Vol. 2, Issue 9  |  September-October 2011


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The Caregiver Coalition of Northeast Florida is a partnership between these organizations:


Community Hospice


Alzheimer's Association

Urban Jacksonville

Mayo Clinic Florida

City of Jacksonville


Upcoming Events


Walk to End Alzheimer's Jacksonville Kick-off Event

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

SUITE at St. Johns Town Center

4880 Big Island Drive, Jacksonville
 Learn how to recruit teammates and fundraise for Nov. 5 walk

FMI: Download Flier

RSVP: 800.272.3900


'Caring for the Veteran's Caregiver' Family Caregiving Workshop
Friday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Community Hospice (Neviaser Educational Institute)
4266 Sunbeam Road, Building 100, Jacksonville
RSVP: 904.407.6790
FMI: Download Flier


HBO's "The Alzheimer's Project" Documentary Screening, Part 2

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.


7620 Timberlin Park Blvd., Jacksonville

Hosted by Alzheimer's Association and Elmcroft of Timberlin Parc

RSVP: 800.272.3900


Senior Games

October 1-8

Venues throughout Jacksonville

Registration $15 for first sport, $5 each additional sport (add'l charges for golf and bowling).

Competition for adults ages 50 and up in athletic and recreational events, medals awarded

FMI: 904.630.3690



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.



Handheld flags wavingWelcome to the September-October Caregiver Connections. As we write this issue, we can't help but feel humbled by the sacrifices of so many--on Sept. 11, 2001 and in the decade since--to help each other and, collectively, help our country heal from unimaginable wounds. As Americans, and as caregivers, we look after each other when times are tough ... those who we love, and other caregivers who walk with us. And for that, we all walk ... and live ... stronger together. 


To close out 2011, we're hosting a workshop especially for caregivers of our military veterans on Sept. 23, and a new workshop we just scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Jewish Community Alliance. You'll find more on both events below.


You also may notice that this is a double issue. Beginning this issue, we have changed our publishing frequency from monthly to bimonthly (every other month), but we will be making more frequent updates to for time-sensitive events and updates. The newsletter's not going anywhere, though, and we encourage you to spread the word and forward to your friends (look for the little "Forward Email" link at the bottom). To get on our mailing list, e-mail us with a name, address and daytime phone, or call 904.407.7400, Option 2.




Navy VeteransCaregivers of our military veterans are the focus for a special workshop the Caregiver Coalition and Community Hospice Veterans Partnership will co-host on Friday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Community Hospice in Mandarin.


We will welcome national speakers, including Deborah Grassman from Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and Nicole Johnson from the VA's national caregiver support program. We'll also cover topics such as Caring for the Caregiver, Spiritual Aspects of Caregiving and Social Service and VA Resources for Veterans.


The event is free, and breakfast and lunch will be included. To register or request free care for your loved one during the workshop, call 904.407.6790.




Save The Date: Final '11 Caregiving Workshop Nov. 18 At JCA


Woman in WheelchairThe Caregiver Coalition's final workshop for 2011 will be Friday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jewish Community Alliance, 8505 San Jose Blvd.

in Jacksonville. Come hear from expert speakers discuss important caregiving topics such as Preservation of Assets, Spirituality and End of Life Care, Managing Challenging Behaviors of Alzheimer's Patients and more.


To RSVP or request free home care services for your loved one, call 904.807.1225 by Nov. 14.




Know Some 'Stellar' Caregivers? Nominate Them For Nov. Award Program 


Caregiver and PatientsCaregivers bring light and hope to so many in our community. Do you know of a "bright light" who deserves praise? If so, nominate him or her for one of three ElderSource awards, to be presented at its "A Night with the Stars" gala this fall.


Award categories recognize family and professional caregivers, as well as people or organizations that increase public awareness of aging issues and their impact on society.


Nominations are being accepted through October 18, and there is no cost to nominate someone. For more information on the awards or the "A Night With the Stars" gala on November 29 at the Marriott Southpoint, download the official nomination form, or contact Amy Moring at ElderSource, 904.391.6617.




Travel Smart With Ride Smart


Car and BikeCaregivers can get advice on planning transportation needs for their loved ones--and themselves--through Ride Smart, a free service of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and ElderSource in Action.


Ride Smart teaches caregivers, seniors and those with disabilities how to travel independently and safely. Whether you want to go in your own vehicle or use one of JTA's transportation options--including Community Shuttles, trolleys, Ride Request, Connexion and the Skyway--Ride Smart trainers help you plan accordingly to get where you need, when you need it.


The program may be especially helpful to caregivers who need help traveling with their loved one, or just getting to their doctors' appointments, daily errands and shopping.


Learn more about Ride Smart travel training by calling ElderSource at 904.391.6699 (904.391.6697 TDD). Customer Service is available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays by phone, or by e-mail to




Measure Quality Of Health Providers With New CMS Tool


CMS LogoMedicare beneficiaries have choices when it comes to the quality of their providers. That's why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has launched the Quality Care Finder.


This service helps beneficiaries and their caregivers find better health care options, with "apples to apples" comparisons of providers, facilities, health and drug plans and equipment suppliers.


Patients and their caregivers can access the Quality Care Finder at or call 800.MEDICARE (800.633.4227; 877.486.2048 TTY).




Turn the keyBenefits Enrollment Center Offers One-Stop Help In Finding Help


If you've ever become frustrated or confused navigating the maze of forms to access government and social programs for yourself or your loved one, the new ElderSource Benefits Enrollment Center can cut through the clutter for real help, real fast.


A joint initiative of ElderSource and the Independent Living Resource Center of Northeast Florida through a grant from the National Council on Aging, BEC can help seniors figure out the Medicare prescription program, apply for Meals on Wheels or simply discover programs they didn't know could help. These may include getting help paying the light bill, the Medicare Savings Program, food stamps and prescription drug assistance, all with one call.


ILRC and ElderSource staff complete applications on seniors' behalf or even go to their homes if in-person help is needed to fill out forms. Seniors of any income level are eligible to call.


Learn more or sign up for the BEC by calling ElderSource's Elder Helpline at 888.242.4464.




What You Need To Know About Medicare Prescription Drug Enrollment


PrescriptionsIf you help a loved one or friend make healthcare decisions, Medicare prescription drug coverage plans can save them money on a variety of generic and brand-name drugs. Open enrollment for these plans, along with Medicare Advantage for 2012, begins October 15.


Prescription drug coverage isn't automatic for Medicare recipients, and different plans offer different benefits. Before enrolling, check to see if recipients have drug benefits through former employers/unions or their Medicare Advantage plan, if applicable.


Drug plans may be subject to a monthly premium, a yearly deductible or copayments/coinsurance. Recipients who have limited income and resources and qualify for help from Social Security, or already receive state help from programs such as Medicaid, will pay little or nothing for premiums or deductibles, with low copayments. Call Social Security at 800.772.1213 (800.325.0778 TTY) or visit to check if they qualify.


Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and drug plans will continue through December 7, with general Medicare enrollment and Medicare Advantage Disenrollment starting January 1. Read the "Medicare & You" handbook your loved one receives in the mail each fall for detailed plan information, or call 800.MEDICARE (800.633.4227; 877.486.2048 TTY). Help also is available at




Woman lookingHow To Communicate With Someone Who Has Dementia


Alzheimer's disease and related dementias can gradually diminish a person's ability to communicate. As dementia progresses, communication can become more challenging. Sensitive, ongoing communication is important, no matter how difficult it may become or how confused the person may appear. The person with dementia may not always respond, but he or she still requires and benefits from continued communication. It's especially important to choose your words carefully.


Here are some tips on how to best communicate:

  • Identify yourself and approach the person from the front. Approaching from the side or behind may startle the person.
  • Call the person by name. It helps orient the person and gets his or her attention.
  • Use short, simple words and sentences. Don't overwhelm the person with lengthy requests or stories. Keep it to the point.
  • Talk slowly and clearly. Be aware of speed and clarity when speaking.
  • Give one-step directions. Break down tasks and instructions into clear, simple steps.
  • Ask one question at a time. Don't overwhelm or confuse the person with too many questions at once.
  • Patiently wait for a response. The person may need extra time to process your request. Give them the time and encouragement they need to respond.
  • Repeat information or questions. If the person doesn't respond after you've waited for a response, ask again.
  • Turn questions into answers. For example, say "The bathroom is right here," instead of asking, "Do you need to use the bathroom?"
  • Avoid confusing expressions. People with dementia often take what is said literal. If you ask the person to "Hop in," he or she may actually hop in.
  • Emphasize key words. Stress the words in a sentence that need their attention.
  • Turn negatives into positives. Instead of saying, "Don't go there," try saying, "Let's go here."
  • Give visual cues. To demonstrate the task, point or touch the item you want the person to use.
  • Give simple explanations. Avoid using logic and reason at great length. This can make the situation worse. Give a complete response in a clear and concise way.
  • Write things down. Try using notes as a reminder if the person is able to understand them. A written response may also help when a spoken one seems too confusing.

For more information on communicating with someone who has dementia, contact the Alzheimer's Association at 800.272.3900.