Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.
*February 5th Caregiver Training: The Basics of Alzheimer's Disease & Related Dementias at The Villas of Sunset Bay, 7423 Kauai Loop, New Port Richey. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 800-272-3900.
*February 12th Caregiver Training: Caregiver Stress & Community Resources at The Villas of Sunset Bay, 7423 Kauai Loop, New Port Richey. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 800-272-3900.
*February 19th Caregiver Training: Communication & Dealing with Difficult Behaviors at The Villas of Sunset Bay, 7423 Kauai Loop, New Port Richey. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 800-272-3900.
*February 26th Caregiver Training: Legal Issues & Getting Your Documents in Order at The Villas of Sunset Bay, 7423 Kauai Loop, New Port Richey. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 800-272-3900.
*April 16th Caregiver Training: The Basics of Alzheimer's Disease & Related Dementias at the Land O' Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O' Lakes. 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. For more information, call Phyllis at (813) 996-1361.
* Indicates programs presented by the Alzheimer's Association- Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.
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.
Edwinola Retirement Community
14235 Edwinola Way
2nd Thursday @ 10:00 a.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
2nd Tuesday @ 10:00 a.m.
Facilitators: Stephen Cook &
* Indicates Free Respite is provided by the support group host during the support group meeting. Please call in advance for reservations.
Early Stage Program
The Alzheimer's Association has early stage dementia programs.
Are you or someone you know experiencing early stage dementia? If so, they may qualify to participate in one of our early stage programs.
For more information contact your local office.
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.
From a family caregiver in the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter region.
"My husband is having trouble hearing so when I start to talk to him I ask him to look at me.....he has had lip reading training and can read lips very well....that seems to keep him from yelling at me...."What did you say?"
The above tip highlights the importance of accommodating for hearing or vision impairments of the person being cared for. Dementia affects a person's ability to speak and understand language; deficits in hearing and vision can compound difficulties with understanding. The caregiver can help by:
- Encourage the person to wear their hearing aid and/or glasses (be sure batteries are working and glasses are clean!)
- Approach the person from the front.
- Make eye contact
- Speak slowly and clearly
For more communication tips click here.
Correction: January's tip was submitted by a caregiver in Polk County
Note: The information in this column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
NIA Announces Funding of New Alzheimer's Research Studies
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has announced the funding of four Alzheimer's therapy-related research studies investigating a variety of techniques, including a clinical trial of an anti-amyloid drug in people with pre-symptomatic Alzheimer's, an exercise intervention in MCI and a drug for reducing agitation.
The trials will be conducted by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, a national consortium of academic medical centers and clinics established by the National Institutes of Health to collaborate on the development of Alzheimer's treatments and diagnostic tools.
The funding for these projects comes from the regular NIA budget, not from increased 2013 funds due to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease.
"The four research studies announced by the NIH are significant steps in the fight to better treat and eventually prevent Alzheimer's disease. However, because of the chronic underfunding of Alzheimer's research, there are many more equally valid and necessary investigations that are not happening," said William Thies, Ph.D., Alzheimer's Association senior scientist in residence.
"The Alzheimer's Association believes that if we are to more quickly unravel the important questions about Alzheimer's disease cause, risk, treatment and prevention, we must make a greater commitment to research. The first-ever U.S. National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease was unveiled in May 2012, and now this plan must be effectively implemented. An additional $100 million has been recommended for 2013 for Alzheimer's research, and now must be confirmed," Thies said.
Behavior: a Form of Communication
Adapted from the Alzheimer's Association Behavior Brochure
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) can cause a person to act in different and unpredictable ways. Some individuals with ADRD become anxious or aggressive. Others repeat certain questions or gestures. Many misinterpret what they hear.
These types of reactions can lead to misunderstanding, frustration and tension, particularly between the person with dementia and the caregiver. It is important to understand that the person is not acting that way on purpose. Individuals with ADRD are not mad at you but rather are trying to convey a message.
Behavior may be related to:
- Physical discomfort: illnesses or medication
- Overstimulation: Loud noises or a busy environment
- Unfamiliar surroundings: New places or the inability to recognize home
- Complicated tasks: Difficulty with activities or chores
- Frustrating interactions: Inability to communicate effectively
Use this three-step approach to help identify common behaviors and their causes:
Identify and examine the behavior
- What was the behavior? Is it harmful to the individual or others?
- What happened just before the behavior occurred? Did something trigger it?
- What happened immediately after the behavior occurred? How did you react?
- Consult a physician to identify any causes related to medications or illness.
Explore potential solutions
- What are the needs of the person with dementia? Are they being met?
- Can adapting the surroundings comfort the person?
- How can you change your reaction or your approach to the behavior? Are you responding in a calm and supportive way?
Try different responses
- Did your new response help?
- Do you need to explore other potential causes and solutions? If so, what can you do differently?
For more information visit the Caregiver Center.
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 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the flu is high this season. For this reason, they recommend influenza vaccination
for people who have not yet been vaccinated this season and antiviral treatment
as early as possible for people who get sick and are at high risk of flu complications
. In addition, the CDC recommends taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
- Learn more at Take 3 Steps
For more information visit the Key Facts About Influenza.
Putting financial and legal plans in place now allows the person with dementia to express wishes for future care and decisions. It also allows time to work through the complex issues involved in long-term care.
Legal planning should include:
- Making plans for health care and long-term care
- Making plans for finances and property
- Naming another person to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia
Legal documents help ensure that the wishes of the person with dementia are followed as the disease progresses and make it possible for others to make decisions on behalf of the person when he or she no longer can.
For more information about planning and legal documents visit Planning Ahead
If you have questions, concerns or just wish to talk to someone please feel free to contact us.
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