Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.
January 18th Outreach: Encore Academy Senior Expo at Pasco-Hernando Community College, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. For more information, call 727-816-3439.
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 Clearwater Office at 727-578-2558 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.
Edwinola Retirement Community
14235 Edwinola Way
1st Friday @ 3:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Melissa Cone
Land O' Lakes
Harvester Methodist Church
2432 Collier Parkway
1st Monday @ 10:00 a.m.
Facilitator: Phyllis Bross
New Port Richey
6807 Rowan Road
3rd Tuesday @ 2:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Annette Knowles
First Baptist Church of
New Port Richey
6800 Trouble Creek Road
2nd Thursday @ 1:00 pm
Facilitator: Lois Peterman
*The Cottages of Port Richey
5905 Pine Hill Road
2nd Thursday @ 2:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Victoria Hudgins
Commons on Pretty Pond
38130 Pretty Pond Road
4th Thursday @ 3:00 p.m.
Facilitators: Stephen Cook &
* Indicates free respite is provided by the Support Group host during the meeting. Please call in advance for reservations.
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:
- Keep your regular routine. It is important for you and your family member with dementia.
- 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.
- Give yourself permission to say no to obligation or invitation.
- Give yourself permission to ask for and say yes to offers of assistance from family, friends, and neighbors.
- Encourage friends and family to visit, but keep the number of visitors at a time to a minimum.
- Prepare activities or tasks to divert your loved one's attention to prevent them from becoming overstimulated or agitated.
- Accept invitations and enjoy the chance to be with friends and family, even if your loved one cannot attend.
- Talk of past good times - special memories.
- Plan a smaller gathering.
- Celebrate earlier in the day.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local office.
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.
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.
Peggy Macaluso, Director of Advocacy & Program Specialist (West Pasco)
AJ Cipperly, Program Specialist (West Pasco)
Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
14010 Roosevelt Blvd., Ste. 709, Clearwater, FL 33762
Telephone:727.578.2558 Facsimile: 727.578.2286
Program Specialist (East Pasco)
Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
309 North Parsons Avenue,Brandon, FL 33510
Telephone: 813-684-1296 Facsimile: 813.685.7213
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