Vol. 3, Issue 1  |  January-March 2012

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Our Caregiver Coalition
2012 Sponsors:
Presenting Sponsors

AgeWell Institute of Baptist Health

Brooks Rehabilitation

Platinum Sponsor
Brookdale Senior Living
The Caregiver Coalition of Northeast Florida is a partnership between these organizations:

Community Hospice
Alzheimer's Association
Aging True
Mayo Clinic Florida
City of Jacksonville

Upcoming Events

Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease: The Basics

Monday, March 19
6 p.m.

Bradham Brooks Northwest Library
1755 Edgewood Avenue, Jacksonville
RSVP: 800.272.3900


Caregiver Expo 2012

Saturday, April 21
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel

225 East Coastline Drive, Downtown Jacksonville
Free admission, exhibitors, keynote speakers, prizes

FMI: Download flier or call 904.407.6146


Brain Matters

a conference on memory and aging for providers, families and caregivers

Saturday, June 9, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

UNF University Center

12000 Alumni Drive, on UNF campus
Presented by Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer's Association and UNF

FMI: 800.272.3900

Caregiver Coalition of Northeast Florida Logo
Our Mission:
To promote awareness and knowledge of, sensitivity to
and support for family caregiving in Northeast Florida.
 Our Vision:
All family caregivers will have knowledge of and access to resources that support them and those in their care.

Senior Couple in the ParkWelcome to the January-February (and March!) Caregiver Connections! Spring has sprung just a bit early for us in Northeast Florida, and that means warm weather, hot car seats (ouch!) and new life springing from our flower beds and gardens. That also means more time to enjoy the outdoors--whether that means neighborhood walks with loved ones, running, cycling or gardening and yardwork.


Your Caregiver Coalition is giving you a few reasons to get outdoors, too. We just wrapped up our most successful "Caring for the Caregiver" workshop ever last weekend, and our first-ever Caregiver Expo is just around the corner at the Hyatt in downtown Jacksonville. You'll read more about both events below.


Enjoy the spring, and this issue of Caregiver Connections! As always, your feedback and story ideas keep us motivated and focused on what YOU need, so don't be shy! E-mail us at, or simply reply to this e-mail and say hello.

February 25, 2012 Caring for the Caregiver Workshop
Many joined us for the "Medicare and Medicaid 101" breakout session at this past Saturday's caregiver workshop.
Saturday's 'Caring For The Caregiver' Was Biggest-Ever Workshop


Thanks to all who came out Saturday for our first "Caring for the Caregiver" workshop of the year. With more than 200 joining us at the Legends Center, it also was our best-attended workshop since we began hosting them five years ago.


Need session handouts? You'll find them here on the Caregiver Coalition website. We've also posted photos on Facebook and a YouTube video of The O.C. Band's final song online.


Make plans now to attend our upcoming workshops, too. We'll share more details when we have them:

  • Saturday, August 4 -- Ramada Inn Mandarin
  • Saturday, October 20 -- Jacksonville Beaches area (location to be determined)

For more information or to learn about sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities, call 904.407.6146.


First-Ever Caregiver Expo Comes To Hyatt Downtown April 21


Caregivers like you take center stage (and get all the applause) at the first-ever Caregiver Expo, on Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel.


At this free event, you'll find activities and services to help you provide care, and care for yourself, too. Free health screenings, fun contests and prizes, and keynotes by national caregiving experts like Gail Sheehy (pictured at left), Jim Concotelli and Carol O'Dell are just part of the day's plans.


Gail SheehyCaregiver Expo is presented by Community Hospice and the Caregiver Coalition, with generous support from the AgeWell Institute of Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation and Brookdale Senior Living. Gail Sheehy's appearance is being made possible through the generous support of The Community Foundation in Jacksonville.


For more information, download our flier or visit To learn about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, please call 904.407.6146.

'A Night With The Stars' award recipients
'A NIGHT WITH THE STARS': (from L-R) Susan Johnson, editor of Gus! Magazine; Joan Turner, Director of Independent Life Program, City of Jacksonville; Toula Wootan, community development officer, Community Hospice; ElderSource Executive Director Linda Levin; Delores Barr Weaver and Diantha Grant
Local Caregiving Heroes Honored At ElderSource Gala


Several Northeast Florida caregivers recently received honors at "A Night with the Stars," a banquet and awards program sponsored by ElderSource and supported by Community Hospice on November 29 at the Jacksonville Marriott Southpoint.


Near 250 attendees recognized individuals who have been dedicated advocates, friends and ultimate caregivers for the elders in our community. The ElderSource Family Caregiver Award nominees were outstanding individuals, family or friends, who have sacrificed their time and independence to provide the much-needed care and love to an aging adult.


Recipients included Diantha H. Grant, Family Caregiver Award; Joan Turner, Professional Caregiver; and Gus! Magazine in the Media category. A special award also was presented to Delores Barr Weaver for her initiation of and funding of Senior to Senior, a special program for seniors in crisis.


Sizing Up Your Supplements: A Guide
For Seniors


By Emily Hoffman, MSH, RD, LD/N

Program Dietitian, City of Jacksonville


Even with a healthy diet, seniors often need supplements!Aging brings with it challenges to maintaining proper nutrition. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of whole grains, protein-rich foods, fruits and vegetables can provide the nutrition needed to age well. However, as the body changes, seniors tend to develop poor eating habits, include less variety in their diet and skip meals frequently.

The diminished sense of smell and taste, less saliva production and dental issues that accompany the aging process often are to blame for many of these dietary changes. Swallowing and chewing may gradually become more difficult causing the overall experience of eating to be less enjoyable. Often dietary supplements can help seniors get the additional nutrition they may not be getting through their diet alone.


Dietary supplements take many shapes and sizes, ranging from nutrition shakes to pills or capsules. Like their name suggests, they are meant to supplement a well-balanced diet, not to take the place of foods or to cure diseases. Be wary of products that make these "too good to be true" claims. Also, to get all of the benefits from supplements, they should be taken in a way that promotes absorption in the body. Included with this article are tips to ensure that you and the seniors in your life are getting the most out of the supplements you take.


Tips for Taking Supplements:


  • When available, look for the "USP Verified" label to ensure the purity, quality and effectiveness of supplements. Watch out for high priced trendy supplements.
  • Add daily multivitamin/mineral supplement to help ensure you are getting all the nutrients needed.
  • Store supplements in a cool, dark place; not in the refrigerator, bathroom or humid environment.
  • "Natural" does not always mean effective or safe.
  • Fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) should be taken with a meal that contains fat or oil.
  • Don't take your calcium all at once. Take only 500mg at a time for the best absorption.
  • Add a vitamin D supplement daily. The sun is the major source of vitamin D, however sun exposure may be limited for people living in northern latitudes in winter or for those who use sunscreen regularly and may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency.
  • Seniors should avoid supplements that contain iron or excess vitamin A (greater than 2,500 IU).
  • Tell your doctor about all the supplements and medications you take. Certain supplements can interfere with the medications.

"Get the Most from Your Supplements." The Linus Pauling Institute, 2012.


Daughter comforts dadLearn Healthy Ways To Cope With Caregiver Stress


While we're on the topic of wellness, the website published an article last week from Jeanette Leardi focusing on healthy ways to approach the stresses that often accompany caregiving. The feature talks about making yourself a priority, and with that the importance of reaching out for help and taking care of your personal health.


(Hint/Shameless Plug: We'll have free health screenings for you at Caregiver Expo, April 21 at the Hyatt downtown. Read all about it!)


You'll find the article and links to features on caregiving and mothering, anxiety relief and assessing your humor style at this page.


Meeting The Challenges Of Family Caregiving: AARP Recommendations


AARP LogoThe AARP Public Policy Institute has released a new paper, A Call to Action: What Experts Say Needs to Be Done to Meet the Challenges of Family Caregiving. The paper highlights policy recommendations from an AARP Solutions Forum and summarizes 10 common themes from the work of 10 leading authors examining family caregiving today.


These authors collectively call for a reexamination of policies and strategies to strengthen caregiving families. Four areas are identified in which public policies and communities can respond to the needs of family caregivers: greater public education and awareness; more financial relief; better communication, coordination, and collaboration with healthcare professionals; and heightened recognition of and support for family caregivers in policy initiatives.


Read the study at the AARP website.

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