Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

Polk Update 

December 2012

In This Issue
Support Groups
Access to Rehab
Spotlighting Alzheimer's
Care for the Caregiver: Diabetes
Caregiver Jewels: Use Written Reminders


All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.

December 3, Outreach: FREE Memory Screenings for City of Lakeland Employees, Risk Management Conference Room, 520 N. Lake Parker Ave., Lakeland, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. By appointment only, please call 863-292-9210 or email thompsons@alzflgulf.org.


December 14, Long Term Care Conference: Featuring Jason Penrod of Weaver, McClendon & Penrod; Joshua Bucceri, State Farm Insurance; Chris Wilcox, Alzheimer's Association. 9:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. at Water's Edge, 10 Grove Avenue West, Lake Wales, Fl 33853. For refreshments and seating purposes please RSVP: 863-292-9210 / wilcoxc@alzflgulf.org


Upcoming in 2013

January 26. Professional Caregiver Educational Workshop at the Estates at Carpenters, 1001 Carpenters Way, Lakeland, Fl.  10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. includes continuing education credit units at no cost. Lunch provided. Limited seating; please register at (863) 292-9210 or thompsons@alzflgulf.org. This program is in partnership with the National Association of Social Workers Florida Chapter.  


Date to be announced. Memories in the Making™ an expressive art program for people with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD) Facilitator Certification Training. Cost is $25 per person.

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 Polk County office at (863) 292-9210 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.


Early Stage and Care Partner Groups



Beyond BASE Early Stage

The Estates at Carpenters

1001 Carpenters Way, Lakeland, (863) 858-3847

1st Friday @ 1:30 p.m.
Early Stage Transition: Brady Beatty

Facilitators: Stefanie Thompson, Cynthia Basalone, and Lori Garrard. Register call (863) 292-9210


Winter Haven / Lake Wales

Beyond BASE Early Stage

Lake Ashton

4th Friday @ 4:00 p.m.
Early Stage Transition: Brady Beatty

Facilitator: Chris Wilcox

For rooms and to register call (863) 292-9210


Caregiver Meet-Up/Social (Carte Blanche)



1st Tuesday @ 8:00 a.m. and

One Saturday a month @ 6:00 p.m.

Call or email Stefanie Thompson for location and dates. (863) 292-9210 / thompsons@alzflgulf.org  


Caregiver Support Groups



Good Shepherd Hospice

105 Arneson Avenue, Auburndale (863) 297-1880

3rd Friday, 10:00 a.m. Facilitator: Cindy Clouse


Davenport / Haines City
Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center

Cafeteria Conference Room, 40100 US Hwy 27 N.
1st Thurs. at 10 a.m. Clare Roubos, (863) 422-5571


Lake Wales

Water's Edge of Lake Wales
10 Grove Avenue West, Lake Wales
3rd Thurs @ 10:30 a.m.
Facilitator: Suzanne Lull (863) 206-0470

Lake Wales Public Library
290 Cypress Gardens Lane, Lake Wales
4th Monday @ 1:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Suzanne Lull, (863) 206-0470


Florida Presbyterian Homes
16 Lake Hunter Dr, Lakeland, (863) 688-5521

1st Thurs., 10:30 a.m. Facilitator: Teresa Montoya

Hawthorne Inn -Lakeland* (lunch provided)
6150 Lakeland Highlands Road, (863) 644-6414
1st Thursday @ 1:00 p.m. Facilitator: Eddie Broom

Savannah Cottage* (Lunch Provided)
605 Carpenter's Way, Lakeland, (863) 815-9411
1st Friday @ 12:00 p.m.

Facilitator: Mary Jo Williams

Valencia Hills Health & Rehab (Lunch Provided)

1350 Sleepy Hill Rd, Lakeland.
One Wednesday a month @ 12:00 p.m. and
One Saturday a month @ 1:00 p.m.

Please call support group facilitator, Rich Quinn at

(863) 858-4402 x352 for scheduled dates.

Emeritus at Lakeland
2111 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland (863) 688-1126
2nd Wed. @ 2:00 p.m., Facilitator: Pam Flanders

Southland Suites

4250 Lakeland Highlands Rd., Lakeland

(863) 701-7820

4th Thursday @ 6:30 p.m.

Facilitators: Carol White & Donna Schoenenberger



Life Church at FishHawk
6420 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Lithia

1st Monday @ 7:00 p.m.

Facilitator: Eddie Broom (813) 681-6503


Plant City

First Baptist Church
503 North Palmer Street, Plant City

2nd Tues. @ 2:00 p.m., Facilitators: Bill Barr and

Stefanie Thompson (863) 292-9210


Baltic Room
385 Village Drive at Solivita, Poinciana

4th Thursday @ 10:00 a.m.

Facilitator: Nancy Callahan, (863) 496-1136


Stone Ledge Manor

12006 McIntosh Road, Thonotosassa,

(813) 571-4117 

3rd Monday at 6:00 p.m.

Co-facilitators: Stormie Thayer & Cierra Henderson


Winter Haven
Arts Ensemble Healing Arts Centre/

AAFGCC Polk Office
1000 American Superior Blvd., Winter Haven,

(863) 292-9210
2nd Monday @ 3:00 p.m.

Facilitator: Virgina Culbert

Early Stage TLC Art Program: Arts Ensemble Staff

Brookdale Senior Living- Sterling House
6110 Cypress Gardens Blvd. (863) 318-8055

3rd Monday @ 4:00 p.m.

Facilitator: Chris Wilcox, (863) 292-9210

Hawthorne Inn of Winter Haven (Lunch Provided)
625 Overlook Drive, Winter Haven (863) 324-2212
3rd Wed. @ 11:30 a.m.,

Facilitator: Chris Wilcox, (863) 292-9210

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.
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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 competedg 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.  

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.

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 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.

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.


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. 

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.



Stefanie Thompson and Chris Wilcox
Program Specialists
Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
Polk Office- located in the
Arts Ensemble International Building
1000 American Superior Blvd.
Winter Haven, FL 33880
Telephone: 863.292.9210   Facsimile: 863.292.9603
Email: thompsons@alzflgulf.org / wilcoxc@alzflgulf.org

Website: www.alz.org/flgulfcoast

Thank you!
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