Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

Lee Update 

December 2012

In This Issue
Support Groups
Care for the Caregiver: Diabetes
Spotlighting Alzheimer's
Caregiver Jewels: Redirection: The Simple Way
Access to Rehab


All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.
Please RSVP to Emily Reese 239-405-7008
December 5, Wednesday,  Caregiver Education: Understanding & Addressing Challenging Behaviors at Emeritus at The Lakes, 7460 Lake Breeze Dr., Fort Myers. 6:00p.m. to 7:30p.m.
Learn to recognize common environmental and emotional "triggers" that can lead someone with memory loss to behave differently than before and to behave in ways that can be characterized as challenging. Caregivers will be provided tips on ways to respond to challenging behaviors through the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
December 6, Thursday, Caregiver Education: Being Your Loved One's Voice/Advocacy in Healthcare at Clare Bridge of Cape Coral, 911 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral. 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Caregivers face many challenges assisting their loved one through the healthcare system. Learn about important medicare changes and how they impact care; recommendations for good communication with and between all healthcare providers and tips for easing the stress of hospitalizations.
December 18, Tuesday, Caregiver Education: Care Transitions and Options  at Alzheimer's Association Office - Sunshine Professional Building, 9220 Bonita Beach Road, Conference Room 2nd Floor, Bonita Springs. 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Home Care to Nursing Homes, important information for decision making.  How to know when help is needed. Easing the transition for the person with Dementia.  Potential sources of financial assistance.
Coming in January
January 3, Thursday, Caregiver Education: Care Transitions and Options at Clare Bridge of Cape Coral, 911 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral.
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Home Care to Nursing Homes, important information for decision making.  How to know when help is needed. Easing the transition for the person with Dementia.  Potential sources of financial assistance.
January 11, Friday, Outreach: Memory Mobile Stop at Boca Grande Health Clinic, 320 Park Ave., Boca Grande. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Free Memory Screenings and Educational Information will be available
January 14, Monday, Caregiver Education: Lost Your Keys?  at Senior Friendship Center, 5272 Summerlin Commons Way, Suite 604, Fort Myers. 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Learn what is normal age related memory changes and when you should have concern. Understand the different types of dementia and the importance of a good diagnosis and what is currently know about maintain good brain health.
January 17, Thursday, Caregiver Education: HBO Series Momentum in Science Part 1 at Clare Bridge of Fort Myers, 13565 American Colony Blvd., Fort Myers. 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
This two part series reveals some of the most cutting-edge research advances. Learn what scientists have discovered about the healthy body and brain connection. What do the scientists know about Alzheimer's disease and where the research is taking us.
January 28, Monday, Caregiver Education: Responding to Communication Changes at Senior Friendship Center, 5272 Summerlin Commons Way, Suite 604, Fort Myers.
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.
January 29, Tuesday, Outreach: Memory Mobile Stop at Share Club North, 5170 Orange Grove Blvd., North Fort Myers. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Free Memory Screenings and Educational Information will be available.
January 30, Wednesday, Outreach: Memory Mobile Stop at Beacon of Hope, 5465 Pine Island Rd., Bokeelia. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Free Memory Screenings and Educational Information will be available.
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.


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
Education Program - Home Care to Nursing Homes-Important Considerations for Decision Making


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.

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.


Diabetes, Are You At Risk?
National Institute of Health


If you have wondered or possibly been told that you are at risk for developing diabetes or that you have prediabetes, you should know that diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful. Studies show that people at high risk for diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their weight, if they are overweight-that's 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Two keys to success:

  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week.
  • Eat a variety of foods that are low in fat and reduce the number of calories you eat per day.

In other words, you don't have to knock yourself out to prevent diabetes. The key is: small steps that lead to big rewards. Learn more about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the small steps you can take to delay or prevent the disease and live a long, healthy life: Diabetes Is Preventable.

Quick Links


Like us on Facebook

Spotlighting Alzheimer's
Former Miss Universe Alicia Machando as Celebrity Contestant on Univision's Dance Competition

Today, more than 5 million Americans are living with

Alzheimer's disease and while whites make up the great majority of the individuals with the disease, available research suggests that Hispanics are one and one-half times more likely than whites to develop Alzheimer's and other dementias.  

Photo by A. Mateo/Univision.com

"The Alzheimer's Association is committed to increasing awareness about Alzheimer's and other dementias among all Americans," said Gloria Smith, Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter Executive Director/President. "But given the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer's on the Hispanic community, we believe it especially important to elevate concern in this community and we applaud Alicia Machado in her effort to shine a light on the disease." 


The Alzheimer's Association was chosen as the charity of choice by former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, who competed in this season of Univision's reality show/dance competition "¡Mira Quién Baila! 3 (Look Who's Dancing).

The former Miss Universe and telenovela star joined nine other celebrities and 10 professional dancers as they competed on one of Univision's highest rated reality-competition shows, "¡Mira Quién Baila!" The program which aired Sunday evenings at 8pm ET/PT and 7pm CT chronicled the celebrity contestants' journey from workouts to rehearsals to dance performances. Winners were determined through a strict elimination process. Alicia Machado made it to the finals placing third.  


The need for education, information and supportive services for families living with Alzheimer's and other dementias in diverse communities is paramount. The Association has an expansive portfolio of tools, information and culturally and linguistically appropriate resources in Spanish and English for families affected by Alzheimer's and other dementias at every stage of the disease.  

The holidays are a time when family and friends often come together. For families living with Alzheimer's and other dementias, the holidays can be challenging. With some planning and adjusted expectations, celebrations can still be happy, memorable occasions.

christmas party 
It is not uncommon for a loved one with a dementia to become overstimulated, agitated, or confused. 
Holiday festivities often create changes in the environment and daily routine. It is important to keep your regular routine. Trying to maintain a pleasant, meaningful and calm holiday while caring for your loved one can lead to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and frustration.

Hints for coping with the holidays:
  1. Keep your regular routine. It is important for you and your family member with dementia.
  2. Try to maintain a positive attitude. Keep in mind that the holidays are also a time for memories and reflection as well as a time for joy.
  3. Give yourself permission to say no to obligation or invitation.
  4. Give yourself permission to ask for and say yes to offers of assistance from family, friends, and neighbors.
  5. Encourage friends and family to visit, but keep the number of visitors at a time to a minimum.
  6. Prepare activities or tasks to divert your loved one's attention to prevent them from becoming overstimulated or agitated.
  7. Accept invitations and enjoy the chance to be with friends and family, even if your loved one cannot attend. 
  8. Talk of past good times - special memories.
  9. Plan a smaller gathering.
  10. Celebrate earlier in the day.
  11. Reduce post-holiday stress. Arrange for respite care so you can enjoy a movie or lunch with a friend

The holidays can be stressful. Stress can be minimized with adjusted perspectives and expectations.  Read more about the holidays and dementia. 

Caregiver Jewels
Emily Reese, Program. 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.


December Tip

Redirection:  the Simple Way


Redirection is a tool or technique used to solve a behavioral problem. Redirecting an individual may delay or prevent outbursts and inappropriate behaviors.  Gentle distractions with food, drink or activity can be effective.  


A family caregiver from Collier County submitted the following nugget:  


My sweet husband loves M&Ms. It's amazing that he doesn't know where he sleeps; he doesn't know where the bathroom is, and doesn't even really know what to do with the toilet or the bed. But he hasn't forgotten where we keep the M&Ms. If he's getting agitated or wanting to wander, we can put some M&Ms in a bowl and show it to him, and he'll almost always get distracted and focus on his treat. 


The above illustrates how small and simple a solution can be. It reminds us to not overlook the obvious and to keep redirection person centered.   


Remember redirection should be offered in a reassuring tone. Never focus your redirection on reprimand or by saying "no" or "don't do that".  The most important thing to remember is that each person is unique. Activities and conversations that successfully redirect one person may not work with someone else.


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

Access to Rehab Services
National Alzheimer's Association

As one of the plaintiffs in the federal class action lawsuit Jimmo v. Sebelius, which challenged the Medicare Improvement Standard, the Alzheimer's Association applauds the recently announced proposed settlement. Under the settlement agreement, Medicare will pay for rehabilitative services, such as physical, speech and occupational therapy, if they maintain an individual's current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration and require the skills of a professional.
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
Catherine Cruikshank, Director of Education
Lee-Collier 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:reesee@alzflgulf.or, cruikshankc@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