Florida Gulf Coast Chapter


Charlotte Desoto Update 

October 2013

In This Issue
Caregivers Take Note- Music as Therapy
Why I Walk to End Alzheimer's
Find a Walk Near You
Support Groups
Lessons from Super Seniors
Caregiver Jewels: More Than Exercise
Staying Engaged
All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.

October 11, Masquerade Ball and Silent Auction, Harbour Terrace, Port Charlotte, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. All event proceeds will go to the Alzheimer's Association. RSVP to 941-625-1220 by October 3rd.


October 15, Education Program, Understanding Better Communication, Punta Gorda Public Library, Punta Gorda, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. For directions call Punta Gorda Library at 941-833-5460


October 17, Caregiver Education, Understanding Challenging Behaviors/Better Communication, Village Place Assisted Living, Port Charlotte, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. For directions call Village Place at 941-766-8900


October 21, Education Program, Understanding Challenging Behaviors/Better Communication, Grove City Manor, Englewood, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. For directions call Grove City Manor at 941-697-4677


October 31, Memory Screenings/ Memory Mobile, Charlotte Regional Medical Center, Punta Gorda, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For more information please call 941-235-7470.


November 1, Memory Screenings/ Memory Mobile, Peace River Medical Center, Port Charlotte, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For more information please call 941-235-7470.


November 2, Walk to End Alzheimer's, Laishley Park, Punta Gorda, Registration at 9:00 a.m., Walk starts at 10:00 a.m. For more information call Linda Howard at 941-235-7470.

Caregivers Take Note - Music as Therapy
02-24-2024 17:08:36 PM
Sherri Snelling, Blogger, blog.alz.org
When Glen Campbell took the stage at the Grammy Awards and accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award, he did so as one of the more than 5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  What is inspiring about the 75-year-old Campbell's Grammy night appearance is that he has not retired from his love of making music despite his recent diagnosis.  In fact, he is starting his Farewell Tour and is cutting a new album.
Glen Campbell Interview 2011: Discusses Battle With Alzheimer's Disease, Final Tour and New Album
Glen Campbell Interview 2011: Discusses Battle With Alzheimer's Disease, Final Tour and New Album

Is music one of the keys to a longer, happier life - despite your health issues? [...]  Click here to read more.  

Why I Walk to End Alzheimer's
08-30-2013 17:08:36 p.m.
Karen Garner, Blogger, blog.alz.org

Good question. I don't do it for me. I walk because I have a husband who has younger-onset Alzheimer's disease. I walk because my husband's brother passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer's disease. I walk because their Mom passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer's disease -and possibly their Grandmother and [...]... Read moreĽ

Find a Walk Near You
Click on the link below for the walk near you.  If you will be out of town, you can still participate as a virtual walker.

JOIN US! Click on the links below to find a walk near you.


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.



For program information and to verify meeting dates, times, and locations, please call 941-235-7470.


Royal Palm Retirement Center

2500 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte

4th Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

Facilitator: Linda Howard


South Port Square (Harbor Terrace)

23033 Westchester Blvd, Port Charlotte

3rd Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Facilitators: Deborah Burkhardt, Amie Conti

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


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 directions 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 directions 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.

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Lessons from Super Seniors
Trish Watson, Estates at Carpenters
Pushing boundaries, ignoring stereotypes, and blazing new trails are the attributes of Super Seniors. Older adults who choose to discard the automatic, negative associations toward being old are aging in extraordinary ways. 
Bob Smith of Lakeland tandem jump's.
Super Seniors live their lives with the motto "What's age got to do with it?"

The mindset you hold towards aging has a tremendous influence on how well you will age. Studies show that genetics have only a 30% influence on the length of our lives; the remaining 70% depends on whether you have the right attitude, stay active and continue doing the things you love, and remain open to trying new things.

If people believe that their later years can be a time of good health and vitality, and they are willing to incorporate the lifestyle behaviors that will make it happen, the results can be amazing.  Several residents of the Estates at Carpenters possess this Super Senior mentality, among them are Bob Smith, Peggy Peppers, and Bunny MacMunn.

Bob Smith participated in a tandem parachute jump with Bob Crossman from Skydive Deland.  Bob just wanted to try something new and exciting.  Age wasn't part of his decision.

Peggy Peppers didn't see why her age should stop her from going zip lining in the foothills of the Missouri Ozarks.

Bunny MacMunn is teaching Gentle Yoga to her fellow Estates residents.  She isn't short of students either.  Residents who were starting to have trouble with balance and flexibility couldn't wait to give Bunny's classes a try, even though some of them were never health-conscious or even involved in physical activities when they were younger. The difference is that they don't let that stop them.

Super Seniors have four key elements in their lives.
  • They are optimistic and have a positive attitude.
  • They are engaged and feel a passion for life, and retain, discover, or develop a sense of purpose.
  • The third element is being active and mobile.  They move, function, and maintain independence by exercising and staying active.
  • The final element is being adaptable when it comes to loss.  Super Seniors are resilient. They deal with and adapt to the difficulties of life by dealing with a loss or problem and then letting it go.
Life is what you make of it. Negative beliefs about aging will prevent you from experiencing growing older as a positive thing. Instead of waking up in the morning, and asking themselves "How much longer do I have left to live?" these Super Seniors ask themselves "What can I do to make the best of today?" 
Much thanks goes to the Estates at Carpenters, a 2013 15,000 Leaps Sponsor for the Walk to End Alzheimer's. Click on the above links to learn more.
Caregiver Jewels
Emily Reese, Program Specialist, AAFGCC
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! Send your tip to reesee@alzflgulf.org or contact your local office.

October Tip
More than Exercise 
A caregiver shared how much she enjoys using an audio cassette (which she had copied to CD) titled "Walk to the Beat" as an exercise activity for her and her husband. She and her husband listen to the CD while they walk about in the comfort of their air-conditioned home.
Benefits for the caregiver
  • Enjoyable activity to share with the person with dementia.
  • Exercise is excellent for caregiver stress reduction, promoting caregiver brain health and is overall beneficial to physical health.
  • May reduce the risk of depression.

Benefits for the person with dementia

  • Enjoyable activity to share with their loved one.
  • Exercise may improve balance and reduce falls.
  • Adequate exercise during the day can promote more restful sleep at night.
  • Music can help stimulate motor coordination.
The audio cassette she uses is no longer produced but there are other exercise audio C.D.'s available.  Try searching for music at the Alzheimer's Store (http://www.alzstore.com)  or simply use music that you already have. Good choices are music with an upbeat rhythm that the person with dementia enjoys. Note that this would be a great project for a grandchild to "burn" a CD for grandparents to use.
Note: The information in this column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Staying Engaged
Stefanie Thompson, director early stage programs

A person in the early stages of dementia may withdraw from activities he or she previously enjoyed. Caregivers can help their loved one stay engaged by offering support and helping to encourage slight adjustments (e.g., choosing smaller social groups over larger groups, or choosing to paint abstractly verses realistically).   


As dementia, such as Alzheimer's, progresses, other adjustments may be necessary. If your loved one is beyond the early stages of dementia try using some of the following tips to help keep them engaged.

  • Keep the person's skills and abilities in mind. A person with dementia may be able to play simple songs learned on the piano years ago. Bring these types of skills into daily activities.
  • Pay special attention to what the person enjoys. Take note when the person seems happy, anxious, distracted or irritable. Some people enjoy watching sports, while others may be frightened by the pace or noise.
  • Consider if the person begins activities without directionDoes he or she set the table before dinner or sweep the kitchen floor mid-morning? If so, you may wish to plan these activities as part of the daily routine.
  • Be aware of physical problems. Does he or she get tired quickly or have difficulty seeing, hearing or performing simple movements?
  • Focus on enjoyment, not achievement.  Find activities that build on remaining skills and talents. A professional artist might become frustrated over the declining quality of work, but an amateur might enjoy a new opportunity for self expression. For activity ideas join ALZConnected, our message boards and online support community. Every day, caregivers like you share new ideas and encourage one another.
  • Encourage involvement in daily life.  Activities that help the individual feel like a valued part of the household - like setting the table - can provide a sense of success and accomplishment.
  • Relate to past work life. A former office worker might enjoy activities that involve organizing, like putting coins in a holder or making a to-do list. A farmer or gardener may take pleasure in working in the yard.
  • Look for favoritesThe person who always enjoyed drinking coffee and reading the newspaper may still find these activities enjoyable, even if he or she is not able to completely understand what the newspaper says.
  • Consider time of dayCaregivers may find they have more success with certain activities at specific times of day, such as bathing and dressing in the morning.
  • Adjust activities to disease stages. As the disease progresses, you may want to introduce more repetitive tasks. Be prepared for the person to eventually take a less active role in activities.
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
4075 Tamiami Trail #2
Port Charlotte, FL 33952


Email: howardl@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