Florida Gulf Coast Chapter


Pinellas Update 

December 2013

In This Issue
Support Groups
Thank You!
Number of Gene Variants Linked to Alzheimer's Disease Doubles
The Genetics of Alzheimer's
Help Identify Risk Genes
Care for the Caregiver: How Heavy is This Glass of Water?
All programs are free to attend unless otherwise specified.

*December 3rd Caregiver Training- Video and Discussion, Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? The Inn at Freedom Square, 10801 Johnson Bllvd., Seminole. For more information, please call 727-398-0363.

December 4th Education Presentation/Panel - Aging and Dementia, Gulfport Senior Center, 5501 27th Avenue South, Gulfport. For more info, please call 727-893-2337.

*December 19th Memory Café - Social Engagement for Early Stage Persons and Carepartners, Maria's Adult Day Care, 7821 Seminole Blvd, Seminole. Must register prior to attending, call Peggy at 727-578-2558.

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

Support Groups

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 SUPPORT GROUPS - for persons early-on in the disease and their caregivers 


Madonna Ptak Center for
Alzheimer's and Memory Loss
430 Morton Plant Street
1St Floor Conference Room
1st and 3rd Mondays @ 1:00 pm
Celisa Bonner, 727-298-6384  





Emeritus at Clearwater

2750 Drew Street

Last Tuesday of month at 6:00 pm

Adrian Williams, 727-799-2177


Madonna Ptak Center for Alzheimer's

And Memory Loss

430 Morton Plant Street

1St Floor Conference Room

2nd and 4th Monday @ 10:00 am

Celisa Bonner, 727-298-6384


Sunset Point Care & Rehab Center

1980 Sunset Point Road

First Thursday of month @ 3:00 pm

Nancy Lichenstein, 727-443-1588


Inn on the Pond
2010 Greenbriar Blvd.
Last Thursday of month at 6:00 pm
Sheri Derry, 727-735-6200

Dunedin Senior Center
330 Douglas Avenue
Wednesdays @ 10:00 am
Peg Macaluso, 727-578-2558

*Emeritus at Dunedin
880 Patricia Avenue
Last Tuesday of month at 6:00 pm
LaDonna Hylton, 727-734-4696  



Harmony Home Health
13787 S. Belcher Rd, Ste. 220
Tuesdays at 2:00 pm
Linda Burhans, 727-723-7532

*Pinecrest Place
1150 8th Avenue Southwest
2nd Thursday @ 3:00 pm
Megan 727-586-7607

Regal Palms (Palms of Largo)
300 Lake Avenue Northeast
2nd Tuesday @ 6:00 pm
June Sharp/Tammy Dunlap, 727-437-1371

*Arden Courts of Palm Harbor
2895 Tampa Road
3rd Monday @ 6:00 pm
Debbie Langrock, 727-771-1600
Alzheimer's & Lewy Body Dementia Group

Palm Harbor Senior Center
1500 16th Street
Mondays @ 9:30 am
Pat Salatin, 727-937-8105

Inn at Freedom Square
10801 Johnson Boulevard
3rd Floor Activity Room
1ST Wednesday @ 1:30 pm
Peg Macaluso, 727-578-2558

Brentwood Senior Living Community
6280 Central Avenue - A Bldg.
2nd Wednesday @ 6:00 pm
Bill Patrick, 727-536-9900

Fountains at Boca Ciega
1255 Pasadena Avenue South
4th Wednesday @ 10:00 am
Barbara Beveridge, 727-381-5411

Menorah Manor
255 59th Street North
1st Thursday @ 3:30 pm
Gwen Kaldenberg, 727-345-2775, x. 3750

Pasadena Community Methodist Church
227 70th Street South
Tuesdays @ 5:30 pm
Wednesdays @ 9:30 am
Barbara Posey, 727-381-2499, x. 214

Allegro Senior Living
1755 East Lake Road
3rd Thursday of month @ 11 a.m.
Maryanne Fisher, 727-943-8878


* Indicates Free Respite is provided by the support group host during the support group meeting. Please call in advance for reservations.  
Early Stage Programs
BASE with AA logo
If you or someone you care about is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia please call our office. We have resources to help!  
One program, BASE (beginning Alzheimer's support and education) offers a place to learn and gain support from peers and professionals.
christmas party

The holidays are a time when family and friends come together and share memories, laughs and good cheer. But for families living with Alzheimer's, the holidays can also be a difficult time. Caregiving responsibilities layered on top of keeping up with holiday traditions can take its toll on the caregiver and the person with dementia. 
With some planning and adjusted expectations,  celebrations can be filled with joy and magical moments to cherish forever.


Maintain normal routines so that holiday preparations do not become disruptive or trigger confusion for the person with dementia. Remember, taking on too many tasks can wear on you and the person. So, keep it simple.
Keep holiday activities safe, and manageable.
and involve the person with dementia.

  • Bake favorite holiday recipes together. The person can stir batter or decorate cookies.
  • Play familiar holiday songs from their past (not your past). 
  • Read cards you receive together. Reminisce about people using photos from picture albums to help trigger past memories.


To learn more on this topic go here.
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Thank You!
Lori Sims, Vice President Development
Alzheimer's Association- Florida Gulf Coast Chapter

Thank you to all Walkers, Families, Caregivers, Advocates and Friends who joined this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's!

Each of the 11 Walks was an immensely bonding experience that brought together thousands of people who raised funds for the Alzheimer's Association. We, at the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, recognize that each gift represents a real person, with a unique story of hope, inspiration, and dedication.

We are most appreciative of those who shared their stories during the Promise Garden ceremony. Thanks to the community Walk chairs and the committees for their unwavering commitment.

Please visit our website, www.alz.org/flgulfcoast and click on Walk to End Alzheimer's and Walker News
to see the results of each Walk, along with special photos of those who participated. Also, for more in depth photographic coverage, visit our Facebook page
Number of Gene Variants Linked to Alzheimer's Disease Doubles
gene Scientists have discovered eleven new genes that may be tied to the late-onset form of Alzheimer's disease, a new study shows. Eleven gene variants had previously been linked to late-onset Alzheimer's, including the APOE-e4 gene that appeared to have the strongest impact on risk.


The study, a meta-analysis, International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project, finding these results, was published online by Nature Genetics. 
The International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP) is a collaboration formed to discover and map the genes that contribute to Alzheimer's. The formation of IGAP in 2011 was supported by the Alzheimer's Association and the Fondation Plan Alzheimer.


This collaborative effort, spanning universities from both Europe and the United States, combines the knowledge, staff, and resources of four groups that conduct research on Alzheimer's disease genetics.


They identified as many new Alzheimer's-related genes in this one study as have been found in the last 15 years combined. The findings expand the scope of our understanding of Alzheimer's to new areas, including the immune system, where a genetic overlap was identified with other neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.  This is extremely important work in taking our ability to detect and treat Alzheimer's disease to the next level. Identification of genes that contribute to Alzheimer's risk and influence the progression of disease may:

  • Help lead us to the cause of the disease.
  • Identify proteins and other new targets for drug development.
  • Provide genetic methods for determining which people are at greatest risk for Alzheimer's when preventative measures become available.

More details on the research findings

  • Pooling resources through IGAP, the collaborative team collected 74,076 patients and controls from 15 countries.
  • The researchers found genes that confirmed known biological pathways of Alzheimer's disease, including the role of the amyloid (SORL1, CASS4) and tau (CASS4, FERMT2).
  • Additional genes related to cell migration (PTK2B), lipid transport, and endocytosis (SORL1) were also confirmed.
  • Newly discovered genes involved in the immune response and inflammation (HLA-DRB5/DRB1, INPP5D, MEF2C).
  • New hypotheses emerged related to hippocampal synaptic function (MEF2C, PTK2B), the cytoskeleton and axonal transport (CELF1, NME8, CASS4), as well as myeloid and microglial cell functions (INPP5D).
  • The researchers say that one of the more significant new genetic associations was found in the HLA-DRB5 - DRB1 region, which plays a role in the immune system and inflammatory response. This region has also been associated with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, suggesting that the diseases where abnormal proteins accumulate in the brain may involve a common mechanism.

Learn more

The Genetics of Alzheimer's

The Genetics of Alzheimer's, 2010

Help Identify Risk Genes
In 2003, the Alzheimer's Association partnered with the National Institute on Aging to begin recruiting participants for the National Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Study, a federal initiative to collect and bank blood samples from families with several members who developed Alzheimer's disease late in life. The goal is to identify additional Alzheimer's risk genes. The study continues to seek participants.
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. 


December Tip

How Heavy is This Glass of Water?


A Young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, "half empty or half full?"


She fooled them all ... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.


Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

glass of water_Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com
Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com


She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all of the time, sooner or later, as the burden feels increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."


As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better for each time we've practiced.


So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... Pick them up tomorrow.


(Jill Andrew, Alzheimer's Association support group facilitator at Superior Residence, heard this story during a training. The author is unknown.)


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. 



Peggy Macaluso
Program Specialist & Director of Client Advocacy

Alzheimer's Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter
14010 Roosevelt Boulevard Suite 709
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: (727) 578-2558
Facsimile: (727) 578-2286

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