Get the latest on research, valuable resources at the 2016 Regional Education Conference in Miami

17246088092_e7f56d8c8b_zJoin us at Florida International University Kovens Conference Center on April 14 for the 2016 Regional Education Conference. Whether you are a caregiver for someone with dementia or you work with patients with dementia, this conference has something for you.

The annual conference provides valuable information for people influenced by Alzheimer’s disease, their families and professionals. Renowned dementia experts will share helpful resources and present the latest updates in research.

“This event is a great resource for the community,” said Michael Pearson, Vice President of Programs for the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter. “Tools and information can make a huge difference for caregivers and professionals, and this conference will give them not only vital resources, but also hope for a brighter future.”

This year’s keynote speakers are James Galvin, M.D, M.P.H. and Holly Cukier PH D. Galvin is a Professor of Integrated Medical Science and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. He is also the Director of the Institute for Healthy Aging and Lifespan Studies. Cukier is the Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine as well as the Associate Director for the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core at John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics.

In addition to the keynote speakers, there will be several breakout sessions during the day-long conference. Pre-registration is required. Tickets will not be sold at the door. 17221914066_e84afea73f_oRegistration is $35 for general admission and $75 for professional admission. CEUs are available for professionals. Respite options are available, but you must RSVP by April 7 to receive the services. Some scholarships to the conference are available for caregivers.

Get more information and register online here or by calling 561-967-0047.

Alzheimer’s caregivers: Get the ‘Tools’ you need at a free workshop at the Kane Center on April 12


They’ve got the tools: Senior care professionals Alice Delevante, R.N., BSN, of Mederi Caretenders; Crystal Collier of the Council on Aging of Martin County; Ron Radcliffe of Senior Helpers; and Laura Zel Kremer, LCSW, of MorseLife are just a few of the panel members who will provide free expertise to Alzheimer’s caregivers at the Kane Center on April 12. 

By Denise Belizar, guest blog writer      

A panel of senior care professionals will be on hand at the Kane Center in Stuart on April 12 to provide expert advice and tools to help those who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease. The “tools” in this case are helpful strategies and devices that caregivers can use to better assist their family members.

The free educational forum, “Everyday Tools and Strategies for Alzheimer’s Caregivers,” will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., and includes complimentary lunch and refreshments. Free respite care will be available on site in the Kane Center’s Adult Day Program. Reservations are being accepted through April 8, and can be made by calling 772-223-7800. The Kane Center is located at 900 SE Salerno Road in Stuart.

“The caregivers are the focus of this event,” says Ron Radcliffe, Chief Operating Officer for Senior Helpers in Stuart. “We’re here to give them real techniques and strategies to enhance the care of their loved one while reducing stress for everyone.”

The educational session’s panel will include a clinical social worker, physical an occupational therapists, an R.N., an adult day care director, and representatives from Medicare and private pay home health companies. Attendees can expect a full day of hands-on demonstrations, as well as sessions covering such topics as sensitivity training, handling challenging behaviors, strategies for effective care and best outcomes, environmental safety, providing structure in the day, body mechanics and more. Prizes will also be raffled off throughout the day.

The event is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Council on Aging of Martin County, Levin Home Care, Lifecare Therapy Services, Mederi Caretenders, MorseLife Health System, Rotech Healthcare, Inc., and Senior Helpers. For more information, call 772-223-7800.


Getting involved with local walk committee rewarding, fun

Some of the Broward Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee pose for a photo at last year’s walk.

Volunteers are truly the faces behind the success of our local five Walk to End Alzheimer’s events.

Every walk has a committee that is filled with people willing to put their time and soul into this cause.

Marlene Lieberman has served on a walk committee for the past 15 years. She has been the co-chair of the Miami-Dade Walk to End Alzheimer’s and is now on the Broward Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee. The committee allows her to help put on what she considers an inspiring event and utilize her passion to help those in her community influenced by the disease.

“I know the benefits of the fundraising event, and I see how the walk inspires those who are affected by this awful disease,” she said.

Bree Beynon and her husband pose for a photo at last year’s West Palm Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s at CityPlace

Bree Beynon serves as the team recruitment co-chair on the West Palm Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee, and she loves giving back to her committee.

“I feel strongly about volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association, not only because of the important cause but also because of the people who are involved,” she said. “It’s clear that everyone’s heart is in the best place, and they are passionate about helping our community.”

The committee is composed of different chairs and co-chairs who handle a variety of topics ranging from sponsorship to mission as well as committee members who serve under the chairs. The committees meet once a month to talk about the upcoming walk. All of the walk committees this year, still have room for more members.

If you are interested in volunteering for your local committee or getting more information about being on a committee, please reach out to the walk manager of the walk you are interested in.

For the Treasure Coast or West Palm Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee, reach out to Tricia Williams at 561-967-0047 or by email at For the Boca Raton or the Broward Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee, reach out to Jessie Brooks at 561-967-0047 or by email at For the Miami-Dade Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee, reach out to Jose Pinera at 561-967-0047 or by email at

“I recommend getting involved with the walk committee if you are someone who truly feels passionate not only about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s but about supporting those who are currently living with the disease and their families,” Beynon said. “ Anytime we come together as a community to raise awareness and have fun I think we are showing those with the disease that we are not afraid and they are not alone.”

Our walks this year:

Boca Raton – Sept. 25 at Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton

Treasure Coast – Oct. 1 at Indian RiverSide Park in Jensen Beach

West Palm Beach – Oct. 8 at CityPlace in West Palm Beach

Broward – Oct. 22 at Hollywood North Beach Park in Hollywood

Miami-Dade – Nov. 5 at Museum Park in Miami

For more information, visit

Advocate Spotlight: Doris Sanders

Representative Gayle Harrell (left) poses with Doris Sanders (right) at the Sage Awards


At the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter, we have the extraordinary honor to serve our community and work with amazing volunteers. These volunteers help us get closer and closer to our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

Today, we are shining a light on one of our incredible advocates, Doris Sanders. Doris is a former full-time caregiver to her husband Joe, and since his passing, she has become a full-time advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association.

She currently serves as the Ambassador to Patrick Murphy. In this capacity, she updates the Congressman and his staff about issues relating to Alzheimer’s disease. She also advocates for an increase in research funding and legislation that helps caregivers and individuals living with Alzheimer’s.

Doris’ work led to the Congressman signing on to the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act  and lending his support to a monumental increase of $350 million in NIH research funding for Alzheimer’s.

She also has worked to make Alzheimer’s a priority here in the state of Florida. She just recently attended our Rally in Tally event to advocate for research funding and an increase in funding for respite services. There are over 1 million unpaid caregivers in the state of Florida. As former full-time caregiver, Doris knows the toll the disease takes on all those involved.

Even though the reward of volunteerism is bringing awareness to a cause, Doris has also been rewarded by her community for her outstanding advocacy efforts. She won the Area Agency on Aging Prime Time Award in 2014; she was a finalist for TC Palm’s Healthcare Champions Award in 2015; and she most recently was nominated for a SAGE Award.

A big thank you to Doris Sanders for all she does for our cause!

Alzheimer’s advocates turn Tallahassee purple

The historic Capitol building was lit purple for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Rally in Tally event. Photo by Jennifer Briasted

By Jennifer Braisted and Kate Pokorny

Brittany Carel was 13 years old when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Now a junior at Florida Atlantic University, Carel wants to use her personal experience with the debilitating disease to help others in similar situations.

That is why at the end of January she and 21 fellow Alzheimer’s advocates ranging in age from 19 to 80  from all across South Florida traveled to Tallahassee to advocate for those caring for and living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.


The Southeast Florida delegation joined more than 50 Alzheimer’s Association advocates from around the state in Tallahassee for the annual Rally in Tally event. The event educated state legislators about Alzheimer’s and advocated for the association’s state priorities. The Southeast Florida Chapter has not participated in the annual Rally in Tally day in over eight years. During the event, the historic Capitol was lit purple in honor of the more than 510,000 Floridians with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Having people come up from all around Florida to spread awareness is key to helping people realize the seriousness of this disease,” said Carel.

The Southeast Florida advocates visited more than 60 state legislators from their area in the eight hours they were at the Capitol. During these visits, the advocates discussed the association’s state priorities.

Paul Carson, Dottie Carson, Rep. Mark Pafford, Gordon Broom, Larry Jordan and Nancy Ginden pose for a photo after a meeting at the Rally in Tally event.

The association aims to get an increase of $1.7 million in funding for respite services.  This increase will help the more than one million Alzheimer’s caregivers in Florida receive needed services, like financial assistance for adult day care.

In 2015, caregivers provided more than one billion hours of unpaid care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.  Currently, there are more than 3,600 families on the waitlist to receive respite services in the state.

The Alzheimer’s Association also aims to get an increase of $6 million for the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program. The program awards grants for research relating to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Alzheimer’s is a global epidemic which is rampant in the state of Florida,” said Jennifer Braisted, advocacy and public policy coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter. “We went to Tallahassee to fight for the 1.5 million Floridians who are either living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.”

To find out how to get involved in the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida’s advocacy efforts call 561-967-0047 or email Jennifer Braisted at

Running for a cause close to my heart

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By Alice Delevante, Guest writer. Updated 2.28.2017

My name is Alice Delevante, and this weekend I am running in the Marathon of the Treasure Coast in support of patients and their families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

(From left) Alice Delevante, Donna True and Doris Sanders at the finish line of the 2016 Treasure Coast Marathon.

More than 14 years ago, I got involved with the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Originally, I got involved due to my professional expertise, but since then I have had two family members affected by this disease. Because of the education I received from being involved with the organization, I was able to give advice and help my family members.


Throughout the years, I have volunteered for the association as an educator and as the chair for the Treasure Coast Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease creates both emotional and financial hardships on affected families. In Martin and St. Lucie alone, more than 14,000 people have the disease.

The Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association provides caregivers with a 24/7 helpline, support groups, resources and education. Money raised helps fund local programs as well as Alzheimer’s research.

There are a few ways you can help me support the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter.

Alice Delavante (left) and Doris Sanders at the finish line of the 2016 Treasure Coast Marathon. Alice also ran a 5K February 11, 2017, in support of the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter.


  • You can register to run for the cause. There are multiple runs going on through March. On Sunday, March 5, the Treasure Coast Marathon and half marathon will be held. Find out more about registering here.
  • You can donate to my run here.


Find out more about the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association by calling the 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900 or visiting their website at You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I hope to see you on the route!


Alzheimer’s Association® Helpline provides ‘round-the-clock’ information, support


helplineBy Brittany Carel

Koreen Butler didn’t know where to turn for answers when her 57-year-old best friend suffering from Alzheimer’s was Baker Acted from her assisted living residence.

The Davie resident had watched her friend of more than 10 years start to deteriorate, and she wanted to make sure her best friend was taken care of. She looked online at and found the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 helpline number.

“I called because I needed support with caring for my best friend,” Butler said. “I wanted to know what the rights for a person with Alzheimer’s disease were.”

Butler said the call was helpful and calming for her. She said the person stayed on the line to listen to all she had to say.

“I felt so relieved to talk to someone who knows exactly how I was feeling,” she said. “I was advised on what to do about my friend’s current living situation, and also what to expect for the future.”

Koreen Butler (left) sits with her best friend (right) at an elementary school event. They met after their sons became good friends in elementary.

Butler was given countless tips on how to help ensure her best friend was getting needed care.  Her call led to steps that got her friend into a nursing home better suiting her needs.

Those with Alzheimer’s as well as caregivers, friends and family like Butler call the helpline for resources and to just talk. In fiscal year 2015, the Southeast Florida Chapter alone received more than 10,000 helpline calls.

The Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline serves people with memory loss, caregivers, health care professionals and the public. The staff answering the calls can help you understand memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s; medications and other treatment options; general information about aging and brain health; skills to provide quality care and to find the best care from professionals; and legal, financial and living-arrangement decisions.

The helpline, featuring 200 languages, also has confidential care consultation provided by master’s level clinicians who can help with decision-making support, crisis assistance and education on issues families face every day.

If you ever are in a position like Butler or just want to know more about the disease, call 800.272.3900. Find out more about the helpline at our website.