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May Volunteer Spotlight: Marion Kyner

23 May

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Congratulations to our May volunteer of the month Marion Kyner! Marion first connected with our Chapter in 2011, when she filled in for a caregiver support group facilitator. She has continued to serve in that capacity supporting families in Farmville ever since! Marion loves to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association because she likes to help families navigate the difficulties of an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.

Marion enjoys connecting families to resources, ensuring they do not feel alone when facing Alzheimer’s or a dementia diagnosis. Volunteering as a facilitator for the past 6 years has led Marion to meet many people through her groups. She has enjoyed being a small part of their lives. She is proud that her caregiver support group meetings have a steady attendance. Marion goes above and beyond to help our Chapter increase awareness about services and programs that we offer in Farmville. She often contacts radio shows and local newspapers in Farmville to spread the word about upcoming programs and support group meetings. She also helped organize a small Chapter-sponsored community forum in Farmville. She found and secured representatives of community resources to join attendees at the forum and helped sign up new volunteers for our Chapter.

Marion’s greatest passion is to educate people, facilities, and caregivers on dementia friendly practices. She is currently a certified dementia practitioner and certified care manager at the Woodland Senior Community in Farmville. As an RN, with a Masters in Psychiatric Nursing, Marion helps counsel families and residents going through challenging times. She has led multiple in-services for staff at the Woodland to make their facility a more dementia-friendly environment. In April, she attended the Dementia Friendly Virginia Conference along with our Chapter’s Family Programs Manager, Tracy Erlandson. She hopes to apply the insights from the conference to help make her community a better place to live for those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

When Marion is not working or volunteering she enjoys spending time with her husband, Randy, and her two young adult daughters, Anne and Mary. Together, they like to kayak and spend time outdoors. Faith is also a huge part of Marion’s life and she can often be found volunteering at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Farmville.

We are so fortunate to have Marion as a dedicated volunteer with our Chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer, please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

January Volunteer Spotlight: Denise Butler

16 Jan

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Congratulations to our January Volunteer of the Month Denise Butler! Denise first connected with our chapter four years ago as a volunteer for our Peers and Partners program. She and her husband moved to Williamsburg to help support her father-in-law when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When Denise’s own mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia, she struggled to find resources for support after the diagnosis. In 2010, she started out as a volunteer at Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH). In 2014, she wanted to do more for her community and has volunteered with our chapter ever since.  

While Denise was born in Memphis, her father was in the Navy, and she moved around a lot growing up. She went to college locally at Old Dominion University and then married her husband Michael. As Michael was in the Foreign Service, they lived in places all around the world for over 30 years. These travels took them to places such as Portugal, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Norway, Spain, El Salvador and Finland.

While her husband was teaching at West Point, Denise achieved her Masters in Counseling. Eventually, her husband left the Foreign Service to help provide support to his father who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The couple moved to Williamsburg where Denise started volunteering at the Riverside Center for Excellence on Aging. She started overseeing the geriatric assessment clinic 5 years ago and continues working there to this day. Denise became a certified counselor and helps facilitate the Riverside FAMILIES program.

Denise started volunteering with the chapter in 2014 as a facilitator of our Peers and Partners early-stage support group. She also plans to facilitate a new support group starting this February for caregivers, family, and friends of persons with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). FTD is so different from other forms of dementia. Caregivers to those who have been diagnosed with FTD go through vastly different scenarios that the caregivers of those diagnosed with vascular dementia. Denise is excited about the opportunity to learn more about the specifics of FTD and help loved ones of those who have been diagnosed with FTD with their specific challenges.

Denise also started a Memory Cafe with the Riverside Center for Excellence on Aging and Lifelong Health in Williamsburg sponsored by the Peninsula Agency on Aging, which is about to start meeting twice a month. Memory Cafes are so important to Denise because they provide a place for socialization for the those diagnosed at any stage of dementia and their care partners. She enjoys being a part of these meetings and it means so much to her how everyone is able to come together for coffee, treats, and meaningful chit-chat.

Denise has found working with those diagnosed in the early stages to be particularly beneficial. She has been affected deeply by the families and her interactions with those who come to her support groups and meetings. It has changed how she interacts with people on a daily basis. She is much more empathetic to everyday challenges. Helping those suffering with dementia is not only a professional passion, but also a very personal passion for Denise. This is her vocation; to work with families and help caregivers with their own wellness.

In her spare time, Denise loves to read and take care of her two dogs, Paco and Heidi. Denise and Michael also travel frequently to visit their two sons, one who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and the other in Greensboro, North Carolina. Often the family will meet up in Charlottesville to spend time together.

We are so lucky to have Denise as a dedicated volunteer to our chapter! To learn more about how you can volunteer for our Chapter please visit our website at https://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Frances

8 Aug

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Mary Frances is a long time volunteer and advocate at the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She started with the chapter back in 1997, after her mother, Frances Wade Newsome, passed away as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. Before her mother died, Mary Frances had promised her mother she would help other people with dementia. Mary Frances connected with the chapter and started a support group at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Franklin, VA. Mary Frances and The Rev. David Johnson, from Sedley Baptist Church, were trained by Chapter staff to each be a facilitator of a support group, for their area. Together they helped many families and caregivers find the support they needed. In 1998, she was appointed to our chapter’s Board of Directors. Then, in 1999, she became employed as the chapter’s full-time Educational Outreach Coordinator, working out of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Sadly, in December of 2000, Mary Frances was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.  As a result, she had to step down from her full-time position in 2001. The diagnosis further fueled her passion to make a difference as a dedicated volunteer and advocate.  Mary Frances and her supportive husband, Jimmy, secured a building for the chapter in 2005.  She and Jimmy enlisted the help of community volunteers to clean up and rebuild the vacant structure to fit the needs of the Association.  Due to damage from severe flooding, the office was closed in 2010.  

Mary Frances continues to be an extremely committed volunteer. In fact, she and Jimmy have been publicly recognized by the chapter as Outstanding Volunteers. Currently, she co-facilitates a support group in Franklin which meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month, as well as assists with managing support group facilitators in the area. She and Jimmy are still good friends with Executive Director of the SEVA Chapter, Gino Colombara and his wife Grace.

When Mary Frances is not volunteering with the chapter, she and Jimmy also volunteer at the Episcopal Church in Franklin where they assist at the camp grounds over the summer and manage activities at the church. Mary Frances is also a self-proclaimed animal fanatic and cherishes her beloved dog Candy Campbell, a Dachshund-Pug mix.

We are so thankful to have Mary Frances as both a dedicated volunteer and advocate! If you are interested in volunteering with our chapter, you can learn more information on our website at http://www.alz.org/seva/in_my_community_104988.asp

Volunteer Spotlight: Sally McClatchy

20 Jun

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Sally McClatchy is an extraordinary volunteer for the Southeastern Virginia Chapter. Sally serves as a co-facilitator our Norfolk Peers & Partners early stage support groups, an office volunteer, a community educator. Sally regularly shares with staff and fellow volunteers that her work with the Alzheimer’s Association is her passion and she loves to be a volunteer.

Sally is a nurse by training, having received her BSN in Nursing from the Medical College of Virginia and her MS in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University. She also completed a fellowship in patient safety at Virginia Commonwealth University. During her career, Sally served as an emergency room nurse and taught at the School of Nursing at DePaul Hospital. During the latter part of her career, Sally focused her work on health care quality assurance.

The Chapter is certainly very grateful to have such a talented, caring volunteer like Sally on our team!

Join us for A Day for Caregivers!

1 Jun

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The Alzheimer’s Association will host A Day for Caregivers Conference on June 20 in Hampton and June 22 in Franklin. The day-long conference is designed to provide family and professional caregivers with information and tools to enhance their skill sets and help them become more effective in their role.

This year we are excited to welcome two local experts who will lead us in extended hands-on workshops on two unique and interesting topics.  Maryann Toboz, Executive Director of Tidewater Arts Outreach, will provide a morning workshop on engaging those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in the arts of all kinds. There are increasing bodies of research that demonstrate how music, visual arts, dance, and other forms of arts engagement not only provide opportunities for self-expression but increase mental and physical health outcomes of those living with a dementia diagnosis. This workshop will be sure to engage caregivers in all types of settings.

We will also welcome Lori Hasty, Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer, who will facilitate a workshop on Validation Therapy. Validation Therapy is a holistic therapy that focuses on empathy and provides a means for Alzheimer’s patients to communicate. This therapeutic modality uses techniques for connecting with individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia that enhances their dignity and improves their quality of life. Lori has trained with the creator of Validation Therapy, Naomi Feil.

A Day for Caregivers will also include a morning overview of dementia and a research update during lunch.

The cost is $10 and includes breakfast, lunch, and five hours of CEUs. To register or learn more, click here.

A Day For Caregivers Registration Packet 2017

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10 Ways To Love Your Brain

3 Nov

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The ENGAGE Study

29 Sep

“Do you know someone who has memory problems or trouble thinking clearly?
If so, you may be interested in the clinical research study called the ENGAGE Study. The ENGAGE Study is looking at the efficacy and safety of an investigational medication in people experiencing symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease, such as problems with memory or thinking clearly. The study will determine whether the investigational medication can slow progression of the condition. “ Or you can call 1.800.272.3900 and ask for TrialMatch®

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