Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

Lee Update 

November 2012

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


All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified. Please RSVP (unless noted otherwise) to Emily Reese 239-405-7008


"Stop and Smell the Roses"
A Day out for Caregivers - enjoy a stress-free day with laughter and lots of fun! Free Lunch and Door Prizes
Friday, November 9, 2012 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Registration begins at 9:30a.m. First Church of The Nazarene, 13545 American Colony Blvd., Fort Myers. RSVP to 239-949-1070 by Oct. 31st. For information on Respite available to attend this event call 239-405-7008.
Caregiver Education: ABC's of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia
Learn the common causes of memory loss, including Alzheimer's disease; the stages of Alzheimer's, the importance of a good medical examination and what we know about prevention and treatment.
Thursday, November 1, 2:00p.m. to 3:30p.m.
North Fort Myers Library, 2001 N. Tamiami Trail, NFM


Caregiver Education: Responding to Communication Changes
Addresses the challenges faced by people living with Alzheimer's disease or dementia and family caregivers and tips and techniques to make communication the least frustrating as possible for everyone.
Thursday, November 7, 6:00p.m. to 7:15p.m.
Emeritus at the Lakes, 7460 Lake Breeze Drive, Fort Myers
Outreach: Free Information and Resources will be available at the Lehigh Regional Medical Center and The Lehigh Senior Center Health Fair & Expo
Friday, November 16, 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.
The Lehigh Senior Center, 219 Plaza Dr., Lehigh Acres


Caregiver Education: Holiday Visits and Travel Tips
Is family visiting for Holidays or are you considering going to visit family? This seminar will address questions: Is my loved one ok to travel or just go out to dinner with family and friends? My husband resides in a care facility, may I bring him home for Thanksgiving? The children and grandchildren are coming and I don't know how to prepare them for the changes....plus more!
Thursday, November 1, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Clare Bridge, 911 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral
Monday, November 5, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Senior Friendship Centers, 5272 Summerlin Commons Way, Suite 604, Fort Myers
Thursday, November 15, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Clare Bridge, 13665 Colony Blvd., Fort Myers
Wednesday, November 7, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Clare Bridge, 13665 Colony Blvd., Fort Myers
For an appointment call Sue Fenger - 239-561-2463
Thursday, November 8, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Clare Bridge, 911 Santa Barbara Blvd. Cape Coral
For an appointment call Meg Wright -239-573-5108
Caregiver Education: Understanding and Addressing Challenging Behaviors
Wednesday, December 5, 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Emeritus at the Lakes, 7460 Lake Breeze Drive, Fort Myers
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.

Interested in having a showing of the HBO Series at your community? Please call 239-405-7008 for more information.
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 Lee/Collier Office at 239-405-7008 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) 

Christ Lutheran Church
2911 Del Prado Blvd.

2nd Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.
Emily Reese, 239-405-7008

Clare Bridge of Fort Myers*

13565 American Colony Boulevard (33919)

2nd Wednesday @ 6:00 p.m.

Claudia Jennings, 239-823-5455

Westminster Presbyterian Church
9065 Ligon Ct.
1st Wednesday @ 2:00 p.m.
Emily Reese (239) 405-7008

Millennium House of Southwest Florida*
8951 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 297 (34135)
1st Wednesday @ 5:00 p.m.

Catherine Cruikshank (239) 405-7008

* Indicates Free Respite is provided by the support group host during the support group meeting. Please call in advance for reservations.

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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 

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.

Emily Reese, Program Specialist and Catherine Cruikshank, Director of Education
Collier - Lee Office
Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
9220 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 223
Bonita Springs, Florida, 34135
Telephone: (239) 405-7008 Facsimile: (239) 405-7038
Email: cruikshankc@alzflgulf.org, reesee@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