Florida Gulf Coast Chapter


Polk County Update 

August 2013

In This Issue
Support Groups
National Alzheimer's Plan Update
New Early Stage e-News Brief
Early Memories & Healing Arts
Care for the Caregiver: Stress
BASE Program
Caregiver Jewels: Using Memory Aids
Nominate a 'Hero'
All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.


August 6 Outreach: Information and resource at the 30th Annual National Night Out Celebration at the  Dream Center, 635 West 5th Street, Lakeland, FL.  6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.


*August 8 Caregiver EducationBasic's of Alzheimer's at Alzheimer's Association, 1000 American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


August 8 Walk to End Alzheimer's Fundraising event Casino Night at STERLING HOUSE® Winter Haven, 6110 Cypress Gardens Blvd. Winter Haven, FL 33884. (863) 318-8055;  5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

August 10 Outreach: Health Fair & Memory Screenings at Nora Mayo Hall, 500 3rd St NW, Winter Haven, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Contact (863) 292-9210


*August 15 Caregiver EducationBetter Ways to Communicate at Alzheimer's Association, 1000 American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven, at  10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


*August 16 - BASE Program begins; for more information contact Stefanie Thompson / 863-292-9210 


*August 22 Caregiver Education: Challenging Behaviors at Alzheimer's Association, 1000  American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


August 26 Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event: Eat at Chili's, Show the Flyer and 10% of your purchase goes towards the Walk to End Alzheimer's. All five Polk County Chili's are participating.  11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

  • Lakeland- 3750 Lakeside Village Court
  • N. Lakeland- 3980 U.S. Hwy. 98 North
  • Auburndale- 2323 Hwy. 92 West
  • Winter Haven- 699 Cypress Gardens Blvd.
  • Lake Wales- 23535 U.S. Hwy 27

*August 26 Caregiver EducationBasic's of Alzheimer's at Florida Blue, 385 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP.


*August 27 Caregiver EducationBetter Ways to Communicate and Understanding Challenging Behaviors at Florida Blue, 385 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Contact (863) 292-9210 for RSVP




September 5  Connect Event: Art exhibit opening reception featuring Starr Maskal at Arts Ensemble International gallery, 1000 American Superior Blvd, Winter Haven.  6:00 to 8:30 pm. Contact Joel Carrier to RSVP (863) 292-9210.


September 23 Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event: Eat at Chili's, Show the Flyer and 10% of your purchase goes towards the Walk to End Alzheimer's. All five Polk County Chili's are participating.  11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


*September 26 Caregiver Educational Workshop at Hawthorne Inn, 6150 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland, 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. For seating and refreshment purposes please RSVP to (863) 644-6414.


October 28 Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event: Eat at Chili's, Show the Flyer and 10% of your purchase goes towards the Walk to End Alzheimer's. All five Polk County Chili's are participating.  11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


November 2 Walk to End Alzheimer's,  

First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Dr., Lakeland, FL 33801. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m., Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.
December 12, Caregiver Education: Understanding Dementia Care with Teepa Snow, (for family and professional caregivers) at Highland Park Church of the Nazarene, Lakeland, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  FREE respite. 
Please call 863-686-7333 with any questions.  Family caregivers sign up hereProfessionals sign up here.
*Indicates programs presented by the Alzheimer's Association- Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.
Support Group for Male Caregivers
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.


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 and Lori Garrard

Register call (863) 292-9210


Winter Haven / Lake Wales


Beyond BASE Early Stage

Lake Ashton- Contact Chris Wilcox (863) 292-9210


Social Groups




Coffee Club (social club for caregivers and people with late early to mid- stage dementia)

Highland Park Church, Family Ministry Bldg.,

Cafe, 4730 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland (863) 647-3518 1st Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
For more information contact Stefanie Thompson

(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 Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

Facilitator: Stacie Cleveland


Lake Wales

Water's Edge of Lake Wales
10 Grove Avenue West, Lake Wales
3rd Thursday @ 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. (NOTE:  July meeting is on Wednesday the 10th at 1:00 p.m.) 

Facilitator: Diane Wilson


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. 
Every other Wednesday  @ 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


Southland Suites* (Lunch Provided)

4250 Lakeland Highlands Rd., Lakeland,

(863) 701-7820

2nd Tuesday @ 1:00 p.m.

Facilitators: Donna Schoenenberger and Jo Lewis


Emeritus at Lakeland
2111 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland,

(863) 688-1126
2nd Wed. @ 2:00 p.m., Facilitator: Pam Flanders


Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (Men's Group)
3900 Don Emerson Drive, Lakeland

3rd Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. Facilitator: Earle Roberts


Cypress Lakes 
10000 US 98 North, Lakeland, (863) 859-2136
3rd Thursday @ 10:30 a.m.

Facilitator: Alyss Ervolina

To attend RSVP to Gwen Snook for gate pass.


Arbor Oaks

4141 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland

(863) 774-3187

4th Monday, 4:00 p.m. Facilitator: Michelle Sharp




Life Church at FishHawk

6420 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia

1st Monday @ 7:00 p.m.

Facilitator: Eddie Broom (813) 681-6503


Plant City


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.

Facilitator: Stormie Thayer


Winter Haven


Winter Haven Florida Blue

385 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven

2nd Monday @ 3:00 p.m. Snacks provided.

Facilitator: Chris Wilcox, (863) 292-9210


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. 


Quick Links
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National AD Plan Update
The National Alzheimer's Plan, first released in May 2012, has a primary goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's Disease by 2025. In June 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services released an update to the Plan that reviews progresses made during the past year and an updated timeline to achieve the primary goal.

The National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease: 2013 Update also includes: 
  • Creation of milestones to help achieve the goal of prevention and effective treatment; 
  • Development of a curriculum on Alzheimer's Disease for primary care physicians so that providers have necessary skills to provide high-quality dementia care;
  • Convening an expert panel on advanced dementia to address unique needs of late stage patients; and
  • Expanding public outreach efforts to increase awareness of the disease and link caregivers to available resources.
For the full update, click here.
New Early Stage e-News Brief
Are you a person with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia? If so, you may be interested in our online news brief that has event reminders, tips and feature stories pertaining to your needs. Sign up by clicking here or email thompsons@alzflgulf.org
Early Memories
Starr 2013
Acrylic on canvas by Starr Maskal, 2013. 
The Alzheimer's Association in partnership with the Arts Ensemble Healing Arts Foundation announces the opening reception for Starr Maskal, a participant of the Early Memories healing arts program.

Early Memories & Healing Arts

The term "healing arts" means many things to many people. For those in the early stages of dementia healing arts can mean expressing, socializing, and feeling a sense of acceptance and self-worth. It can open avenues and doors. It can cultivate friendships and establish connections.


Starr's experience

A few months after retiring in August 2012, Starr began painting. The piece above is a reflection of her time spent with healing arts at the Arts Ensemble. She started with painting real images. Then, after meeting abstract artist Tinia Clark, Starr opened up to the free following and expressive nature of abstraction.


"Starr is a unique woman whose bright and sunny disposition becomes very evident when she makes art. Her means to express herself through the use of art has helped her balance her life in a positive way. She is self-motivated to learn, experience and share her art and the process of it. I know she paints because of the way it makes her feel...Good!" --Tinia Clark


Starr's work will be on display for the month of September at the Arts Ensemble in Winter Haven.  To RSVP to the September 5 reception or to schedule a time to tour the exhibit contact Joel Carrier /  (863)-292-9210. Refreshments at the reception will be provided by Valencia Hills Health and Rehab. For more information about the Early Memories healing arts program contact (863) 293-2700.

Care for the Caregiver
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.   

Address the Stress: The Sleep Factor

Joel Carrier, volunteer AAFGCC, family caregiver

Still waiting for that Elusive Good Night's Sleep? 
Unless you're willing to make a few changes in your 
daily routine, keep dreaming. 

Sleep deprivation is nothing to yawn at. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders, and an additional 20 million report 
occasional sleeping problems. This doesn't even begin to reflect the number of folks for whom sleep is challenged due to additional factors like stress and 
Caregivers for those living with Alzheimer's and related dementias may find the dilemma of sleep deprivation even more perplexing: to reduce stress, you need more sleep; to sleep better, you need to reduce stress.
Go figure.
Time to bust a few myths:
* You cannot make up for lost sleep. Just like lost time, lost sleep is one commodity we can't replenish. In fact, sleeping in or longer a couple days a week can upset your body's internal clock, making a good night's rest even more elusive for those of us who are already sleep-challenged. 
* You will not learn to need less sleep. You can fool 
yourself into believing you can get by on less sleep: 
Truth is we can. But this isn't the same as training our bodies to need less sleep. We're born with a set sleep needs; ignoring this can lead to serious consequences, like poor job performance (remember: paid or unpaid, caregiving is our job), increased risks of accidents and a host of health issues too numerous to list here.
* Your sleep problems will not go away on their own. Whether due to sleep disorders or stresses related to care giving, sleep deprivation needs to be hit head-on if you want to get back to your fully functioning self.  Forget about being tired: Lack of sleep makes us irritable, less patient, more easily agitated and can jeopardize and impair our judgment. Not a good recipe when it comes to caring for those who depend on us.
Admittedly, as caregivers our own sleep challenges 
may stem from sleep issues our loved ones are having. Which is why it's important to address the sleep issues of all involved: wandering or confusing days with nights does not make for sound sleep for anyone. If this is the case, talk to your loved one's doctor. He or she may be able to make suggestions to address your loved ones sleep, including better sleep hygiene, environmental changes, behavior modification techniques or medications.
None of this addresses the bigger, all-consuming issue of time, though. Sometimes, there is just not enough - and sleep is almost always the first thing to go. Unfortunately, there are no easy fixes for this other than self-discipline.
So the next time you're tempted to forgo sleep in lieu of folding laundry, running the vacuum, worrying about tomorrow's meal plan, checking your bank account online and shopping for groceries at midnight, remember this: Everything we do or don't do to take care of ourselves directly impacts our abilities to care for our loved ones.
For more information on sleep disorders, sleep deprivation and suggestions for improving quality of sleep speak to your health care professional.  You may also want to gain more information by visiting the following websites:
BASE Program

Are you or someone you care about experiencing early stage dementia? If so, you may qualify to participate in BASE.  


Beginning Alzheimer's Support and Education (BASE) is a comprehensive program for individuals

with MCI or early stage Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia and their care partner.


BASE consists of nine weekly sessions; each two-hour session is dedicated to both education and support- with a primary emphasis on education.


Topics include: Basics of Dementia; Positive Communication; Living Day to Day; Skill-building; Feelings/Emotional Well Being; Medications and Current Research; Planning for the Future; and Creativity & Cognition.


Preregistration is required to participate in this program. Please contact our office for more information.


BASE Program is starting August 16!  Limited space. Please contact Stefanie  (863) 292-9210


Classes meet Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., from August 16, to October 11, 2013 at the Estates at Carpenters, 1001 Carpenters Way, Lakeland.

Caregiver Jewels
Emily Reese, Program Specialist, AAFGCC
August Tip
Using Memory Aids
A caregiver shared that his wife used a daily dairy quite successfully for a period of time. She kept the diary by the phone so she could note telephone calls, appointments and general reminders and tasks. 
We all use memory aids from time to time but for someone with early memory loss, using aids can 
be essential to maintaining independence longer. 
Labels, lists, notebooks and sticky notes can help a 
person cope with their memory loss.
Other memory aid ideas: 
  • Label drawers to help your loved one find things.
  • Keep important numbers by the phone. 
  • Post reminders to lock doors or shut windows.
  • Have step-by-step instructions on how to work appliances (such as the computer), or complete routine tasks (such as fixing your hair, applying make-up or brushing teeth).



About this column: Caregiver Jewels is a column featuring tips from 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 by sending your tip to reesee@alzflgulf.org or contact your local office.


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

Nominate a 'Hero'

Nominate a 'Hero' who could win $50,000 award for the Alzheimer's Association.


The Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation is looking for Community Hero nominations, and we need your help.


If you know of someone to nominate as a Community Hero, the Alzheimer's Association would like to know. With your help, we can submit one nomination on behalf of the Alzheimer's Association who, if selected, earns $50,000 for their sponsoring charity.


The Hero must live in one of the following seven Florida counties: Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, or Sarasota.


The Foundation is looking for "everyday heroes" who do extraordinary things, such as:

  • Overcame personal tragedies or challenges (inspired others).
  • Became a catalyst to helping others with similar challenges (gone above and beyond).
  • Made personal financial sacrifices to make a difference (selflessness).
  • Started small grass roots effort which grew in scope over time (significant community impact).

The key word is "everyday hero." The Foundation is not focused on people who are already well-known and have been acknowledged for their efforts. The application asks for specific examples.


For more information, visit the Lightning website: http://lightning.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=69658


If you have a nomination to suggest, please contact Lori Sims, VP of Development, Alzheimer's Association, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, at simsl@alzflgulf.org or call 941-365-8883.


The first nomination cycle runs through August 16, 2013. There will be two additional deadlines throughout the season. We can submit only one name this season.  

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

Polk County Office

Telephone: 863-292-9210
Facsimile: 863-292-9603
Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

 Thank you! 


2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's 5,000 Steps Sponsorships.


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Lakeland Foundation
The Polk update is partially support by the
Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland!
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