Florida Gulf Coast Chapter


Polk County Update 

January 2013

In This Issue
Support Groups
Walk to End Alzheimer's
Moving Forward
Care for the Caregiver: Stress
Are You On BASE?
Caregiver Jewels: Ensuring Good Nutrition
Challenges of Caregiving
Resolving Family Conflicts


All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.


*January 10  Caregiver Education: Basic's of Alzheimer's at Alzheimer's Association, 1000 American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


*January 17  Caregiver Education: Basic's of Alzheimer's at Alzheimer's Association, 1000

American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


*January 18. Outreach, Memory Screening Day for City of Lakeland Employees for an appointment send an email to thompsons@alzflgulf.org.


*January 19 Outreach: Wiltshire Health Fair at the James P. Austin Center, 315 Martin Luther King Blvd. Lake Wales, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

January 19. MLK Annual Community Parade from 14th St. & Kathleen Rd, ending on Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. & 2nd St., Lakeland, 1:00 p.m.


*January 24  Caregiver Education: Basic's of Alzheimer's at Alzheimer's Association, 1000

American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


*January 25 Outreach, dementia care and brain health information and resources at The 2nd Annual Hamptons Health Fair 2013, Auburndale, 9:00 a.m. - Noon.   


*January 26. Professional Caregiver Educational Workshop: Dementia Care Literacy for the Professional 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.

*January 28  Caregiver Education: Basic's of Alzheimer's at Alzheimer's Association, 4141 health Club Dr., Lake Wales, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP. 


*January 31, Outreach, brain health and dementia care information and resources at 2nd Annual Safety and Health Fair at Beacon Terrace, 2425 Harden Boulevard, Lakeland, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Upcoming in February


*February 7, 14 and 21, Caregiver Education
Communications With Alzheimer's at Alzheimer's Association, 1000 American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


*Evening Caregiver Education at Highland Park Church of the Nazarene, 4730 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland. (the fireside room: backside of the main office, west campus). 6:00-8:00 p.m. Call or email for more details: (863) 292-9210 / thompsons@alzflgulf.org.


Indicates programs or services presented by the Alzheimer's Association- Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.


Early-onset Alzheimer's and genetics (approx. 26 min.)

A profile of the DeMoe family, in which five of six siblings carry one of the rare genetic mutations that cause inherited, early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The family is partnering with University of Pittsburgh doctors to understand the course of early-onset Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's is not just a disease of old age. Early onset (also known as younger-onset) Alzheimer's affects people younger than age 65.  Nearly 4 percent of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's have early onset.

Who gets early onset Alzheimer's?  Many people with early onset are in their 40s and 50s. They have families, careers or are even caregivers themselves when Alzheimer's disease strikes. In the United States, it is estimated that more than 200,000 people have early onset.
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 your local office 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.



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





1st Tuesday @ 8:00 a.m.
One Saturday a month @ 6:00 p.m., various locations
Call or email Stefanie Thompson for location.
(863) 292-9210 / thompsons@alzflgulf.org



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 North,
1st Thursday 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


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 and 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 and 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 @ 3:00 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., Chris Wilcox, (863) 292-9210

* 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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Walk to End Alzheimer's
Raises $676,128 in the Florida Gulf Coast Region

The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's is the largest fundraiser dedicated to Alzheimer's disease care, support
and research programs.

During the 2012 Walk season, more than 5690 residents from the Florida Gulf Coast region joined the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's and united in a movement to reclaim the future for millions.

Walk to End AD 2012Participants raised more than $676,128 to fund Alzheimer's care, support and research programs.

"I was inspired by residents of the Florida Gulf Coast uniting in the fight against Alzheimer's disease at Walk to End Alzheimer's," said Gloria Smith, President & CEO, Florida Gulf Coast chapter, Alzheimer's Association.  "With funds raised, the Alzheimer's Association will be able to provide much needed care and support to people affected by the disease as well as fund critically needed Alzheimer's research."
For more information visit our Walk page
Moving Forward
Stefanie Thompson, Sr Program Specialist, AAFGCC

  "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." --Martin Luther King Jr.


On January 19, the City of Lakeland will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. through its MLK Annual Community Parade.  This year about 80 different organizations and community groups will join together under the theme of Moving Forward.  This is third year that the Memory Mobile of Alzheimer's Association - Florida Gulf Coast Chapter will join other community organizations.


For more information visit the City of Lakeland-Parks and Recreation website.
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.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), stress tends to promote unhealthy choices. "Those of us who are stressed are more likely to report hypertension, anxiety or depression and obesity. Women especially report they feel the effects of stress on their physical health. Given the number of health complications related to stress, it is fair to say stress certainly is a health problem in America" (2012, para. 1).
Learn more about stress through the APA's Stress Smarts quiz.
For more information about how stress affects caregivers view the ten warning signs of caregiver stress brochure or take the caregiver stress check.
Are You On BASE?
Early Intervention is Impairative
The BASE program provides education, support, resources, and skills building tools to individuals who are directly or indirectly affected by early stage Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.  The program includes people of all ages of diagnosis including younger-onset. 


BASE utilizes a multi-dimensional approach in which patients and carepartners have the opportunity not only to learn about the disease itself, but also to develop valuable support networks and resources that will be essential as the disease progresses. If you are or someone you know is in the early stages of a dementia please contact us to learn more about joining BASE: Stefanie Thompson or Chris Wilcox at (863) 292-2910 or thompsons@alzflgulf.org.



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.

January Tip
Ensuring good nutrition
A family caregiver from Hillsborough County submitted the following nugget:

My husband is more interested in eating if his meal is in a divided plate. Small portions can be put in each section, and he can manage feeding himself quite well that way. Sometimes I'll add another small bowl with raw veggies or fruit segments. He eats more fruit and vegetables if they're cut up and in their individual pretty bowl.

Maintaining good nutrition in someone with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia can be challenging. Possible causes of a poor appetite:
  • Not recognizing food. The person may no longer recognize the foods you put on his or her plate.
  • Poor fitting dentures. Eating may be painful, but the person may not be able to tell you this. Make sure dentures fit and visit the dentist regularly.
  • Medications. New medications or a dosage change may affect appetite. If you notice a change, call the doctor.
  • Not enough exercise. Lack of physical activity will decrease appetite. Encourage simple exercise, such as going for a walk, gardening or washing dishes.  
  • Decreased sense of smell and taste. The person with dementia may not eat because food may not smell or taste as good as it once did.  

For more information about how to support good nutrition visit this link.


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

Challenges of Caregiving
A segment on the challenges of caregiving, particularly for the sandwich generation, aired on December 11, 2012 on NBC Nightly News. The story featured Alzheimer's Association advocate Troy Prater from Delaware Valley and Maria Carrillo, Association vice president of medical and scientific relations. Prater is a single father of 13-year-old triplets and is the primary caregiver for his mother living with Alzheimer's.
In this video link Mr. Prater states, 'I take better care of everyone else than I do myself'.  He is an example ofone of a growing number of caregivers providing care to two generations.

In this video link, Dr. Carrillo, describes the difficulties the disease poses not only to those who suffer from it, but to caregivers.
Resolving Family Conflicts

Dealing with Alzheimer's can bring out many strong emotions. As the disease progresses, caregiving issues can often ignite or magnify family conflicts. Here are some strategies that may help families cope with the situation together. 


Listen to each family member with respect.

Coping with a progressive illness, such as Alzheimer's, can be stressful - and not everyone reacts in the same way. Family members may have different opinions. Some relatives may deny what is happening; a long-distance relative may be resented for living far away; or there may be disagreement about financial and care decisions, especially at the end-of-life. These issues are complex and require ongoing discussions. Give everyone an opportunity to share their opinion and avoid blaming or attacking each other, as this will only cause more hurt.

Discuss caregiving responsibilities.

Talk through caregiving roles and responsibilities. Make a list of tasks and include how much time, money and effort may be involved to complete them. Divide tasks according to the family member's preferences and abilities. Some family members may be hands-on caregivers, responding immediately to issues and organizing resources. Others may be more comfortable with being told to complete specific tasks. Our online Care Team Calendar can help you coordinate.

Continue to talk.

Keep the lines of communication open. Schedule regular meetings or conference calls to keep everyone involved up-to-date. Discuss how things are working, reassess the needs of the person with Alzheimer's, and decide if any changes in responsibilities are needed. Plan for anticipated changes as the disease progresses.

Cope with changes and loss together.

As Alzheimer's progresses and cognitive abilities change, it is normal to experience feelings of loss. Caregivers and family members may want to seek support from others who are dealing with similar situations. Support groups are available. Find an Alzheimer's Association support group in your area or join our online message boards.

Seek outside help.

If tensions and disagreements are ongoing, you may want to seek help from a trusted third party, such as a spiritual leader, mediator or counselor. Sometimes, an outside perspective can help everyone take a step back and work through the difficult issues. The Alzheimer's Association Helpline (1.800.272.3900) is staffed with care consultants who can help any time - day or night.

If you have questions, concerns or just wish to talk to someone please feel free to contact us. 



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