Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

Sarasota Update 

November 2012

In This Issue
How Far We Have Come
Support Groups
Current Medical Treatments
The Estates at Carpenters Supporting the Alzheimer's Association
20th Annual Candlelight Vigil
Care for the Caregiver: Heart and Brain Connection
Caregiver Jewels: Use Written Reminders


All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.

November 2, Caregiver Forum, Sarasota Memorial Hospital First Floor Auditorium, 1700 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For more information call Erin Killian 941-365-8883.
November 5, Caregiver Training, The Windsor of Venice, 1600 Center Road, Venice. 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
November 20, Caregiver Training, Senior Friendship Center Venice, 2350 Scenic Drive, Venice. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

How Far We have Come
The Alzheimer's Project (HBO)


In this video by HBO, leading researchers explain how far the field has come since Dr. Alois Alzheimer discovered the disease more than a century ago.
To learn more about Alzheimer's or see additional videos go to: http://www.hbo.com/alzheimers.
Support Groups

Alzheimer's Association-Florida Gulf Coast Chapter affiliated support groups are for family members, caregivers, and others interested in learning more about Alzheimer's disease. Meetings are open to everyone and free of charge. Support group facilitators have received training as required by Chapter and National Alzheimer's Association standards. For program information and to verify meeting dates, times, and locations, please use the telephone contacts listed below. For other questions or for respite care information so you can attend a group, call our [county] Office at [local phone number] or 1- 800-272-3900.


Message Boards: The Alzheimer's Association message boards and chat rooms are your online communication forum. Our message boards have over 9,000 registered members from around the United States, and many more people who simply browse the stories and information that is offered 24 hours a day. Join the Alzheimer's Association online community.(alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_message_boards_lwa.asp) 


Arden Courts 
5509 Swift Road (34231)  
1st Wednesday @ 5:30 p.m.  
Erin Killian, 941-365-8883

Nikki Rodney, 941-925-3900     


Clare Bridge 
8450 McIntosh Road (34238)  

2nd Tuesday @ 4:00 p.m.
Jerri Andree, 941-928-4753      


Senior Friendship Center

Caregiver Resource Center

1820 Brother Geenen Way (34236)
Every Thursday @ 10:00 a.m.
Paula Falk, 941-556-3268


SMH Memory Disorder Clinic

Senior Friendship Center for Healthy Aging

1888 Brother Geenen Way (34236)

3rd Thursday @ 9:30 a.m.

Kathleen Houseweart, 941-917-7197

(Dual support group for Mild Cognitive Imparement & Early Stage patients and families)

Heron Club at Prestancia
3749 Sarasota Square Boulevard (34238)
3rd Tuesday, @ 6:00 p.m. (light dinner available)

Judy Dunn, 941-922-1669


Palmer Ranch Healthcare

5111 Palmer Ranch (34238)

3rd Wednesday @ 10:00 a.m.

Susan Garbett, 941-358-1209


Springwood Nursing and Rehab

4602 Northgate Court

3rd Tuesday @ 4:00 p.m.

Amy Paine, 941-355-2913


Pines of Sarasota

1501 N. Orange Ave.

3rd Tuesday @ 2:00 p.m.

Ann Modercin, 941-365-0250


Emeritus of Colonial Park Club

4730 Bee Ridge Road (34233)

1st Thursday @ 6:00 p.m.

Maggie DiFranco & Julie Schecter, 941-378-4414


Horizon Bay

730 South Osprey Avenue (34236)

3rd Wednesday @ 3:00 p.m.

Jerri Andree, 941-928-4753


Aston Gardens @ Pelican Point    
9000 Ibis Way (34292)
4th Wednesday @ 3:00 p.m.   
Pat Quigley, 941-484-9494


Pinebrook Nursing Center
1240 Pinebrook Road (34285)
3rd Monday @ 2:30 p.m.

(Family Social and Support Group)

Connie Gens, 941-488-6733


Senior Friendship Center Venice

2350 Scenis Drive (34293)

Every Tuesday @ 2:00 p.m.

Phyllis Balliett, 941-584-0050


Christ United Methodist Church

1475 Center Road

2nd Wednesday @ 1:00 p.m.

Janet Harrod, 404-641-2276



Emeritus at River Oaks
925 South River Road (34223)

3rd Wednesday @ 10:00 a.m.

Sherri Blanchard, 941-474-8600 

Current Medical Treatments
In the brain, neurons connect and communicate at synapses, where tiny bursts of chemicals called neurotransmitters carry information from one cell to another. Alzheimer's disrupts this process, and eventually destroys synapses and kills neurons, damaging the brain's communication network.

Current FDA-approved Alzheimer's drugs support this comm-unication process through two different mechanisms:
  1. Cholinesterase inhibitors work by slowing down the disease activity that breaks down a key neurotransmitter. Donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and tacrine are cholinesterase inhibitors.
  2. Memantine,the fifth Alzheimer's drug, is an NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonist, which works by regulating the activity of glutamate, a chemical messenger involved in learning and memory. Memantine protects brain cells against excess glutamate, a chemical messenger released in large amounts by cells damaged by Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. Attachment of glutamate to cell surface "docking sites" called NMDA receptors permits calcium to flow freely into the cell. Over time, this leads to chronic overexposure to calcium, which can speed up cell damage. Memantine prevents this destructive chain of events by partially blocking the NMDA receptors.

On average, the five approved Alzheimer's drugs are effective for about six to 12 months for about half of the individuals who take them.


More information.

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The Estates at Carpenters
Supporting the Alzheimer's Association
Karen Adair, Director of Marketing, EAC
As a Continuing Care Retirement Community, The Estates at Carpenters believes the senior adult benefits from an environment that values a sense of purpose and EAC celebrates World AD Day Sept 2012
independence by enhancing individual dignity, personal growth, wellness, happiness, and self-esteem. This vision is exemplified by their motto - "Where Quality of Life is Celebrated."

Living at the Estates has many advantages beyond their centralized location. The continuum of care offered on their thirty-three acre campus is comprised of independent living apartments, an assisted living facility called the Villa at Carpenters, an award-winning skilled nursing facility known as the Manor at Carpenters, and a licensed home health agency. To support residents with Alzheimer's, the Estates utilizes recreation based on individual cognitive levels. A Relaxation Room in the Manor helps give residents a sense of calm and offers non-pharmacological interventions by re-directing thoughts and focus to pleasant sights and sounds.


Throughout their 26 years in Polk County, the Estates at Carpenters has carefully established and creatively cultivated a spirit of giving- not only to our immediate neighbors, but also to the entire Lakeland community. For the 2012 Season, the Estates is again a proud sponsor of the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's.  


Being an Exclusive Platinum Partner of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, both residents and employees of the Estates has and will be taking part in several of the Alzheimer's Association's walks this fall. As scientists and doctors continue to search for a cure, EAC continues to learn from and celebrate the lives of these very special people.


The Estates at Carpenters is located at 1001 Carpenter's Way, Lakeland, 863-858-3847. Learn more about The Estates at Carpenters at www.eaclakeland.com or on our Facebook page.


Estates at Carpenters logo 

20th Annual Candlelight Vigil

You are invited to join us for our 20th Annual Candlelight Vigil to remember loved ones who have passed or are presently suffering from Alzheimer's

Disease or a related dementia. 

Candle Light Vigil Invitation
Click on the image to open the invitation.

The candle lighting event will start at 5:30 p.m. and a celebration of life reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Arden Courts, 5509 Swift Road, Sarasota. Please RSVP any time before Monday, November 12, 2012, by calling (941) 365-8883.

Care for the Caregiver
Stefanie Thompson, Sr. Prog. Specialist, AAFGCC


Caregivers may find that with so many responsibilities self care is placed as a lesser priority than care of a loved one.  Yet, staying physically and emotionally strong is key to healthier caregiving. To this end, this column is dedicated to health promotion and personal care for the caregiver.


Heart and Brain Connection
National Alzheimer's Association
Remember that what is good for your heart is good for your head. Some of the strongest evidence about maintaining your brain links brain health to heart health. Even though you can't feel your brain working, it's one of the most active organs in your body. Your heart pumps about 20 percent of your blood to your brain, where billions of cells use about 20 percent of the blood's oxygen and fuel.

If your heart isn't pumping well - or if your brain's blood vessels are damaged - your brain cells have trouble getting all the food and oxygen they need. Any condition that damages your heart or blood vessels can affect your brain's blood supply.

How you can take brain health to heart:

  • Adopt a long-term, heart-healthy "food lifestyle" rather than a short-term diet and eat in moderation. A long-term study of 1,500 adults found that those who were obese in middle age were twice as likely to develop dementia in later life. Those who also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure had six times the risk of dementia.
  • Reduce your intake of fat and cholesterol.Studies have shown that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol clogs the arteries and is associated with higher risk for Alzheimer's disease. Use mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil, for example. Try baking or grilling food instead of frying.
  • Exercise. Walking or other moderate exercise for 30 minutes each day gets the body moving and the heart pumping.
  • Don't smoke.Smoking interferes with blood flow and oxygen to the brain and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • Manage your numbers. Controlling your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar helps reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

For more information visit Be Heart Smart.

Caregiver Jewels
Emily Reese, Prog. Specialist, AAFGCC


Welcome to Caregiver Jewels, a column featuring caregiving tips by family and professional caregivers throughout our 17 county service area.  These "golden nuggets" represent caregiving strategies and tricks of the trade. 


For the column to be a success we need your input!

It may be a "golden nugget" you say to get your loved one to attend a program or an activity to redirect their attention. Whether your tip is a diamond, emerald or ruby - all are valuable! So, please share the wealth!


Send your tip to reesee@alzflgulf.org or contact your local office.


November Tip

Use Written Reminders


A family caregiver in Collier County created a sign to help promote safety.  The sign specifically focused on fall prevention.



Materials needed: a sign (click here for an example) and a bell.


Written reminders can be a useful strategy for a person in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Remember consistency is important.  Take the sign and bell wherever you go, i.e., hospital, visiting relatives, vacations, etc. Using written reminders and visual cues can be used in other areas of functioning too. For example, a picture of socks and the word socks taped to the sock drawer; a sign reminding the person with dementia that you have gone out and will be back at 2:00 p.m.  No strategy is full proof. What works one day may not work the next, so always be aware of how the person with dementia is responding.


Falls are a serious risk for all seniors but particularly for those with dementia. Click here for fall prevention tips for caregivers to be aware of for themselves and their loved one.


Note: The information in this column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have questions, concerns or just wish to talk to someone please feel free to contact us.  Our 24-hour HELPLINE number is 1-800-272-3900.


Erin Killian

Program Specialist

Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
Sarasota Office Located at:

3277-A Fruitville Road

Sarasota, FL 34237

Telephone: 941-365-8883     Facsimile: 941-365-8885 

Email: killiane@alzflgulf.org 

Website: www.alz.org/flgulfcoast

Alzheimer's Association - Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
Chapter Headquarters, 14010 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 709, Clearwater, FL 33762 Telephone: 727.578.2558

National Headquarters-Alzheimer's Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601

Alzheimer's Association is a not-for-profit  501(c)(3) organization 2010 Alzheimer's Association. All rights reserved. 

24/7 Helpline: 1.800.272.3900