Florida Gulf Coast Chapter


Charlotte & Desoto County Update 

August 2013

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


August 15th Caregiver Education: Activities at Home at Village Place Assisted Living, Port Charlotte; 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. For more information call Village Place at 941-766-8900.


August 19th Education Program: Basics of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias at Grove City Manor, Englewood; 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. For more information call Grove City Manor at 941-697-4677.


August 20th Caregiver Education: Basics of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias at Punta Gorda Public Library, Punta Gorda; 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. For more information call Punta Gorda Library at 941-833-5460.


September 16th Education Program: Understanding Challenging Behaviors/Better Communication at Grove City Manor, Englewood, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. For more information call Grove City Manor at 941-697-4677.


September 17th Caregiver Education: Understanding Challenging Behaviors at Punta Gorda Public Library, Punta Gorda, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. For directions call Punta Gorda Library at 941-833-5460.


September 19th Caregiver Education: Basics of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias at Village Place Assisted Living, Port Charlotte, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. For directions call Village Place at 941-766-8900.


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


Royal Palm Retirement Center *
2500 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte
4th Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
Facilitator: Linda Howard
Free daycare service is provided at this facility for the meeting; Call Royal Palm in advance to schedule daycare services at 941-623-9461.

South Port Square (Harbor Terrace)
23033 Westchester Blvd, Port Charlotte
3rd Tuesday at 3 p.m.
For directions call 941-625-1220.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church
1441 Spear Street, Port Charlotte
4th Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
Facilitators: Judy Jahn, Dr. Irma Nin

Port Charlotte United Methodist Church
21075 Quesada Avenue, Port Charlotte
3rd Thursday at 3 p.m.
Facilitators: Terri Jackman, Bea Ramirez

Charlotte Harbor Healthcare
4000 Kings Highway, Port Charlotte
Meeting dates and times vary
For more information call 941-255-5855.

Life Care Center
450 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda
3rd Monday at 3 p.m.
Facilitator: Kelly Christie
For more information call 941-639-8771.

Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association
2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda
2nd Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Facilitators: Terri Jackman, Bea Ramirez

Arcadia Oaks
1013 Gibson Street, Arcadia
4th Monday at 11 a.m.
Facilitator: Evelyn Donato
Lunch is served.
For more information call 863-993-9760.

* Indicates Free Respite is provided by the support group host during the support group meeting. Please call in advance for reservations.
Walk to End Alzheimer's
Walk to End Alzheimer's 2013 Commercial
What is the Walk to End Alzheimer's?

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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.
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:
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.

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



Linda Howard
Program Specialist
Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
Charlotte/Desoto County Office
4075 Tamiami Trail, Suite 2
Port Charlotte, Florida 33952
Email: lhoward@alz.org
Office: (941) 235-7470
Facsimile:(941) 235-7473


Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter 



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Alzheimer's Association - Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
Chapter Headquarters, 14010 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 709, Clearwater, FL 33762 Telephone: 727.578.2558

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24/7 Helpline: 1.800.272.3900