Central New York Chapter News & Action Center

The End of Alzheimer's Begins with You.

Chapter Announces Staffing Changes

Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter Chief Executive Officer Catherine James announced the following changes for the organization’s staff:

skeval-wKatrina Skeval has been named Chief Program Officer. In this role, she manages the design, delivery and evaluation of the Chapter’s core services throughout its 14-county area. Skeval, a Fabius native and resident, joined the Alzheimer’s Association in 2013 as its associate program director for the Central and Northern regions. She has held internships with the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education, Johnson City Intermediate School and the Dream Center in Johnson City. Skeval earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from St. John Fisher College and a masters in social work from Binghamton University.

ackley-wCarol Ackley was hired as the Chapter’s associate program director for its Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions. She will perform outreach work in these areas, delivering education programs, interacting with support groups and working one-on-one with families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Ackley, who resides in her hometown of Vestal, was previously employed by Oak Hill Manor and Foodnet Meals on Wheels in Ithaca. She earned a bachelor’s in social work from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.

parton-wSarah Parton has been hired as the Chapter’s volunteer coordinator. The Liverpool native and resident is responsible for the recruitment, training and retention of the organization’s volunteers. Parton was previously employed by Meals on Wheels of Syracuse as a community relations assistant, and she also volunteers with the 40 Below Civic Engagement Task Force. In May, she was awarded the Administrators of Volunteer Services 2014 Excellence Award. Parton graduated from the State University of New York College at Brockport.

Chapter Board of Elects 2014-15 Officers

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In addition to electing a slate of five new individuals to its body, the Chapter board of directors also selected its officers for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Executive officers serve one-year terms in their office.

rung-webKeith B. Rung, CPA will serve as president of the board of directors for a second one-year term. A Buffalo native, Rung was an ex officio member of the board last year after acting as interim president of the board in 2011-12. He is a partner at Evans & Bennett Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Rung joined the board of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter in 2006. He is a graduate of Bryant & Stratton College and lives in Syracuse.

bennet-webRobin Bennett, RN was elected vice president of the board for the second time. Bennett is the director of clinical services for the Loretto Adult Community Licensed Home Care Agency. She is a registered nurse, who has been a nursing supervisor at Syracuse’s Loretto’s Heritage Apartments and Iroquois Senior Nursing Facility. Bennett is responsible for Loretto’s quality control programs and internal audits. She holds a master’s degree in nursing education from LeMoyne College and resides in Cazenovia.

hasemannDr. Christina Hasemann, Ph.D., RD, L/CDN was elected secretary. She is a certified dietician who specializes in senior nutrition. Hasemann owns her own business, NY-Penn Nutrition Services, Inc., and is an adjunct at a number of colleges in the Southern Tier. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Marywood University and lives in Binghamton.

KarlJacobKarl Jacob, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CDA is a tax partner with Dannible & McKee CPAs in Syracuse, and has been with the first for more than 25 years. Jacob is a certified public accountant and personal financial specialist, certified financial planner, and certified design accountant. He will serve as the board treasurer, a role he has been in since 2010, and continue as the chair of the Chapter’s finance committee. He is a graduate of Robert Morris College and resides in Baldwinsville.

groomsThomas J. Grooms, Esq. is a retired attorney from the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King PLLC. Grooms will act as member-at-large for the second consecutive year. His speciality was labor law, having first worked with the National Labor Relations Board before going to BS&K where he retired as a senior partner. He earned his law degree from Syracuse University, and he and his wife live in Syracuse.

Chapter Announces Board of Directors Appointments

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The Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter named five new members to its board of directors. Directors serve two-year terms that can be renewed up to three times.

michele-henri-gagneMichele Gagne is a certified Six Sigma Consultant for UnitedHealth Group’s appeals and compliance department. The Syracuse resident is a Six Sigma Black Belt with more than 20 years experience in performance and project management. Gagne holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University and a master’s in business administraton from Boston College’s Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management.

sjurSandy Jurkiewicz is membership manager for CenterStateCEO, a regional business leadership organization and chamber of commerce based in Syracuse. She has a 30-year career in advertising and marketing with an extensive background in media planning. Jurkiewicz is a member of Central New York Sales and Marketing Executives and is a graduate of Onondaga Community College.

longstreetAmi Setright Longstreet has been an attorney at Mackenzie Hughes since 1998 and is a partner in the firm. She is charged with helping businesses and members of the Syracuse community understand estate and trust planning and administration as well as elder law, including asset protection and Medicaid planning, and planning for individuals with disabilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a law degree from Syracuse University.

mcgeeLorraine McGee, CFS is a vice president and relationship manager for KeyBank, N.A. McGee advises clients on wealth strategies and asset management. She has more than 20 years experience in client advisement and investments. McGee, who lives in Cazenovia, is a trustee of the Vera House Foundation and graduate of the University of Connecticut.

Dorollo Nixon Jr. is an attorney with Lachman & dorolloGorton in Endicott. Nixon specializes in Social Security advocacy, real estate, litigation, and wills and trusts. He previously worked as an independent attorney and Chadbourne & Parke, where he specialized in international law and banking issues. Nixon is the president of the Southern Tier Young Professionals. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a juris doctor from Rutgers University School of Law-Newark.

NUTRITION & ALZHEIMER’S: Nutrition Through the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

The latest in a series by Dr. Christina Hasemann, Ph.D., RD, L/CDN.

While no special diet is required for people with Alzheimer’s disease—unless they have another condition, such as diabetes, that requires diet monitoring—eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is extremely beneficial. With the proper diet, your body will work more efficiently, you’ll have more energy, and your medications will work properly.

Proper nutrition is very important throughout all life stages.    It gains even more importance as we age.  Planning nutritious meals can be a challenge for anyone, but particularly for those with, or caring for, someone with dementia.  I recently did an education session for the staff at the Kirkpatrick Day Program and I thought the information would be good to share more globally as well!

Early Stages
In the earliest of stages, persons with dementia may have a decreased variety of foods in their diet, may forget to eat, or forget that they have already eaten.  They may not get thirsty and can forget to drink.  Some become more sensitive to caffeine’s effects.  Senses become dulled, especially smell and taste, and they may not be aware of spoiled food.  Meal preparation becomes more challenging and they may forget that they are cooking and/or may lose track of cooking times.  Grocery shopping may become more difficult – especially in today’s “superstores.”

Caregivers can help by serving high quality, nutritious foods and work to keep variety in the diet.  Encouraging healthy snacks and adequate fluids can also go a long way to keep people healthy and hydrated.  Switch to decaf /caffeine free beverages if sensitivity to caffeine is a concern.  Regularly check refrigerator/cabinets for spoiled/out of date foods – or for food items that have been recalled.  Keep an eye out for burned foods, cookware or utensils.  And, provide assistance with shopping as needed.

Middle Stages
In the middle stages, persons with dementia may forget to eat and drink, and weight loss may occur as a result.  They may not feel hungry and may not even open delivered meals or packaged foods to prepare a meal or snack.  Changes in ability to eat can occur due to forgetting dentures, difficulty opening containers, and poor/limited attention span.  They may not be able to communicate hunger or thirst as they lose the ability to interpret the body’s signals. At some point they may not be able to prepare foods without supervisions/cueing and may use inappropriate table manners or not recognize utensils.
They may hoard foods for later consumption or even consume non-food items.  They can become overwhelmed by a full plate of food.

Caregivers can help by supervising meals and assisting as necessary. Provide meals/snacks at regular times.  Provide more finger foods and easy to eat items.
Serve foods one at a time so a large plate of food is no so overwhelming.  Avoid distractions at meal time and redirect as necessary for meal completion. And, use food aromas to stimulate appetite and to increase interest in food.

Later Stages
In the later stages, persons with dementia may refuse to wear dentures to eat and as a result may begin pocketing foods.  They may not recognize foods or what to do with certain foods or know which utensils to use. They may forget how to chew/swallow food safely.  They may lose weight even with an adequate diet as the body shifts into hypermetabolism. They may require feeding assistance for meal completion.

Caregivers can help by encouraging them to participate as much as possible in the eating process with finger foods and cueing.  Gently remind them to chew and swallow if they need cueing to do so.  Offer liquid nutritional supplements such as Carnation Breakfast Essentials, Boost, or Ensure.  Help them to maintain good oral hygiene to reduce bacterial growth that can lead to pneumonia.  Modify foods as needed for appropriate textures (cut things up very small, puree, etc).  Encourage to alternate bites of foods with sips of liquids.

Quite often caregivers need to get creative to get their loved ones to consume an adequate amount of nutrients and fluids.  Support groups can be a helpful forum for additional ideas!

 

Dr. Christina Hasemann, Ph.D., RD, L/CDN is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter board of directors. Dr. Hasemann is a registered dietician who specializes in senior nutrition, and president of NY-Penn Nutrition Services, Inc. Dr. Hasemann’s Nutrition Basics series appears on this blog on a regular basis. Consult a medical professional before adopting any dietary changes.

Syracuse-Area Businesses Announce Events for The Longest Day

Two Syracuse-area businesses will join people from across the globe to honor those facing Alzheimer’s disease by participating in The Longest Day® on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The Longest Day® is a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Teams will complete a day filled with activity to raise funds and awareness for the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Pole Position Raceway at DestinyUSA and Quaker Steak & Lube in Van Buren will each take part in the event, held annually on the summer solstice. The Longest Day® symbolizes the seemingly endless journey so many facing Alzheimer’s disease are asked to endure. Participants will complete approximately 16 hours of activity ranging from running, cooking, knitting to playing bridge, to help advance Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Continue reading

Utica Comets Round Out Inaugural Season with Check Presentation to Chapter

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Saturday night’s game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins marked the inaugural season of Utica Comets hockey in the American Hockey League.

We had the honor of working with right winger Brandon DeFazio this season. Brandon, who hails from Oakville, Ontario, has been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and he was instrumental in working with the team to hold an Alzheimer’s Awareness night earlier in the season.

Prior to Saturday evening’s game, the Comets presented the Chapter with a check for $9,400, the combination of donations from players on the team, proceeds from a jersey raffle and a corporate match from New York State Tool in Chadwicks. The donation will support the Greater Utica Walk To End Alzheimer’s on September 14 at New Hartford Jr./Sr. High School.

Pictured above are New York State Tool owner Matt Wilsey, the Chapter’s Associate Development Director Grant Fletcher, Comets’ Owner and former NHL player Rob Esche, and Brandon DeFazio.

Home Instead Senior Care Commits to Walk Sponsorship at Check Presentation

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Representatives from Home Instead Senior Care’s office in Binghamton recently presented the Chapter with a check for $2,250, announcing that they will become an elite level sponsor for the Chapter’s Walk To End Alzheimer’s event at Binghamton’s Otsiningo Park on September 21.

Home Instead is a national non-medical home services agency that work with seniors to help them stay in their homes as they age. In addition to being a Walk sponsor, Home Instead is a National Walk To End Alzheimer’s team. National Teams encourage employees to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, while raising funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Pictured above are Chapter Associate Development Director Georgia Vieira, Heather Kennedy, Ann Marie Conaty, Denise Mughetti, Marcia Visconti, Molly Curran, and Chapter CEO Cathy James.

CNY Advocates Make Their Voices Heard at Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum

From left to right: Chapter CEO Cathy James, Rep. Dan Maffei, Eileen Krupka and Jim Browning.

From left to right: Chapter CEO Cathy James, Rep. Dan Maffei, Eileen Krupka and Jim Browning.

More than 900 people, including two volunteers from Central New York, used their voice to speak on behalf of millions affected by Alzheimer’s disease at the 26th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum last week in Washington, D.C. Jim Browning of Mt. Upton and Eileen Krupka of Baldwinsville joined Alzheimer’s Association staff members and volunteers from all 50 states for two days of workshops that culminated in visits with local congressional representatives.

Browning and Krupka are Alzheimer’s Association Ambassadors to Reps. Richard Hanna and Dan Maffei, respectively. Ambassadors are volunteer liaisons to these Congressional offices, conducting regular meetings to keep them updated on legislation and regulatory issues pertaining to the five million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Continue reading