April 2019

The birthstone for April is the diamond, which is a symbol of everlasting love.  It is thought to have the power to bring us courage.  These are exactly the qualities we need as caregivers in our journey with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Love and compassion are the best tools we have to care for individuals with this disease, and courage is what we need to live in the moment and celebrate the abilities our loved ones still have, rather than lament the abilities they are losing.

As the Modern Hippocratic Oath tells us, “I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.”

“We All Deserve the Best” 


April 2019 Photo

of the Month

Our Photo of the Month was taken at Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters in Inverness on March 23rd, where Susan Straley was conducting a sale and signing for her new book “Alzheimer’s Trippin’ with George.”

Straley is donating a portion of her sales to Coping with Dementia, but this is not the main reason I am so excited about her project.

When Susan and her husband George learned of his dementia diagnosis, they decided to undertake an extensive bicycle tour in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary. This is exactly the kind of “joy of life” I try to talk to people about in our ABC of Dementia workshops. Rather than focus on the difficult path ahead and the inevitable outcome of Alzheimer’s and various other forms of dementia, we need to try to live in the moment and enjoy the time we have together. Rather than focusing on everything our loved one is losing, we need to focus on the abilities they retain, celebrate them, and make the best of them. This is exactly what Susan and George did, and she has done a great service to caregivers everywhere by chronicling their journey in “Alzheimer’s Trippin’ with George.” You can get your copy at Google Books.

Bicycle Tour makes Teepa Newsletter

Congratulations to Susan Straley, featured in our Photo of the Month, whose story of Alzheimer’s trippin’ with George has been published in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care Online Journal, thereby reaching 25,000 international readers! Susan’s journey with her husband after his dementia diagnosis is the perfect example of what I try to stress in caregiver support meetings. Life does not end with the diagnosis, and the road ahead does not have to be only doom and woe. Susan and George’s choice to undertake an extensive bicycle tour was not only the right thing to do for themselves – and especially George – but it now serves as a documented model for how to live the life we have left. Here is a link to the story: https://files.constantcontact.com/53c9860b201/c4d57926-2858-4868-8526-7bfe2b45d4d5.pdf


We roll out a new learning opportunity

This month, Coping with Dementia LLC successfully field-tested a new learning format, called Dementia Q&A, at Gulf to Lake Baptist Church in Crystal River. Gulf to Lake has already been certified Dementia Friendly through our ABC of Dementia workshop, which is our most popular family caregiver training format.

ABC of Dementia requires a very structured two hours. To make sure the presentation stays on track, we ask that questions be held until the end. We know this leaves some attendees unhappy, so we decided to test a new free-flowing format where participants dictate content.

With Dementia Q&A, we open with about 15 minutes of basic information, then throw the floor open to questions. Our test went much better than we could have imagined. Fifty members of the congregation attended the event and the questions were very insightful. We are positive we will be using this teaching method in the future.

Like our other workshops, this workshop will be provided free to non-profit organizations, including churches.  To learn if your organization qualifies for our new Dementia Q&A workshop, call 352-422-3663.




People touched by this disease or other related memory disorders come together in a non-judgmental, safe environment to discuss frustrations and share coping techniques.

Crystal River Library, 8619 W. Crystal Street, Crystal River

April 9th at 1:30 pm

Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1100 W. Highland Blvd, Inverness

April 17th  at 1:30 pm

Please visit my website at http://www.coping.today/ for more helpful information.

Support Groups are one of the ways to know that you are not alone. You  may even have a smile when you leave. 

Stop by.  We would love to meet you, and you just may meet a new friend. You do not have to try to manage this alone.  For more information call: Debbie at 352-422-3663 or Email: deb@coping.today

Hope to see you there!!! 


AFO Hosts Record Caregiver Learning Day

We were so excited to be involved in the Alzheimer’s Family Organization Caregiver Learning Day in The Villages on March 22nd that set a record for such events with attendance of more than a hundred!

I shared the stage with Joshua Freitas, Vice President of Development at Certus Premier Memory Care Living in Mt. Dora, where we demonstrated Teepa Snow’s technique of hand-under-hand engagement with individuals living with dementia.  And let me also thank The Village Sun and reporter Dayna Straehley for publishing a great story on the event the following day.

The AFO offers eight to ten of these free learning events each year throughout its eight-county service area.  To learn more, go to www.alzheimersfamily.org.

Come join us at the next Caregiver Learning Day on April 5th at Brentwood Assisted Living Community from 10-2 pm.


Hopes dashed for latest hoped-for Alzheimer’s cure

Unhappy news this month was the abrupt announcement on the front page of the March 23 Wall Street Journal that research firms Biogen and Eisai have abandoned further development of Aducanumab, the latest highly-touted hope to become a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  The companies announced development of the drug would cease because its performance in testing has been so poor that they saw no reason to subject it to the long and expensive process of clinical trials.

Again, this unfortunate news reminds us of Teepa Snow’s slogan, “Until there is a cure, there is care.”  I always modify this to say, “Until there is a cure, there is ONLY care!”


Our Walk Report is off the press!

Now that all accounts are settled, our 2018 Report for Citrus Walk Aware for Alzheimer’s is off the press and available to you!  We think it is very important for you to know how your contributions have been used, and we are proud of this year’s result, which was a 20 percent improvement over 2017.

We raised $31,711.43, and after expenses we donated $28,991.27  to the Alzheimer’s Family Organization.  This means our expenses were only 8.5 percent of revenue, which we are very proud of.  For this very low expense ratio we can thank the individuals and companies that donated $11,539.00 in in-kind services.

Our goal for 2019 is to improve performance by another 20 percent.  We hope to raise $38,000 and donate $35,000 to the AFO.  Come Walk with Us this coming October 19th in Floral City!  And Please call us at 352-422-3663 to ask about the many ways you can support this wonderful cause.  Our entry forms and promotional literature will be available soon.

To receive a PDF of the report, e-mail us at deb@coping.today.  To receive a printed copy through regular mail, call us at 352-422-3663 or e-mail your name and mailing address.


 Services of Coping with Dementia:

Each month we highlight a service that we provide.  This month I would like to encourage you to become more educated about Alzheimer's and dementia in general.  You can do this with many of our services listed below.  Find something that will work for you and become a better caregiver on this journey of Alzheimer's and dementia.

Please take advantage of one or more of these services.  We are here to help!

Coping with Dementia has added another new services that was be tested this month at Gulf to Lake Hwy Church in Crystal River. We call it Dementia Q&A.  Bring your questions to see how we can get the best results for your situation.

Coping with Dementia has services to educate caregivers and families about Alzheimer's and dementia.  You can do this by attending one of our ABC of Dementia workshops. We present more than 36 of these workshops each year, providing you with the symptoms and characteristics of the disease and how to better manage and interact with your person living with dementia.  These workshops are free! They are frequently hosted by churches.  If you are a member of a church, just let us know and we will see how we can present this workshop at your church.

I facilitate two Support Groups each month under the auspices of the Alzheimer's Family Organization  They are listed above.

I present a Monthly Educational Discussion Series in two locations, listed in this newsletter as well.  These are an hour-and-a-half each and provide attendees a great opportunity for Q&A, 

We are asked to do numerous Speaking Engagements each month to clubs and organizations that want to learn more about dementia.  Last year we spoke to more than 75 different clubs and organizations.  We also support and attend many events to provide information on Alzheimer's and dementia. Call now and learn about Alzheimer's to be more compassionate to a person that is struggling.

I meet with families and caregivers one-on-one to provide guidance and resources best suited to meet their specific situation.  We meet you on a confidential basis at a location and a time of your choosing for a reasonable hourly fee.

We offer training to the professionals in care communities through our 3C- curriculum, which stands for Culture of Compassionate Care.

I also speak at Caregiver Learning Days in eight west-central Florida counties for the Alzheimer's Family Organization. 

This monthly E-newsletter now goes out to more than 4,100 subscribers.  It is our effort to share up-to-date information about what is happening that can be beneficial to you.  

Call me at 352-422-3663 or email me at deb@coping.today to learn more.  Take the first step to learning how to do your best for both yourself and your loved one living with dementia. 

"We All Deserve The Best"


Alzheimer’s Awareness Photo Exhibit at

Lady Lake Public Library!

Come see The Great Americans Alzheimer’s Awareness Photo Exhibit at the Lady Lake Pubic Library, located at 225 W. Guava Street before it moves to another location hopefully we will try to move it to Marion County Libraries.  If you have not seen it, please take a ride over and take a look.  Let us know what you think.

The exhibit is an educational initiative of the Alzheimer’s Family Organization (AFO), a non-profit charity that provides services and support for caregivers of individuals living with dementia in eight west-central Florida counties, including Lake County.

The Library is open 9 to 7 on Mondays, 9 to 6 Tuesday through Friday, and closed Saturdays and Sundays.  For more information call 352-753-2957 or go to www.mylakelibrary.org.


Looking for a Speaker?

If you are looking for a speaker for your club, church, business, or organization, you should add Coping with Dementia to your list.

We are always eager to speak in pursuit of a better understanding of Alzheimer's and dementia. If you will listen, I will come. No group is too small or too large.  I am prepared to go anywhere and talk to anyone about Alzheimer's and dementia.  

I receive lots of requests to speak, so do not delay.  Please call now before our spring calendar fills up.  If you think this topic is too difficult or depressing, then you have not heard how I approach it. I tackle the topic with compassion, understanding, honesty, smiles, and laughter, and often with amusing stories from my own experience as a caregiver.

Call me at 352-422-3663 to set a date for your organization, church, or club. We can also talk about your organization hosting an ABC of Dementia workshop.

Be part of the change! 

Be a part of a Culture of Compassionate Care. 


Programs and Resources:

Do Not Hesitate - Call Now!!! 

Here are additional resources that are available to caregivers.  I urge you to utilize what you can to learn, educate, and keep your loved one safe.  Call me if you are looking for help.

Scent jars are a way to be proactive in protecting a loved one who may wander and go missing. Find-M' Friends has distributed more than 10,000 scent jars in Citrus County, which are now manufactured locally by The Key Care Clients.  They are free, but we may suggest a small donation to fund new inventory.  To learn how to acquire your Out of Harm's Way kits, call Linda Boles at 352-613-3486 or call me at 352-422-3663.   Learn more about Find-M' Friends at: http://findmfriends.com/

Elder Options has FREE educational programs including Savvy Caregiver Training Workshops.  They also have a help line that will provide you with services that can meet many of your needs.  For more information please call 352-692-5277 or email Johnnie Jones at jonesj@agingresources.org or Teresa Lonon at lonont@agingresources.org.  Their website is: http://www.agingresources.org/savvy-caregiver-training/

The Alzheimer's Family Organization offers programs and services such as support groups (more than 50 are available) and Caregiver Learning Days.  For more Information, please call 352-616-0170 or check out their web site at http://www.alzheimersfamily.org/See how they can be a resource for you. Become a member and ask about our Wander's Reunification Program.

Citrus County Senior Services has many opportunities for socializing with other seniors.  These include community centers, meals on wheels,  companion services and respite/Day stay programs (could be FREE).  For more information on their many programs call 352-527-5975. Website is: http//www.citrusbocc.com

Key Care Club-Is an Adult Day Care center offering services to adults living with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and/or progressive brain disorders.  They are open Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30 pm.  Open to the general public. Now there is an option that could offer you some respite for FREE.  For more information, call Citrus County Senior Programs at 352-527-5930 or 352-795-5541 x 201.

The Citrus County Veterans Office provides assistance and guidance to veterans and their families to navigate the VA system to get the benefits you deserve.  For more information or to make an appointment call 352-527-5916.  Their website is: http://www.citrusbocc.com

The United Way has many services for the community.  One is a helpline. Call 2-1-1 to seek the services you need. 

Catholic Charities has a respite program in Hernando County.  You can drop your loved one off  and know that they will be safe, have fun, and be cared for while you take a much-deserved breather. Call 352-686-9897 x 28 for more information.

Teepa Snow has many videos on YouTube that can be very helpful if you are caring for a person with dementia.  If you get a chance to attend one of her workshops, it will be time well spent.  Please take the time to view them at Teepa Snow-You Tube Videos or on her website: http://www.teepasnow.com

Alzheimer's Association has a 24/7 Helpline, just call 1-800-272-3900.

Other Support Groups in Citrus County

Grand Living at Citrus Hills-third Wednesday of the month 12:00 -1:30 pm. Call Marilyn Campbell at 352-249-1183.

Floral City United Methodist Church-third Friday of the month at 10:30 am.  Call Helen at 352-341-2867 or Marcia at 352-726-7740

First United Methodist Church in Homosassa-second Monday of the month at 1:00 pm. They also have respite for your loved one.  Call Karen Kline at 352-628-4083.

Cornerstone Baptist Church-first Tuesday of the month at 6:00 pm.  Call the church at 352-726-7335.  April Zay is the facilitator.

Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute-Fourth Thursday of each month-2:00-3:00 pm. Call Wendy Hall for information at 527-0106.  There are additional support group meetings on Mondays.

Sugarmill Manor-This support group is run under the auspices of The Alzheimer's Family Organization.  Contact Samantha for more information at 352-382-2531. Call first.

 Grief Support Groups: 

Suncoast YMCA  has Grief Support Groups every Wednesday from 10:00-11:30 am.  For more information call 352-249-1470.

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast, 8471 W. Periwinkle Lane, Homosassa, meets Wednesdays 2:00-3:30 pm. For more information call 352-249-1470, or visit their website https://www.friendsofcitrus.org.

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast, 8471 W. Periwinkle Lane, Homosassa, meets Thursdays 10:30 - 12:00 pm.  For more information call 352-249-1470, or visit their website https://www.friendsofcitrus.org.

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast, First Christian Church of Inverness, 2018 Colonade St., Inverness, meets Thursdays 1:30-3:00 pm.  For more information call 352-249-1470, or visit their website https://www.friendsofcitrus.org.

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast, First Christian Church of Inverness, 2018 Colonade St., Inverness, meets 2nd & 4th Thursdays 1:00-2:30 pm.For more information call 352-249-1470, or visit their website https://www.friendsofcitrus.org. 

Our Lady of Grace-, HPH Hospice Caregiver Support Group.  The last Wednesday of the month. Call Betsy for more information at 352-527-4600.

Florida Department Of Health Citrus County, Register for a special needs shelter in case you have to evacuate.  There are special accommodations for persons living with Alzheimer's and dementia and their caregivers.  Call now to register before you need to 352-527-0068.

Citrus County Senior Services has lots of services and opportunities available for caregivers, and each month we will keep you advised when new opportunities arise.  These include Meals on Wheels, Companion Services with volunteers, and Community Centers for sociability.  Call now to get more information at 352-527-5975, or for Veteran Services call 352-527-5915, or visit their website https://www.citrusbocc.com/commserv/suppserv/senprog/senior-programs.htm

Call me at 352-422-3663 to find out what services will be a good fit for you and your loved one. 

If you are a provider of support and services useful to a family living with dementia and would like to be listed here monthly, just call me at 352-422-3663.                                 

                 We all need help, and we all deserve the best.


Demand remains high for training, education

Coping with Dementia LLC experienced a continuing strong demand for training and education during the first quarter of 2019. Our Alzheimer’s Awareness speaking engagements were about the same as a year ago (up five percent), but the speaking audience more than doubled, up from 366 individuals to 769 individuals! Our training events were up more than 60 percent (from 13 to 21), but those trained increased by nearly 70 percent (from 432 to 725)! We did nine Dementia Friendly Certifications for the quarter, which was an increase of 50 percent over a year ago. Yes, it has been busy, but we will always make room for more training and educational events. Call us at 352-422-3663 if you want your church or business to become certified Dementia Friendly, of if you simply want to know more about Alzheimer’s and dementia.


"Rules of Engagement"

So many of the mistakes we make as caregivers are because we do not understand the right approach, use of voice, and appropriate touch when interacting with our loved ones living with dementia. My Coping with Dementia Column in the Citrus County Chronicle in April will be about these “rules of engagement.” While some basic rules can do wonders, I also acknowledge that dementia care is an art, not a science. Beyond a few basic rules, we must always be creative and flexible in our interactions. 

Read it in the Heath Section of the Citrus County Chronicle on Tuesday, April 2nd. 

If you so not receive the Chronicle, I can send you a digital file or even mail you a photocopy of this column.   Just let me know at deb@coping.today or 352-422-3663.


          The Shoes Keep On Walking in            Citrus County!

The Shoe Your Support for Alzheimer's Awareness Exhibit is going to be moved to the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills next week.  You do not want to miss this beautiful and creative tribute to Alzheimer's Awareness!


Upcoming Training and Speaking Engagements

April 2nd & 4th-Training Citrus County Clerks of Courts front line staff on Alzheimer's and dementia.

April 3rd-ABC of Dementia workshop at Rainbow Springs Village Church from 12:00-2:00 pm, located at 20222 SW 102nd Street Road, Dunnellon

 April 5th-Alzheimer's Family Organization Caregiver presents Caregiver Learning Day hosted by Brentwood Assisted Living, from 10:00-2:00 pm. RSVP or more information call 352-616-0170. Virtual Dementia Tour will be there.

April 9th-Support Group meeting-Crystal River Library- 1:30-3:30 pm

April 9-13th-Speaking at Southern Gerontological Society presenting our ABC of Dementia Workshop in Panama City, Florida.

April 17th-Support Group meeting-Cornerstone Baptist Church- Inverness. 1:30-3:30 pm

April 25th-Educational Discussion-Grand Living at Citrus Hills-10:00-11:30 am

April 27th-Speaking in Gainesville at a educational seminar at Road Branch Library located at 3020 SW 75th St. from 10:00-2:00 pm.  For more information call 352-519-7747.

Call Debbie at 352-422-3663.  We are constantly adding more events to our calendar, and there may be a new one close to you. 

I look forward to meeting you. 

Now working on our 2019 schedule; call to reserve your date.


More Dementia Friendly Certifications in March

We continue to experience strong demand for our ABC of Dementia training and Dementia Friendly certification.  In March, we trained 40 members of the congregation at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Ocala, pictured here, and we conducted a second training for 35 members of the Stoneridge Landing Community near Inverness, which received its initial training and certification in January.

To learn more about how your business, church, or community can be certified Dementia Friendly, just call us at 352-422-3663.  Training and certification for any non-profit organization is free.  Ask us about our reasonable fee for training and certifying you business.


Monthly Educational
Discussion Series


Grand Living at Citrus Hills will be hosting a monthly educational discussion on April 25th from 10:00-11:30 am.  Call 352-301-8500 and RSVP.  Bring a friend.  Open to the public. 

It will be great to see you there.


FDA cracks down of “bogus”

dementia remedies

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration cracked down on 17 individuals and companies using unfounded claims to sell or distribute products they say will prevent or cure dementia.  We are so happy to see this government action, because the false hope and financial stress caused by these “hoaxers” are immeasurable within a population already suffering enough from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

This crackdown came in the form of “warning” or “advisory” letters which are extensive and contain detailed and legalistic language that specifies how the perpetrators are or may be breaking the law.

My colleague, Ed Youngblood, has reviewed all of these letters in detail and created a summary that will help consumers identify the companies and specific products involved.  You can find this summary if you scroll back to February 14 on the Dementia Education Inc. Facebook page.  If you are not able to find it this way and would like to see a copy, call me at 352-433-3663 or email me at deb@coping.today.  


Art from the Heart 2019 schedule!

Art from the Heart continues for another year at the YMCA in Lecanto.  Through art and music, this series provides a social opportunity for care partners and their loved ones living with dementia.  Dementia LLC provides training for the artist and musician facilitators.

This month will be on April 10th from 1:00-3:00 pm, Call Joan Luebbe for more information at 352-500-9622. 


Coping with Dementia is going into it's second year of monthly columns in the Senior Voice.  This is a free publication that you can pick up in many locations around the county.  Let us know what you think about the Coping with Dementia column.

Thank you for your support.


Look for us in

Best Version Media!

If you live in one of the communities served by Best Version Media, you may see in April my new column entitled “Dementia Tips by Debbie.”  “Dementia Tips” will address a single common question about Alzheimer’s and dementia each month.  We are not yet sure which editions will be selected for this new column, but we are very grateful to Best Version Media for helping us improve Alzheimer’s awareness and build a more dementia friendly community in west-central Florida.  To contact Best Version Media, call 313-903-1030.



If you would like to advertise in News for Coping with Dementia, please call Debbie at 352-422-3663 or email me at deb@coping.today.