Remembering Irv Hamilton

Irvin C. Hamilton, August 4, 1935 to May 25, 2015 I did not know Irv until the last year of his life, but in that last year he made a deep impression on my fellow ASEB Board Members, our staff, and me. Irv had a long and successful career in public relations and was a consultant to governments in places as far flung as Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea where he and his wife Patricia Loftus Lee had some scary adventures. When he started attending our early stage meetings in 2014 he bonded rapidly with the group and our staff. In conversation he was unfailingly polite while delighting in joking […]

Guest Blog: Lance Reynolds

This month’s blog comes courtesy of ASEB’s Board President Lance Reynolds, who shares a lesson that he recently had to learn the hard way: I had a fall while on vacation that had me wheelchair bound for a week and now hopping around on crutches. It has been a powerful learning experience that has given me a much better understanding of how our clients probably feel, and the demands limited mobility places on their caregivers. From having little discretionary time I suddenly have all the time in the world. Just as well as it takes me half an hour to shave, wash and get dressed. Yet it is important to […]

Guest Blog: Fred Verbogen, ASEB Intern

Last time around, you heard from one of our four international interns, Burcu Kilinc. This month, we give the spotlight to Fred Verbogen, who is also part of the Collabriv internship program. Fred shares some of the highlights from our 25th Anniversary Fundraiser. Take it away, Fred! Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay marked its 25th anniversary with a fundraising gala titled “The Magic of ASEB” that celebrated two-and-a-half decades of providing excellent care to individuals living with memory decline. Held at the Claremont Country Club, the celebration drew 180 guests who gathered on a beautiful Saturday evening on May 4, 2013. The crowd grooved to live jazz performed by […]

Guest Blog: Burcu Kilinc, ASEB Intern

This month I’m delighted to turn my blog over to my first guest blogger Burcu Kilinc, who is one of our Collabriv interns. Part of our vision here at ASEB is to expand our mission beyond the region and into the international sphere. Our partnership with Collabriv, an organization that brings university students and early-career professionals from all nations to the U.S. to learn collaboration skills, is an important step in that direction. In March, four young people from Turkey, Zambia, Singapore, and Belgium walked through our doors, eager to learn what we do at ASEB, and to share their own knowledge as they collaborate with our staff to develop […]

The Magic of ASEB

First of all, please save the date. Our 25th anniversary celebration and Art from the Heart Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, May 4th. We have a wonderful new venue, fabulous food, entertainment, and keynote speaker Frances H. Kakugawa, who is a poet, writer, and teacher. Of course we have our popular art auction, raffle, and silent auction. Best of all we’ll have a chance to celebrate together, enjoy each other’s company, and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. Which brings us to theme of this year’s celebration: The Magic of ASEB. We’re not talking about just the every day miracles that happen at ASEB—the families that […]


This month’s blog comes courtesy of ASEB Board President Lance Reynolds The world’s religions and our grandparents have always known the benefits of practicing thankfulness—think Grace before meals and our nation’s tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving and other holiday times can be stressful too, particularly for caregivers of those with memory loss or other disabilities. Recently scientists have taken notice of their grandmothers’ advice and are finding people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits: • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure • Higher levels of positive emotions • More joy, optimism, and happiness • Acting with more generosity and compassion • Feeling less lonely and […]

Judy and Alan Nelson

For my last post of 2012, I’d like to share the story Judy and Alan Nelson, one of the many families who became part of the ASEB family over the years. Judith Nelson was one of the world’s most famous singers of Baroque music. In the San Francisco Bay Area, she was one of the founders of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. She has about 70 recordings to her credit, including her role as first soprano on the Christopher Hogwood Messiah, recorded in Westminster Abbey in 1980 for BBC TV. Philharmonia’s Music Director Nicholas McGegan said, “Though Judy sang like a goddess, she was no diva. She was smart, funny, a […]

Let’s Celebrate!

ASEB has just begun its official 25th anniversary year, and I am ready to celebrate. With everything we do at ASEB, it’s sometimes hard to remember to take time to stop, look around, and appreciate what we have. First on our list is to thank all of you—the supporters who believe in us, who have stuck with us over the years, and whose generosity allows us to continue. This year we’re opening our doors and inviting you in so that we can connect with you face-to-face, shake your hand, and tell you in person how important you are to us. We’re planning a series of events that will give us […]


For the past ten years, I’ve spent my summer vacation running a one-week camp-designed curriculum for kids. Fifty to 100 kids ranging from ages two to twenty come from all over Contra Costa County to join us. The camp is free. I round up about twenty volunteers to help me. Each year there is a different theme. I had been extremely moved by a presentation of the Marine Mammal Center in Marin County, and this year I decided to take the kids there. I wanted them to meet their sister and brother mammals, to show them how to be good stewards of the earth and oceans, and to explain why […]

New Members Join ASEB’s Board of Directors

ASEB welcomed four new members to its board of directors at the last meeting of fiscal year 2011-2012. As we head into our 25th anniversary year, we are grateful for all the talented individuals whose vision, dedication, and commitment contribute to our goal of providing comprehensive and caring services for those facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Board Chair Lance Reynolds said, “ASEB’s Board is much strengthened by the presence of four new members who will help us make our 25th anniversary year our best ever. Carolyn, David, Shaun and Sister Barbara all bring strong business skills, unlimited compassion, boundless energy, and powerful intellects to help us ensure […]

Beyond Doom and Gloom

People often ask how I cope with a job that’s so sad. The concern in their eyes is deep and genuine. They wonder how I can go to work every day and witness people who are dealing with memory loss, who are not going to get better, and who rely on the staff at ASEB to help them with the some of the most basic tasks of everyday life. I understand their fear and the perceptions that underlie it. But I’m here to say that my job is not all doom and gloom. On the contrary, it is deeply fulfilling, it brings happiness and pride—sometimes it’s even fun. That’s because […]

Each One Tell One

Dear Friends, Our annual Art from the Heart fundraiser, which took place on May 3 this year, is always a wonderful homecoming for me. It reminds me—not that I need reminding—what a blessed place ASEB is, and how fortunate we are to have such committed and passionate supporters. It warms my heart to see everyone enjoying each other’s company. People like you, together with the vital part we play in people’s lives, make me proud to be the leader of ASEB. This year was no exception. I had the pleasure of greeting those who have been with us year after year, and to hear so many people tell me what […]

Coping with Uncertainty, Day by Day

It’s been a roller coaster ride since the New Year began. And while there have been a lot of ups and downs, it’s hard to say how much forward progress we’ve made. The good news is that we’re still here, hanging on, doing our best to deal with challenges as they come our way. In brief, here’s what’s been happening: Art from the Heart Fundraiser On May 3 we will host our annual fundraiser, Art from the Heart, in the historic Piedmont Community Hall. As usual, we’ll auction paintings created by our participants and beautifully framed by businesses who donate their services. We’ll also have food, wine, entertainment, and a […]

Working Together to Make Change

We faced many challenges in 2011 but, as the year draws to a close, I’m happy to announce a victory. On November 17, 2011, a federal lawsuit that challenged the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) planned elimination of Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) as a Medi-Cal benefit was settled. The good news is that the right of the seven plaintiffs, and the 35,000 low-income people with disabilities they represent, to continue receiving center-based health care was upheld. We are grateful for the enormous effort that went into this action and for the outcome, which we hope will allow ASEB to keep its doors open to many who rely […]

What Is It Worth?

The recent rush to put a California budget in place before the deadline suspended legislators’ salaries filled newspapers with numbers—amounts cut from programs, shortfalls, increases in tuition and car registration. Sometimes we forget what’s behind these numbers. What do dollar values mean in terms of a person’s life, their welfare, their happiness? It’s easy for insurance actuaries. They can tell you how much a life is worth from now until the time of death. But when you work with people as they get older, when they begin to open up the portals onto the landscape of their lives, you realize that it’s much bigger than that, much richer. The value […]

New challenges bring change and opportunity

I’m delighted to have this chance to welcome you to my blog! I hope to share news about what’s happening at ASEB, keep you abreast of developments in elder care, and tell you about developments in the state and local government as it relates to caring for people with dementia. In particular, I want to let you know how we at ASEB affect people’s lives every day. I’m passionate about my work. I believe that what we do here at ASEB is of vital importance. My beliefs and values are not only professional, they’re deeply personal. I grew up in the Bronx, in a neighborhood where it was a given […]