasons of Care Gap Practices: Lively Ways Caregivers Can Capture Moments of Selfcare (Webinar)


Seasons of Care™ is a care-for-the-caregiver program which integrates the mindful and spiritual dimensions of caregiving to promote wellness using the contemplative and expressive arts. SOC has developed a series of "gap practices, simple, uplifting activities caregivers can do throughout their day to practice selfcare, ensure a heartfelt connection to caregiving and cultivate resilience.
*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   

July 29, 2015; 1 to 2 p.m. PST Online 

What Every Caregiver Should Know about Downsizing,Decluttering and Getting Organized! (Webinar)


The webinar will focus on key information for caregivers on downsizing, decluttering, and getting organized both for their own needs and also for their loved ones for whom they are providing care. Practical tips and strategies on each of these areas will be discussed.
*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   



Creating a Healthcare Practice Welcoming to LGBT Seniors by Lavender Seniors of the East Bay


If you work at a clinic, hospital, independent practice or long-term-care facility, a percentage of the seniors currently in your care are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, whether or not they have felt safe enough to tell you about it. The common health issues faced by all older people are compounded for LGBT seniors, for whom the legacy of secrecy, social isolation and discrimination can gravely impact their physical and mental health. In this course we assume the viewer knows nothing (although we know you each know SOME things) as that is the best way to teach this subject to all.

When LGBT seniors get the message that they are safe and welcome, they are more likely to access care, disclose relevant health and home information, and achieve more positive health outcomes. This course provides practical steps for both licensed and non-licensed professionals to better understand the needs of LGBT seniors, to practice more effective communication. and to create a clinical environment that communicates a sense of safety and welcome.

The course includes four video segments (totaling 44 minutes) that covers LGBT history, first-hand stories from LGBT seniors, an overview of common health issues, terminology, communication strategies, dramatic scenes that demonstrate good communication, and a series of patient care best practices.

This course is designed for physical or mental healthcare professionals who work in any capacity with seniors; those who run or serve within clinics, hospitals or private practices or who do social work. It can also be used by those who work within or manage residential senior facilities such as assisted living, continuum of care, and skilled nursing facilities 


To Register:
Click here to visit information and registration page.

June 25, 2015; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in San Rafael, CA


Savvy Caregiver Series


Based on research by experts in caregiving techniques, this 6-week course will provide clinical-level training for family caregivers. Participants will graduate with personal knowledge and skills to assess abilities of their loved one with dementia; confidence to set and alter caregiving goals; strategies to manage activities of daily living; and perspective on the course of Alzheimer's and related disorders.

NOTE: Registration is necessary and attendance at all sessions is required. 

Six consecutive Thursdays starting: June 25, 2015, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Alzheimer's Association - San Rafael Office Complex
4340 Redwood Hwy., Conference Room F-138
San Rafael CA 94903 US

To Register:
Please call or email Shannon Speaker at 415.472.4340 for more information or to register.

This series is sponsored by the Ned Eichler Scholarship Fund and takes place in Marin County.



Building Better Caregivers™ (A Free Online Workshop by the VA)


Building Better Caregivers™ is a free six-week online workshop for family caregivers of Veterans.

If you are taking care of a Veteran, this workshop will help you learn a variety of skills like time and stress management, healthy eating, exercise and dealing with difficult emotions.

Participants log on two to three times each week to review lessons, exchange ideas with other caregivers and access tools to make caregiving easier. The program, developed at Stanford University, has been recognized for its ability to reduce caregiver stress, depression and increase their overall well-being.

This comprehensive online workshop addresses specific needs of caregivers who care for Veterans with dementia, memory problems, traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, or any other serious injury or illness. 


To Register:
Caregivers of Veterans interested in participating in Building Better Caregivers™ should contact a local Caregiver Support Coordinator. There is one designated Caregiver Support Coordinator at every VA Medical Center who can provide additional information and referral to the program. You can locate your Caregiver Support Coordinator by visiting our website and entering your ZIP code in the ZIP code finder.



Leisure Participation and Quality of Life of Informal Caregivers

Do you take care of a loved one with dementia? Would you like to share your experience? We are conducting a research study on caregivers' quality of life and satisfaction with leisure activities. The survey takes 15-20 minutes and will remain anonymous. If you choose to participate you will have the choice to enter a raffle for a $30 Amazon gift card.

Participants must be over the age of 18 and currently act as an unpaid caregiver to an individual who has Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. Thank you!

Please click here for survey link.

Zo� Pontius-Courtney, BSN
John Ryan, BS
Zo� Walp, BA
Research supervisor: Yan-hua Huang, Ph.D., OTR/L

Department of Occupational Therapy, California State University, Dominguez Hills, (310) 243-3626

The Experience of Caring for a Parent

You are invited to participate in an anonymous online study on caregivers of parents and related emotions.

If you are a caregiver for your parent, please consider participating in this survey. The study, conducted by Ashley Mezzasalma at the Wright Institute, takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The survey involves filling out questions about your own experiences and emotions as a caregiver.

Participation is voluntary and you can stop at any time.

If you are interested go to our survey link.

This research is being conducted by Ashley Mezzasalma, through the Emotion, Personality and Altruism Research Group (EPARG), Wright Institute, Berkeley, and is supervised by Lynn O'Connor, PhD. The study meets the requirements for the doctoral dissertation.



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 +
-Caring for your relative with dementia at home
-Read /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.

Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers (LEAF)

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco are testing a program for family caregivers of people with dementia. Six positive emotion based skill-building sessions are delivered one-on-one via video-conferencing on study-supplied tablet computers, so caregivers can take part from anywhere in the USA. Study consists of six weekly hour-long sessions, nightly home practice, and online surveys. To be eligible, you must be the primary caregiver of someone with any type of degenerative dementia, and you must have consistent access to a reliable wifi connection for your weekly sessions.

For more information, please access our website, email, or call (415) 514-2935.

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.


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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.


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