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Health News 9-13

By Staff | Sep 13, 2019

Area Agency on Aging to offer a Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention series

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is offering a free health and wellness program, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention, in Cape Coral. The eight-week workshop starts Sept. 16 and meets twice weekly. The program is designed to help older adults improve their balance and movement while also relieving arthritis pain and stiffness.

Class size is limited and advance registration is required. Workshops for adults age 60 and over will be presented on Monday and Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center in Cape Coral (400 Santa Barbara Blvd.).

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is a basic beginner workshop consisting of 12 Tai Chi movements. Tai Chi is a low-impact form of Chinese martial arts that involves slow, controlled, flowing movements that can be beneficial for balance, mobility and pain relief.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among seniors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one in four seniors fall each year. High fall rates among older adults are the result of physiological changes, including a loss of balance, muscle strength and stability issues.

Accordingly, one in four older adults also is affected with some form of arthritis, and a quarter of those diagnosed limit their physical activity because of their arthritis. While arthritis may limit physical activity for many, the CDC notes that exercise can reduce arthritis pain and other symptoms by as much as 40%.

Funding for Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is provided through the Older Americans Act title III-D and administrated through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. For more information or to register for the eight-week Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention workshop, call Sherry Young at 866-413-5337 or email sherry.young@aaaswfl.org.

The AAASWFL is a nonprofit organization serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties. The Agency’s mission is to connect older adults and adults with disabilities to resources and assistance for living safely with independence and dignity.

Free autism screening for young children

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, offers a free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for toddlers 18 months to five years of age.

The next screening on the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will be held Friday, Sept. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Family Health Centers, 316 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral.

It is estimated that one in every 59 children is diagnosed with some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

Medical consultants for the project stress that an early diagnosis can make a vast difference for toddlers and their families. They say early intensive behavioral intervention can make an immense difference not just in the development of the child, but in their families as well.

The ASD screening is conducted by the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The screenings are administered by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders.

A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, please call 239-343-6838.

Healthy Life Center series on dementia under way

When it comes to dementia caregiving, knowledge is power. Join the Healthy Life Center at Cape Coral for a series of interactive educational classes to help you build your caregiver tool kit.

* Sept.16,, 10 a.m. to noon — “The Diagnostic Process”

Hear answers to questions like this: How are dementia and Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed? What are the benefits of early diagnosis?What kinds of testing are done? Where can I be tested if I have concerns?

* Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to noon — “Dementia Conversations”

When someone shows signs of dementia, it’s time to talk. This program offers tips on how to have honest and caring conversations to address some of the most common issues, such as driving, advance planning and going to the doctor.

* Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to noon — “Effective Communication Strategies”

Learn to better understand the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

* Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to noon — “Understanding &?Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior”

Learn to decode behavioral messages, identify common behavior triggers, and learn strategies to help intervene with some of the most common behavioral challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.

* Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to noon — “Caring for the Caregiver”

Being a caregiver, the very best thing you can do for those who depend on you is to take care of yourself. Build skills and confidence to help reduce stress and increase overall well-being.

* Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to noon — “It Takes a Village Panel Discussion”

Caring for someone with dementia requires strength, resources and support. Bring your questions to be answered by dementia, legal, clinical trial, and aging life professionals.

The Lee Health’s Healthy Life Center is at 609 S.E. 13th Court. Call 239-424-3220 for more information.

Hope Healthcare offering ‘Men’s Grief Toolkit’ series

Hope Healthcare is offering “Men’s Grief Toolkit,” a special six-week series designed especially for men coping with loss.

Open to the community at no cost, Men’s Grief Toolkit provides an opportunity to discuss feelings and learn from the experiences of others. A professional Hope counselor will lead the bi-weekly group through topics including Grief 101, Defining a New Normal and Strategies for Dealing with Loss.

Sessions are scheduled for Wednesdays on Oct. 2, 16 and 30; Nov. 13 and 27; and Dec. 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Hope Community Room at 9470 HealthPark Circle in Fort Myers.

To reserve a spot at an upcoming meeting, contact Lorrie McCann, LMHC at 239-985-7716 or email Lorrie.McCann@HopeHCS.org. Walk-ins are welcomed.

With generous community support, Hope is able to offer additional counseling programs including grief support for adults, teens and children, bereaved parents, and those who have experienced the suicide of a loved one or the loss of a pet. Hope also offers an LGBT group, crisis support for community schools and businesses, and a Spanish language group.

To learn more, visit www.HopeHCS.org/counseling.

Lee Health names Happer System Diversity Director

Michelle Happer has joined Lee Health as its newest system director of diversity. In this role, she will oversee and lead Lee Health’s diversity, patient care civil rights and language services.

Happer has more than 10 years of health care, education and community relations experience in diverse settings.

Happer most recently served as the manager of compliance and cultural diversity for the Sentara Optima Health Plan in Virginia Beach, where she was responsible for cultural diversity and inclusion program initiatives. The managed care plan serves more than 450,000 members across Virginia. Before that, she was a physician relations executive for Inova Health System in Falls Church, Virginia, a leading nonprofit health care provider in Northern Virginia.

Happer has a doctorate of education in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She also earned and a Master of Arts degree in communication and public relations and Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is completing her Master of Arts in Health Care Law from Regent University.

Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org.

Brown announces re-organization of practice, adds three to staff

Stacey Brown has announced the re-organization of her solo practice of 21 years. The new practice name is Stacey Brown & Associates, Counseling and Wellness. She also announced the addition of Valarie Olsen, Heidi Swanson and Christar Damiano.

Olsen is a licensed mental health counselor with over 18 years of experience working with families in Lee County, Fla. She has worked extensively in the fields of trauma, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and parenting issues. She specializes in stress and anger management, parenting and child development, loss and grief, life transitions and experiences of trauma, including PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Swanson is a licensed clinical social worker with over seven years of experience working with families in Lee County, Fla. She has worked extensively in the fields of assessment, critical care, crisis intervention, emergency services, trauma, play therapy, psychoeducation, drug and alcohol education and parenting issues.

Damiano, was born in New York City, and was introduced to the healing arts while living in Hawaii. For the past 20 years, she has traveled to over 40 countries learning different massage modalities and techniques. She studied Thai Massage while in Thailand and became a licensed Reiki Master while in Africa. She has studied yoga and practiced intensive meditation while living in an ashram in India. She is a licensed massage therapist.

Stacey Brown & Associates, Counseling and Wellness is at 2204 Brevard Ave., Fort Myers. Call 239-275-3900 for additional information.

Gulf Coast Village to host ‘Lunch and Learn’ seminar Sept. 24

Gulf Coast Village is hosting a free Lunch and Learn seminar Sept. 24 featuring John C. Spooner, a national expert on senior living communities and financial security for retirees.

Spooner, co-chief executive officer of the senior living consulting firm Grey-stone, will review options for senior living, including the value proposition of Continuing Care Retirement Communities, nonprofit vs. for-profit retirement communities, and the costs of CCRCs, rental communities and continuing to live at home. Greystone has worked with more than 500 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals and senior living organizations over the past 37 years.

As CEO, Spooner is responsible for managing and driving annual business performance, formulating and executing strategies for clients, and interacting with clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders. Spooner earned a bachelor of arts degree in public administration/economics from Drake University and an advanced fellowship in economics from the University of London; he also completed graduate work in marketing at the University of Pittsburgh.

Gulf Coast Village, a Cape Coral Continuing Care Retirement Community, offers a full continuum of care for adults over age 62, including independent living, assisted living, specialized memory support, skilled nursing, home health and rehabilitation services.

The Lunch and Learn event runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Gulf Coast Village, 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd.. The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP by visiting GulfCoastVillage.com/ events or by calling 239-567-9411.