Turner Hats Supports Baba’s Bunch

Turner Hats Supports Baba’s Bunch

November is starting off with a big bang for Baba’s Bunch.

We’re so grateful to Turner Hats for their charitable support and their recognition of Baba’s Bunch (click here to view their blog post announcing their generous support). They will be donating 15% of all sales from now until the end of the year for all purchases that use the coupon code BABASBUNCH. Please check their fabulous hats on their website. We’ll all be glad you did.  And don’t forget to tell your friends. They make unbelievable Holiday Gifts.

Turner Hats Supports Baba's Bunch
Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Groups in Miami Dade County Provided by Vitas Healthcare

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Groups in Miami Dade County Provided by Vitas Healthcare

There are more than 14 million caregivers of Alzheimer’s Disease or other Dementia.  Those of us who have been caregivers know first-hand just how difficult it can be. Taking care of the caregiver is critical, and a Caregiver Support Group is often an important ingredient of the caregiver experience. Below is the list of caregiver support groups that Vitas Healthcare offers throughout MIami-Dade County.  Not sure what to do? Please give Norma Trabanco a call at 786-306-8450. You’ll be glad you did!

South Dade

  • FIU- Student Health Center: Room 482 (Green Library); 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, 33199 – English Support Groups: Last Friday of the month: 11am-1pm.
  • East Ridge Retirement Center: 19301 SW 87th Avenue, MIami, 33157 – English Support Groups: Last Friday of the month: 2pm- 4pm.

​Central Dade

  • The Residences of United Homecare: 9355 SW 158th Ave, Miami,33196 – English & Spanish Support Groups: 4th Tuesday of the Month Hours: 6:30pm-8:30pm.
  • Easter Seal of South Florida:1475 NW 14th Ave, Miami, 33125 – English & Spanish Support Group: 1st Friday of the Month: 4:30pm – 6:30pm.
  • West Gables Rehabilitation Center: 2525 SW 75th Ave, MIami, 33155 – Spanish Support Group: 1st Tuesday of the Month: 6:30pm-8:30pm.
  • Homestead Manor Nursing Home 1330 NW 1st Ave, Homestead, 33030 – English Support Groups: 1st Wednesday of the Month: 3:30pm-5:30pm.


  • Easter Seals of South Florida. Hialeah Center,489 Hialeah Drive, Suite 7, Hialeah, 33010:English & Spanish Support Group:2nd Friday of the Month:4:00pm-6:00pm.

Every Three Months

  • Hialeah Hospital. 651 East 25th Street, Hialeah, 33013: Special Presentation.
Figuring Out Strategy For Eating Well For Dementia Patients

Figuring Out Strategy For Eating Well For Dementia Patients

This blog was originally posted on the website of Seniority Matters, a local South Florida Advisory and Referral Company- It also appeared in the Miami Herald.

Figuring Out Strategy For Eating Well For Dementia Patients

My husband has dementia. Recently he has lost a lot of weight —and I’m concerned. We went to a gastroenterologist and after a complete work-up it was determined that it is a direct result of the dementia. The doctor recommended that we consult a nutritionist who could make recommendations for dietary and behavior changes and suggest some supplements. I don’t want to irritate my husband with changes if they’re not going to do any good… Can this help?  Nancy F., Wellington, Florida

Figuring Out Strategy For Eating Well For Dementia Patients

Your physician was wise to recommend a consultation with a nutrition expert, especially one who is experienced working with geriatric patients, such as Barbie Lazar MS, RD, CDN, Clinical Nutrition Manager at Miami Jewish Health Systems. She told me in an email that weight loss is a common challenge for people with dementia and the main culprit is usually undereating. She offered this advice:

“The mealtime environment plays a very important role in promoting adequate intake.Reducing distractions, maintaining adequate lighting, and using appropriate utensils can assist in maximizing how much he eats. Try interacting with him at mealtime. Provide encouragement and reminders for him to complete his meal. Also, observe if he has difficulties chewing or swallowing. If so, consider softer or pureed foods.”

She also added that your husband may prefer smaller meals with snacks in between rather than large meals.

“ Consider high calorie snacks such as pudding, ice cream,” she added. “A better and more natural option that any artificial supplements would be homemade smoothies. High calorie, high-protein ingredients can include avocado, bananas, yogurt, silken tofu and protein powder.”

Lazar added that “Food First” is the best approach to solving your husband’s under-eating.

“Doing what you can to increase his caloric intake — hopefully with more healthful foods than sweets — will likely improve your husband’s energy level and disposition. And if testing shows that your husband has nutritional or absorption deficiencies, a nutrition expert will know how to rectify these issues through diet and/or supplements.”

To find a registered dietitian and nutritionist who specializes in geriatric nutrition, use the referral service offered by EatRight.org which allows you to search by zipcode and specialty.

For more information, I recommend these online resources:

• The National Institute on Aging website offers answers to common questions about nutrition in the aging population and other helpful information in ” Smart Food Choices for Healthy Aging.

•  “My Plate for Older Adults,” located on the website of Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy, is very good.

Finally, for high-calorie smoothie recipes, take a look at this website.

Happy Mother’s Day From Our Founder, Tony Friguls

Happy Mother’s Day From Our Founder, Tony Friguls

To All Caregivers whose Mother’s have Alzheimer’s Disease or any Dementia.

“This is a day to remember and honor all the mothers but especially those, who for no fault of their own, were robbed by Alzheimer’s of their ability and desire to continue taking care for others; the tables are turned, now our most important job is taking care of her!.

Un abrazo and my most sincere respect to you,”


A Doctor’s Advice For An Alzheimer’s Patient On Sundowning

A Doctor’s Advice For An Alzheimer’s Patient On Sundowning

Sundowning is a common problem in dementia patients, characterized by lack of sleep and high levels of anxiety and delirium. It impacts the  safety and well-being of both the patient and caregiver.

The big question is “How long does it last?”  According to Dr. Barry Baumel, Division of Cognitive Disorders at the University of Miami School of Medicine“sundowning usually occurs in the intermediate phase of the disease and will often pass as the disease progresses. Just like there are many theories as to why sundowning occurs, there are many different approaches to effectively treat it.”

Here are some of his suggestions:
  • Make sure that the lighting during the day is bright and full. At night time, leave a little night light on so there is just enough light to see should the patient awaken.
  • As much as possible, keep the individual as active as possible during the day since Alzheimer’s patients naturally tend to have less motor activity during daytime hours.
  • Make sure all Alzheimer’s medications, (such as Aricept, Exelon or Razadyne) is given in the evening. This may help improve the disturbed sleep-wake cycle.
  • Adding a little Melatonin may also help induce sleep at night. Dosage range should be determined by the individual’s doctor. He should avoid napping during the daytime, if possible.

For additional reading, Dr Baumel recommends“The Alzheimer’s Action Plan” by Dr. Murali Doraiswamy. It includes a chapter on the treatment of anxiety and sleeplessness.

All Caregivers Need Support

All Caregivers Need Support

Nearly 15 million people are caregivers to someone who has Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia.

Those of us who have cared for loved one know how difficult it can be. There are days when we’ve felt pushed to the max, question our own quality of life, and wonder how our other relationship can possibly survive, much less how we can survive. Taking care of the caregiver is critical. There are many resources out there to help- Take a look at our resource section where you’ll find lots of helpful information, learn about local organizations in South Florida, and available Support Groups that meets your needs and schedule. We’ll be adding to this section often– PLEASE send us an additional resources that have been helpful to you.

Support Groups can be a invaluable resource for caregivers. In Miami-Dade alone, there are many throughout the county offered by VItas Hospice Care– In addition the Alzheimers’ Caregiver Support Group offered groups throughout Broward County and the Southern Part of Palm Beach County. Need help in finding the right one for you?