Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

 

Highlands, Hardee, Glades, & Hendry Counties Update

January 2013

In This Issue
Support Groups
Caregiver Jewels: Ensuring Good Nutrition
Walk to End Alzheimer's
Care for the Caregiver: Stress
Challenges of Caregiving
Resolving Family Conflicts
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.

 

Caregiver Support Group

 

Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center

Faith Community Nursing Building

4635 Sun N Lake Blvd. Sebring, FL 33872

4th Wednesday of each month, excluding major holidays, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Co-facilitators: Stefanie Thompson & Chris Wilcox

For more information call 863-292-9210.

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.

Quick Links
  
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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 2012

Participants 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
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.
  
Stress
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.
  
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. Select this link for strategies that can help families cope with the situation together. 
If you have questions, concerns or just wish to talk to someone please feel free to contact us. 

Sincerely,

 

Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
Sebring Office- located in the
134 North Ridgewood Drive,Suite 17

Sebring, Florida 33870

Telephone: 863.385.3444 Facsimile: 863.385.0305

Email: thompsons@alzflgulf.org / wilcoxc@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
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