1 summer VOlUME 21, IssUE 3 Surviving Dementia through Laughter Excerpt from a post by National Care Planning Council Mark Twain wrote, The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. Professionals across the medical field agree that laughter is an effective medicine. It s been shown to improve connections with others, increase blood flow to protect the heart, boost immune cells to fight infection, decrease stress through the discharging of physical and emotional tension, and trigger release of endorphins to relieve pain. But can the effects of laughter extend beyond the basic health benefits? Could it be used as a treatment for even the most devastating and incurable diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer s? Debbie Harbinson, a certified laughter leader and outreach program manager at Banner Alzheimer s Institute, wrote: For those with dementia, laughter can be instrumental in diffusing conflict and expelling the negative energy that so often causes them to retreat. To further prove this theory, a group of humor therapists in New South Wales started the SMILE study. Over the course of three years, these humor therapists worked on 400 dementiastricken people and found a twenty percent reduction in the patients agitated behavior like wandering, screaming, and aggression. Speaking about the results of the study, Anne-Marie Botek from AgingCare.com said, Laughter may be just as effective as antipsychotic medications for reducing anxiety in elderly people with dementia. Part of the SMILE study was conducted in Summit Care nursing where the owner, Barry Cowling, said that because of the humor therapy they were able to reduce psychotropic drugs or even have some of the patients come off of psychotropic drugs completely. We had a woman who was totally non-verbal who started to have conversations with staff and her family, Cowling said. The effects of the laughter therapy had reduced aggression and depression so well that Cowling and many other nursing homes made the laughter therapy permanent after the study. There s no refuting the effect and change that laughter can have in dementia patients, but it s still not a cure. Dementia and other more serious diseases such as Alzheimer s are difficult living with but even more difficult to experience as a caregiver or family member watching your loved one dissipate and forget who you are. As with many difficult situations in life, laughter can be used to help you and your loved ones view dementia in a new light. Laughter in these cases should not only be used to benefit the patient but should also be utilized by caregivers and family members who are also suffering. People with dementia can sense the stress and unhappiness in those around them. You have a duty not only to yourself but to your loved ones to try to make the situation and environment as cheerful as possible. Gary LeBlanc talks about his experience learning to accept laughter as a caregiver for someone with Alzhiemer s disease. He said: There is no doubt that there s Continued on page 6 Practical Support for Coping with Dementia LAUGHTER IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL. PABLO NERUDA For more information about the Alvin A., contact us at (239) or visit our website at
2 Board of Trustees Al O Donnell, President O Donnell Landscapes Mitchell L. Cordova, PhD, Vice President Florida Gulf Coast University Chris Holtrop, Secretary Syndicated Capital Carol Osterhout, Treasurer FineMark National Bank & Trust Kathy Shimp, Past President Britton Swank, Member at Large Prather & Swank, P.A. Rev. Stu Austin New Hope Presbyterian Church Stan Grigiski Medical Claim Service Keith Kyle Circuit Court Judge Mabel Lopez, PhD Mind and Brain Care Jim Nolte, CFP - Financial Advisor Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Michael Raab, MD Jamie Seneca Nurse On Call Advisory Council Scott Anstadt, PhD, DCSW, LCSW Florida Gulf Coast University Debbie Beavers Dolores Bertolini Teresa Frank-Fahrner Lee Memorial/SHARE Club Marcia Hamilton Keiser University Jo Anne Kowalski, RN, EdD Nurse Practitioner Services Tracy Lima Trusted Financial Services Kathy Monroe Dawn Moore, Chair Lee Memorial Health System Pam Pence Klaas, Vice Chair Lowell Schoenfeld Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle Halcyon St. Hill, EdD, MS, MT Florida Gulf Coast University Jo Stecher, PhD, RN, CCTC Florida Gulf Coast University Emeriti Board Bill Beckwith, PhD Memory Management John Belisle BB&T - Oswald Trippe and Company Bill Enslen Peg Gray-Vickrey Texas A&M - Central Texas Patricia Hessel Retired Certified Public Accountant Douglas Newland, MD Neurologist Julie Osterhout Osterhout & McKinney Nancy Silvers, RN C Retired Registered Nurse Nancy Zant HealthPark Care Center Archie B. Hayward, Jr. Lee County Court Judge Lou Pontius Alvin A. Dubin Center Staff Jan Kerlin, Executive Director Melanie Jackson, Exec Asst/Coord of Vols Mary Freyre, RN, Health Ed Specialist Karen Jellerson, LCSW, Social Worker Jessica MacDonald, LCSW, Social Worker Mark Your Calendar Here s The Scoop - Ice Cream Social Hosted by Ice Cream provided by VIP America of Southwest Florida Friday, August 21, 2015 from 1:30 p.m. ~ 3:30 p.m Brantley Commons Court Event is free ~ RSVP required by August 7th ~ (239) Join your fellow caregivers and loved ones for an afternoon Ice Cream Social. Long Term Care Family Caregiver Support Group A support group designed specifically for family members of assisted living and skilled nursing center residents Presented by Group meetings are held on the Third Tuesday of each month 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. at the Brantley Commons Court, Fort Myers This group offers an opportunity for family members to speak candidly about their experience and feelings. Discussion topics include, but are not limited to- the care plan process, state and federal regulations, how to effectively communicate concerns to facility staff and how to make visits more meaningful. Meetings are facilitated by a social worker and offered free of charge. Memory Screenings - The First Step Toward Addressing Memory Concerns Memory screenings are offered at the Brantley Commons Ct, Fort Myers Appointments are required If you or someone you know has concerns about memory, please schedule a FREE memory screening. Screenings take about 15 minutes. Call (239) to schedule an appointment. Savvy Caregiver Presented by the Brantley Commons Ct, Fort Myers Call for details, as registration is required (239) The Savvy Caregiver program is designed to train family caregivers in the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to handle the challenges of caring for a family member with Alzheimer s disease or related dementia and to be an effective caregiver. This is a 12 hour course delivered in 2-hour sessions over a 6 week period.
3 Board News Advisory Council Welcome The Dubin Alzheimer s Resource Center s Board elected the following officers to serve for 2015/2016: President Al O Donnell, Vice President Mitchell Cordova; Treasurer Carol Osterhout; Secretary Chris Holtrop; and Past President Kathy Shimp. Britton Swank was elected to serve as memberat-large. Dawn Moore and Pam Pence Klaas were retained as Advisory Council Chair and Vice Chair respectively. Al O Donnell, Keith Kyle, Dawn Moore and Jim Nolte were reelected for an additional term on the Board of Trustees. Advisory Council members reappointed to serve an additional term are Dawn Moore, Scott Anstadt and St. Hill. Kathy Monroe, Lowell Schoenfeld and Marcia Hamilton joined as new Advisory Council members. Three new Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer s Resource Center Advisory Council members were introduced at the May 11th Annual Meeting. These new members were approved by the Board at the June Board of Trustees meeting. The new members are Kathy Monroe, Lowell S. Schoenfeld and Marcia Hamilton. Kathy Monroe, a native of Charleston, West Virginia is now a permanent Fort Myers resident. She moved from Pennsylvania, where she was employed as Executive Director of the Berks County Area Agency on Aging in Reading, PA. She served on various local and state committees and was appointed by the Pennsylvania Secretary on Aging to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging s Cultural Diversity Advisory Council. Kathy has a Master s of Science degree in Gerontological Services. Lowell S. Schoenfeld, a long time resident of Fort Myers, is with the law firm of Green, Schoenfeld & Kyle. Practice areas are estate planning and administration, corporate and business planning, wealth and asset preservation and protection. He is Board Certified in Wills, Trusts and Estates. Lowell has served on many local boards including Lee County Planned Giving Council, American Red Cross Advisory Council and the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties. Marcia Hamilton holds a Master of Science in Health Sciences degree as well as a Bachelor s of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. She has 32 years experience as a registered Occupational Therapist. Marcia is a faculty member at Keiser University. The responsibilities of the Advisory Council are to serve as a resource for the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees of the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer s Resource Center. M CS Medical Claim Service OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, INC. PERSONAL PERSONAL BILL BILL PAY PAY & CLAIMS & CLAIMS SPECIALISTS We give peace of mind. We give peace of mind. Licensed, Bonded & Insured Personal Bill Pay Services Medicare Specialists Claim Filing Experts 923 DEL PRADO BLVD., SUITE 107 CAPE CORAL, FL (239)
4 BOOK REVIEW by Jessica MacDonald, LCSW Recently, a caregiver recommended the book Surviving Alzheimer s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers by Paula Spencer Scott. The title alone peaked my interest, and I was not disappointed! The format of the book is easy to follow. The author and array of contributors are knowledgeable and relatable. They speak from professional and personal knowledge. Particularly helpful are the real life examples of challenges provided, followed by explanations of the challenge and possible interventions. Readers will find helpful information on the disease process as a whole, communication difficulties and opportunities, behavioral symptoms and management of, signs and symptoms of caregiver burnout and available resources. The author includes topics sometimes avoided in the overall discussion of memory impairment, like issues relating to sexuality and family dynamics, that many readers will find helpful. I recommend this book for caregivers needing another tool and resource to use in their daily journeys with their loved ones. Surviving Alzheimer s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNobel. com, and we have a copy here at the Alvin A.. REINA SCHLAGER, CPA/PFS* RHU Personal Financial Specialist* SCHLAGER SCHLAGER & LEVIN Center Happenings Dubin Golf Classic 2015 Comprehensive Healthcare Services Open to the Public Assisted Living including Respite Care Skilled Nursing Memory Care Hospice Care Inpatient and NO FEE CHARGED FOR A REVIEW We are our clients financial partner! Initial Medicaid Planning Life Insurance Audits Tax Planning Long term care Insurance End of Life planning Retirement Rollovers & Retirement Income Planning SCHLAGER SCHLAGER & LEVIN (SS&L) provides tax advice and preparation. Securities offered through JW Cole Financial Inc. (JWC) Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through SS&L and JW Cole Advisors, Inc. (JWCA), Registered Investment Advisors. JWC/JWCA and SS&L are not affiliated. *regulated by the AICPA, not a State or Federal Agency Outpatient Services Short-term Rehab Services including physical, speech, and occupational therapies Call (239) or visit shellpoint.org Shell Point is located in Fort Myers, 2 miles before the Sanibel Causeway. Shell Point is a non-profit ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc Shell Point. All rights reserved. HCR
5 Center Happenings Annual Meeting 2015 Board Vice President, Mitchell Cordova Presents Awards Association of Florida Healthcare Auxiliaries/ Volunteers Check Presentation 2015 Carol Osterhout Ellie Fox Dotty St. Amand AFHAV President, Sandy Heise presents Executive Director, Jan Kerlin with a Check of Support Mike Skaggs Ina Hunsucker Board Member Jamie Seneca Presents Cheyenne Courson with the Teen Scholarship THE LAW OFFICE OF NORMA HAND BRILL, P.A. Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation since 1996 Board Certified by the Florida Bar since 1998 Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Probate, Medicaid Eligibility, VA Benefits 164 Pondella Road, North Fort Myers, Florida
6 Surviving Dementia (continued from page 1) heartbreak and despair in watching life. Never forget to laugh. your loved one dissipate. I would In addition to helping yourself and suggest that you keep your the environment stay cheerful, you environment as cheerful as possible. I know that some of you are shaking your heads and asking, How? Well, take it from a veteran; throughout the decade I spent caring for my dad and searching for ways to cope, I discovered laughter is the best medicine. can find moments to laugh with your loved one. Depending on the stage of dementia your loved one is in, you may want to be more careful about telling a joke that could offend them because they don t understand. For those with mild to moderate dementia, blatant, Take advantage of free moments obvious, slapstick humor works best when your loved one is resting or as they won t get as easily confused. otherwise engaged. Don t spend this time alone wallowing in your thoughts of the future and allowing yourself to sink deeper into grief and depression. Find ways to laugh. Spend time with people who are more easily optimistic or in a better situation than you and For those with advanced or latestage dementia, play games like you would with a child, tossing a ball back and forth and laughing when you miss catching it. Read silly books and make funny sounds. At this stage they may not specifically smile or laugh with can help you see the silver lining. you, but the enjoyment will still have Watch movies and read books that are humorous and take your mind of the situation. a positive impact. Whether you re laughing on your own or with your loved one, make it But above all, remember to laugh. a priority. It may seem cliché to say Find a way, find a moment, and laugh that laughter is the best medicine. every single day. As caregiver Gary But it has been proven time and time LeBlanc said, If I m going to hurt, again to improve health, both physical I d rather have the pain be caused and emotional. Life is much better by laughing too hard. Throughout as we laugh through it. As William our caregiving journeys we deal with enough doom and gloom. Try to bring Shakespeare said, With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. some sunshine and humor into your SliderMan will make your Replacement Roller Systems Family Owned & Operated Proudly Serving Lee & Collier Counties PATIO DOORS LIKE NEW! Disaster Preparedness Basic Checklist for Caregivers Prepare a hurricane supply kit Enroll your loved one in an identification bracelet program Implement a safety plan Prepare activity supplies for your loved one with memory impairment Be aware of behavioral symptoms and appropriate interventions Get to know your neighbors Join a support group for caregivers Before, during, and after a catastrophic event: Maintain a normal routine if possible Anticipate needs of the person with memory impairment Avoid continuous viewing of news stories regarding weather or aftermath of a hurricane Make sure your loved one wears his ID bracelet at all times Involve your loved one in enjoyable activities to divert attention away from the catastrophic event, but avoid being outdoors during hot mid-day hours For a complete copy of Disaster Preparedness Tips for Caregivers, contact the Dubin Alzheimer s Resource Center at (239) Licensed, Insured & Bonded In-Home Custom Care Housekeeping Grocery Shopping Meal Preparation Appointment Transport Medication Reminders Pet Care (239) AHCA # Choose from 3,000 Frames 1,000 Mat Samples Custom Shadow Boxes Artist & Quantity Discounts Frame & Glass Repair Delivery & Hanging Available Friendly Professional Service FORT 5330 S. Cleveland Ave. MYERS 50% OFF CAPE CORAL 1020 NE Pine Island Rd #302 FRAMING
7 Gifts to the Our sincere thanks to the following individuals and businesses who gave a memorial, honorary or general gift during the months of March, April and May. Gifts not listed will appear in the Fall issue. In Memory Of Clients and clients relatives Osterhout & McKinney Aaron Howze Hazel Howze Adele Sica Mary Rossi Clorinda Cooper Janet Elliott Dave Whitney Sherri Coburn George L. Brooks Elaine Carolyn and Harold Poylio Mr. & Mrs. Vaillant Lorine Thompson Susan and Bob Goetz Richard and Jerris Marilyn D. and Warren R. Hibben Joanne and Henry Henrickson Joyce and David Brooks Phyllis Bakko Janette E. Hicke Edith R. Brooks Betty Lou Pyle Margret Deason Adaline and Norman Sampson Giustina Liberti Rosemarie Forte John Lieberman Hilary and Michael Talis Juanita S Pitts Ina Hunsucker Margaret Gingell Garber Carol Donna and Jim DePowell Mildred L. Kroitzsch Kathy and Rob Scharlau Nancy and Kenneth Hollmann Earline Moll Statia Servick Janice and Bill Justice Pat Clemons Sharon and Jerry Nelson Sherri and Steve Roth Sandra Lamb Karly Grilliot Jan and Ron Davis Marjorie and Fred Nordstrom Ottawa Co. Board of Develp. Disabilities Beth Burgett Vicki Greer Becky and Don Clemons Ronna Miller Majesta Davids Donna Swiergosz Sue Cloak Dawn Clemons and William Thompson Treva Profeta Patterson Conn Ashton Jeanne Ashton Ralph E. Smith Donna and Charles Harrigan Nancy Carignan Walkersville Volunteer Fire Co. Yvonne Castano Shirley Carter Sherri Coburn Tom Finneran Leona Conrad Carol and James Dodge Rebecca and Edward Vaughan Fiona Finneran Adriana Beatty Joan and A.J. Richter Marie and Floyd Callahan Marjorie Brooks Betsy Burdette Virginia and Donald Goetz Ina Hunsucker Anne Cirrito Traci Ferraro Sherri Coburn Individual Donations Ellie Fox Lila Williamson Terry Drake Pam Jamison Russell Carl Theorin Jennifer Felt Lois Timberlake George Glidden Alfred Holland Jeannette Botha Elizabeth and Arnold Harris Louise Paparella Josephine and William Bruce Jan Driefer Civic Gifts and Grants United Way of Lee, Hendry & Glades NARFE Sanibel Congregational United Church Bayside Socialites Heritage Palms Ladies 9 Hole Golf Association Events Heritage Palms Ladies 9 Hole Golf Assoc. Heritage Palms Golf & CC Heritage Palms Mens Golf Association Patricia Pfeiffer Jo Ann Alford Charlynn Allen Stasia Arcarese Christine Benoit Arlene Dugan Gerald Farrell Carrie Goga Lena Knight Linda Neisler James Salvaggio Judy Stedman Dinah Tansey Margaret Yang Kathleen Pedulla Lynne Vandy Mary Breen Janice Baldwin Janice Mathews Nellomi Carnahan Mary Valenti-Sizemore Jane Balfour Frank Boynton Gertrude Cleary Joann Cooney Brian Lee Mary Melone Jane McWeeny Gail Murdoch Miriam Shook Martha Simmons Melody Smothers Jean Truesdale Richard Grosse Adrian Stevens R. Salvaggio The Salvaggio Family Beller s Salon & Spa Bellacino s Pizza & Grinders Saul Ewing Centre Square West Redar Golf 2 Gulf Realty Group K. Fortuna Realty Linda Lamb & Company Dennis L. Salvaggio, PA The Trophy Case of Ft Myers Brennan Grimm Insurance Agency Premier Showcase Design Herd Enterprises Inc Karen Schmidt Inc Weather Control Air Conditioning Inc CCC Ladies 9 Hole Golf Assn Rosemary Steadman Allstate
8 12468 Brantley Commons Court Fort Myers, FL (239) NON-PROFIT ORG. U.s. POsTAGE PAID PERMIT #914 FORT MYERs, Fl ALZHEIMER S SUPPORT GROUPS BONITA SPRINGS The Terraces at Bonita Springs 2 nd Monday, 2:00 p.m. Hope Lutheran Church 4 th Monday, 10:30 a.m. CAPE CORAL Gulf Coast Village 1 st & 3 rd Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. FORT MYERS Broadway Community Church 2 nd Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. Community Cooperative s Social Education Resource Center 4 th Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. Riverside Church 4 th Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. Westminster Presbyterian 2 nd & 4 th Wednesdays, 9:45 a.m. Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ 4 th Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. 3 rd Thursday, 6:15 p.m. NORTH FORT MYERS Pine Lakes Country Club 4 th Thursday, 2:00 p.m. PINE ISLAND Pine Island United Methodist 1 st Thursday, 10:30 a.m. LEHIGH* United Way House 1st & 3 rd Monday, 2:00 p.m. SANIBEL Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ 4 th Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. LABELLE Oakbrook of LaBelle 1 st Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. PUNTA GORDA The Palms of Punta Gorda 2 nd Thursday, 2:00 p.m. PORT CHARLOTTE Charlotte Cultural Center The Learning Place 4 th Thursday, 10:30 a.m. ADULT CHILDREN GROUP 1 st Tuesday, 6:15 p.m. LONG TERM CARE 3 rd Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. SPEAKERS VA Benefits, What Family Caregivers Need to Know Richard Beck, Veteran Services Manager Department of Veterans Affairs Cape Coral: July 16 th 2:00 p.m. Evaluating Claims for The Cure Mary Freyre, RN Westminster: July 22 nd 9:45 a.m. Care Options, Costs and How to Pay for It Stuart Gaines, CPA/MBA Satori Pathway Lehigh Acres: August 3 rd 2:00 p.m. Cape Coral: August 20 th 2:00 p.m. Westminster: August 26 th 9:45 p.m. To be Announced Cape Coral: September 17 th 2:00 a.m. Westminster: September 23 rd 9:45 a.m. For information, please call (239) Please Note Holiday Schedule Changes: * Lehigh September 7 th group is cancelled due to Labor Day