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Caring for someone with dementia is a lonely path. Find understanding, referrals, and encouragement at a local support group.

December 28, 2013 at 8:30 am



The Gulf Coast Dementia Services Support Group

Location: 3263 Demetropolis Road,Ste 10 at the Quadrangle Business Center, Mobile, AL 36693 at Touching Hearts Senior Care Office

 The Caregiver Support Group is held the second Tuesday of every month, at 11am – 12pm at Touching Hearts Senior Care offices.  This is a free event and completely confidential.

Refreshments are provided so call to let them know you will be there.  251-445-4204 or 251-421-4888.

The Gulf Coast Dementia Services Support Groups provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings. Using Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care, Gina Germany teaches participants to understand, recognize and care for persons with dementia.

Call 251-421-4888 or 300-0250 for Gina Germany.


E. A. Roberts Alzheimer Center offers support every second Thursday at 10 am.  They are located at 169 Mobile Infirmary Drive.  Please call 251-435-6950 for further information.

The Long Good-bye Support Group meets at noon for an hour on the second Tuesday of each month. Dauphin Way Methodist Church hosts this group and meets in the Bishop’s Meeting Room.  If you would like to have lunch during the meeting, RSVP the church by Friday.  Call the church at 251-471-1511.

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Support Group – Third Tuesday of every  month from 6 to 7 pm.  No entrance or support fees associated with group.  VIA Senior Center, 1717 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL  36604.  For meeting information call 251-776-5999.

Christ United Methodist Church – Second and Fourth Tuesday evening, 6:00 PM.  6101 Grelot Road, Mobile, AL contact Donna Alexander for more information.   (251) 342-0462 or A.J. McDonald at 617-767-2067.


Covenant Care Educational Support Group Schedule

1.  Last Wednesday of every month at 10.00 a.m. at the The Brennity of Daphne, 27440 Co. Rd. 13, Daphne, AL  36526.

2. First and Third Thursday of every month at 9:00 a.m. at the Foley Senior Center, 304 E. Rose Street, Foley, AL  36535

4. First Monday of the month at 12:00 p.m. at D.W. McMillan Hospital Stranded Conference Room, 1301 Belleville Avenue, Brewton, AL.

5.  Frontotemporal Degeneration and Related Dementias Support Group: Last Wednesday of each month, beginning Feb. 22, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. at Baldwin House Assisted Living Residence (across from Lowe’s and Sam’s Club). 10171 Papa George St., Daphne,AL

6. Last Sunday at 1:30 pm at  Westminster Village, 500 Spanish Fort Blvd., Spanish Fort, AL.

These groups are open access, private and confidential.  For more information, call audrey.hanline@choosecovenant.org>, Daphne, AL, 1-855-CARE-365.


Coastal  Respite Care: Adult Day Center in Foley, AL coastalrespite.com

300 E. Laurel

Foley, Alabama 36535

Phone: 251-317-1212

DAYBREAK – Gulf Shores United Methodist Church, located at 1900 Gulf Shores Parkway, offers DayBreak, a ministry providing support and service for caregivers and their loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease. DayBreak is held on Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is nominal and lunch is provided. For more information, contact Dolly Crewes at 251-968-3634 or Terry Fowinkle at 251-968-2377.  For more information, visit their website at Gulf Shores United Methodist Church.

Haven of Gulf Shores,  a new 32 bed assisted and memory care facility, offers a support group the third Thursday evening of the month.  Call Teresa Carrel for details at  (251)923-2800.

SHEPARD’S PLACE – Held at Fairhope United Methodist Church on the first 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 9:30 AM. This is open to anyone who cares for someone on a daily basis.  Contact Dr. Ann Pearson for further information at (251) 928-1148 or ann.pearson@fairhopeumc.org Map


 ALZHEIMER’S FAMILY SERVICES – Support group held on the first Monday of the month at noon in the Strandell Conference Room at D. W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, 1301 Belleville Avenue in Brewton, AL. Call 251-809-8309 for information or email facilitator, Marcia De Graaf, at mdegraaf@dwmmh.org.   Map 

Florida Locations

Brookdale Ft. Walton Beach – Meets 1st Thursday at 5:30 pm at 233 Carmel Avenue, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.  Contact 850-864-4600 to sign up.

Covenant Care Educational Support Group Schedule

FLORIDA LOCATIONS  Monthly Meeting Date  Time  Location  Address 
Crestview 1st Thursday 1:30 p.m. Silvercrest Health and Rehabilitation Center 910 Brookmeade Drive, Crestview, FL
Destin/Miramar Beach Last Tuesday 2:00 p.m. Sacred Heart of the Emerald Coast Suite 3 Conference Room 7800 U.S. Highway 98 West Miramar Beach, FL
Gulf Breeze 2nd Thursday 10:00 a.m. Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church 75 Fairpoint Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL
Gulf Breeze-Early Onset Group 3rd Thursday 5:30 p.m. For details contact


Laurel Hill 3rd Thursday 2:00 p.m. First Baptist Church of Laurel Hill 3972 2nd Avenue, Laurel Hill, FL
Milton 2nd Thursday 1:00 p.m. Covenant Community Resource Center 6479 Caroline Street, Suite B, Milton, FL
Niceville 2nd Thursday 10:00 a.m. Superior Residences of Niceville 2300 Partin Drive North, Niceville, FL
Niceville Last Wednesday 10:00 a.m. Crosspoint Church Chandler Center Room 701 214 South Partin Drive, Niceville, FL
Panama City 3rd Wednesday 10:00 a.m. Superior Residences of Panama City 95 Grand Heron Drive, Panama City Beach, FL
Pensacola-Early Stage Group 1st Wednesday 1:00 p.m. For details contact


Pensacola 1st Tuesday 6:00 p.m. Homestead Village 7830 Pine Forest Road, Pensacola, FL
Pensacola 2nd Friday 2:00 p.m. Azalea Trace, The Trace Room 10100 Hillview Road, Pensacola, FL
Pensacola 2nd Monday 2:30 p.m. Pine Forest United Methodist Church 2800 Wilde Lake Blvd., Pensacola, FL
Pensacola For On-site Respite call 850.266.2503 3rd Monday 2:30 p.m. Council on Aging of West Florida 875 Royce Street, Pensacola, FL
Pensacola 4th Monday 10:00 a.m. Trinity Presbyterian Church, Room E 3400 Bayou Blvd., Pensacola, FL
Shalimar 3rd Thursday 6:00 p.m. Shalimar United Methodist Church 1 Old Ferry Road, Shalimar, FL


  • First Monday of every month

The purpose of this support group is to reach those caregivers who could benefit from a support group, yet find it difficult to travel to a meeting site.  The meeting is the first Monday of every month, from 3 pm to 4:30pm Central Time.  Call 1-800-272-3900 to register.  Kelli Moorehead will be in touch with you after you register.

Welcome to Caregivers Unite. Let’s talk about local resources, referrals and ideas to make life richer for dementia care stakeholders.

November 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Do you have a question to ask, suggestion, referral, or recommendations to make? Here is the place to do it.

I welcome any comments that you have.  Either write your comment after any post or e-mail me at pittman1212@comcast.net.

To receive an automatic email of a recent post, subscribe at the bottom right of this page.  Be sure to confirm that you want to follow the blog when you get the confirmation email.  Many thanks and may you find something here to better your day.

purple angle symbol

This Purple Angel symbol can be used by anyone raising awareness regarding dementia. It symbolizes a guardian over those living with dementia, their families and friends, as well as all those working to raise awareness about dementia world wide.

How Dementia Friendly Community Initiatives Are Changing Lives in Alabama

October 16, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Supervising a building project was not on my to-do list. But I did want to see that dream of a pergola with a comfortable swing materialize in my backyard. The deck was rotting and I had stepped through decaying boards more than once. So the project began and I stayed home to be on hand in case any problems arose. Watching the progress through the window, I took the time to work on my online dementia advocacy activities.

An email came explaining several mini-grants were available from the Central Alabama Aging Consortium in Montgomery to expand dementia friendly communities. The idea was to foster increased awareness in Alabama of the growing dementia incidence and initiate and conduct sustainable programs that offer information to assist caregivers and people living with dementia. The Dementia Friendly concept is slowing growing in the United States and I was excited that the movement had reached our state. I forwarded the information to my friend, AL Cares Coordinator, Della Sanchez at the Area Agency on Aging. I knew she was busy already but this was another dream that wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought, “If I could just find someone who wanted it as bad as I did, maybe we could work together.” She sent back the message suggesting, “You do it.” I thought, “Okay, maybe I should try.” But I’ve never written a grant. Where do I go for help? I began researching the Internet for ideas and talking to people who had successfully written and won grants.

With the construction work happening outside, I began my own construction on the computer. In my seat at the kitchen table, I built a plan to promote dementia friendly practices in faith communities. After all, the church seemed the ideal place to start. What better place could a person go to find support, encouragement, and understanding when facing life with dementia? My proposal was to educate church staff on how to recognize dementia, caregiver stress, be able to create an environment that was welcoming and inclusive and have helpful resource on hand. Culminating these efforts would be to offer a Memory Café, providing a safe and understanding social event for people with dementia and their care partner.

Two days before the grant submission deadline, I sent the draft to Mrs. Sanchez at the AAA. She forwarded it to the director of the Area Agency on Aging, Julie McGee who responded back with her own proposal. She advised that I would not be able to qualify for the grant as an individual. She had encouraged and enabled my efforts in the past so I wasn’t completely shocked at what came next. In her gracious, supportive way, this powerful woman offered to submit the grant application, by making a few small changes, thereby adding the weight of her position and the structure of her office. I began to think we had a real chance at qualifying for this grant.

One might wonder why would I go to so much effort to talk about dementia. The answer is simple. Because dementia has a way of changing the lives of everyone it touches. As a caregiver for my mom and later my aunt, who both lived the last years of their lives with dementia, a passion for helping others navigate that journey grew into advocacy and action. The valuable lessons I learned along the way were too precious to keep to myself. Although caregiving requires strength, courage, and perseverance, we found a way to keep hope alive. We discovered that our journey was one of faith and love. This took time to develop but the further along we went, the experience taught us to anticipate change and face each challenge with confidence. We found joy in helping others, giving us purpose for our journey. We walked together to the very end of both my mom’s and my aunt’s life and parted at heaven’s gates. I determined to take what we had learned and continue to advocate for those who were following behind.

The submission deadline was met. We waited. The results were two weeks away. While shopping in Costco the phone call came that we’d been waiting for. Moving over to a quiet corner of the store, I listened to the results. The voice said she wanted me to be the first to know. We had gotten the grant. In the time it took to hear the good news and wipe away my tears, my life changed.

Reality set in. Now I was responsible for following through with this homespun plan. The agreement was clear from the beginning. The Area Agency on Aging would submit the grant, but I would do the work. Based on the Dementia Friendly America model, this was a grassroots operation and I would need help. Fellow advocate, Jerry Horn had already lent his graphic art talents to the cause so we began to talk about creating a brochure. I consulted with Mrs. McGee’s wise administrative assistant, Nancy Bledsoe. This was an unexpected relationship that became my lifeline. She helped me with everything. She advised how I should keep track of my activity and shared her organizational methods. We worked together on spending the budget – what to buy and the channels that it would take to make purchases. She coached me on how to find presentation opportunities. This took several months to carry out. Meanwhile, I began writing a PowerPoint Presentation (PPX) to convey our message and compiling folders to handout that would not only inspire and educate our faith communities but also offer local resources.

Finally, I was ready to start finding churches that would be interested. With brochure in hand and in PDF ready to share, I made phone calls. I sent out Facebook invitations to alert the dementia community of this opportunity. Nothing was forthcoming. This became a little worrisome, as we had proposed that 10 churches would invite me to talk about becoming dementia friendly by the end of September. And August was almost here. I began to look for any opportunity. My first approach was to ask for help and consultation with a church administrator. We met and after spending two hours talking, he asked for a copy of my folder (at this point it was a rough draft). He made his own copy and I left. I documented the meeting and counted it as number 1.

My next opportunity came by way of the Alzheimer’s Association to speak to our local National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) group that wanted to know more about the association. As the Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador for District 01, I was happy to oblige. After all, NARFE collectively donates millions of dollars to the Alzheimer’s Association each year and I had a projector, screen, and a rolling bag to carry supplies. So I created a new PPX to talk about what they wanted to hear and wove in what else I was doing. I handed out grant-funded materials and gave out several books.

The next event took place at Westminster Village, a retirement community that offers all levels of care. Upon my arrival posters lined the halls with my photo announcing the event. A tech team helped set up, as people filed in, 41 in all. Several friends from the next county showed up. My ambassador team arrived and helped wherever needed. The smiles and interest on the audience’s faces were encouraging.

By now, my calendar had several commitments secured – two being at my Alma Mata, the University of South Alabama. Going from being a voiceless caregiver to speaking at an OT/PT Conference is a surreal experience. Then I spoke to a Therapeutic Recreation class where, as a student years ago, the inspiration to help the aging population began. And best of all, my mentor, Cathy O’Keefe was present to teach the first part of the class. The students seemed engaged and interested when shown the PPX about activities and life in skilled care that came from my personal experiences.

The next events took place in lovely church facilities: one after a luncheon and another on a Sunday afternoon. Refreshments were set out by the church helpers and my husband was available to run the PPX from the sound booth. My friend, Elisabeth Greene directed the people as they arrived, making sure they signed in and got the proper handouts. For 1 1/2 hours, I talked about dementia, how to prepare, and how to continue an emotional connection with loved ones when living with dementia. We had a drawing for books and some activity ideas on display to share.

Occasionally, I have looked at my ambitious calendar and wonder if I am able to do what I’ve committed to. Then I remember the sight of my back bedroom, which is laden with books, handouts, a printer, ink refills, paper, etc. Folders are stacked up in boxes, along with one box devoted to supplies for the Memory Cafe, which we successfully carried out near the end of the grant period. The happy occasion was held at the Mobile Museum of Art. We had music therapy led by Sonya Atwood followed by art instruction from Elizabet Elliot and Angela King. Refreshments were provided by the AARP. There were 23 people in attendance. Many are ready to return to our next Memory Cafe in November.

By the end of the six-month grant period, we reached and exceeded our goals and managed to speak in front of 173 people altogether. More commitments are on the calendar and I continue to say yes to every opportunity.

The dementia friendly movement in Mobile is driven by the same faith and resolve that sustained us while care partnering. If you have a passion to help create a culture where people with dementia can feel respected, supported and included in everyday community life, now is the time to act. The Central Alabama Aging Consortium is now offering Dementia Friendly Communities Expansion Mini-Grants to people who are ready to change lives: their own and those of people living with or caring for people with dementia. Contact Stephanie Holmes for further information at Stephanie.Holmes@adss.alabama.gmail.com or visit http://centralalabamaaging.org/category/calendar/and learn how to apply.

With our grant completed and more being offered, let’s continue to build dementia friendly communities, offering hope to the thousands who are impacted daily in Alabama.  Catch the vision. We all have a part to play in order to reach all areas of the community. Won’t you join us?


Beth Reinert, October 2017Dementia Friendly Project Manager

Dementia Friendly Project Manager






Long Term Care Insurance and Open Forum at E.A. Roberts Alzheimer’s Center

October 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Great news!  If you are unable to attend the Educational Dementia Support Group in person you can now watch it stream live on their Facebook page.  Whether you attend in person or via social media, please attend the October 12 support group at 10:00 am which will offer “Planning for the Future – Long-Term Care Insurance” with Kari Ransom from New York Life. Manager Beth Elkins will lead the open forum for caregivers to ask questions and share ideas from the dementia journey.

E.A. Roberts Alzheimer’s Center

169 Mobile Infirmary Blvd.

Mobile, AL  36607


Complimentary care is provided during the meeting. Please call for more information.

Dementia Medications: What are my options? What are the side effects?

September 12, 2017 at 6:30 am

The September 14th Educational Dementia Support Group Meeting will have presenters Clare Carter, Pharm.D., and Elizabeth Steadman, Pharm.D to talk about dementia medications.  The meeting starts at 10:00 AM.  Complementary care is provided during the meeting.  Please call 251-435-6950 for more information.

E.A. Roberts Alzheimer’s Center is located at 169 Mobile Infirmary Blvd, Mobile, AL  36607.

The Long GoodBye Support Group

August 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Dauphin Way Methodist Church offers a monthly support group/lunch on the second Tuesday, November 14, at noon in the McDavid Library.  If you plan to eat, please call the church (251-471-1511) and make a reservation by November 9.  The cost of lunch is $5.00.

Hydration and Nutrition For the Dementia Patient

August 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm

E.A.Roberts Alzheimer’s Center presents “Hydration & Nutrition For the Dementia Patient” by Dana Adair at the August 10th Educational Dementia Support Group.  Dana Adair is a Certified Dementia Trainer by the Department of Mental Health in the state of Alabama.

Complimentary care is provided during the meeting.  Please call 435-6950 for more information.  They are located at 169 Mobile Infirmary Blvd., Mobile, AL  36607.

“Financial Caregiving” is topic at next Educational Dementia Support Group

July 4, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Kyla G. Kelim, Esq. brings her elder law expertise to the next E.A. Roberts Alzheimer’s Center support group, entitling her presentation, “Financial Caregiving – A Caregiver’s Checklist.”  The essential information is crucial to the toolbox of any caregiver. Make plans to attend on July 13, 2017 at 10:00 A.M.  Complimentary care is available during the meeting.  Located at 169 Mobile  Infirmary Blvd, please call 251-435-6950 for more information.

Hurricane Season and Dementia

June 2, 2017 at 2:21 pm

red cross

Don’t wait…Start making preparations now.  Linda Collins of the American Red Cross and Laura Harrington, Manager of the Roberts Center will together present this seasonal topic at the June 8, 2017 Educational Dementia Support Group at 10:00 AM at the E.A.Roberts Center, 169 Mobile Infirmary Blvd, Mobile, AL  36607.

Complimentary care will be provided during the meeting.  Please call 435-6950 for more information.

May 23, 2017 at 5:21 pm


Our new Alzheimer’s Association Community Outreach Coordinator, Angela Plummer McDonald, comes to the AL/FL Panhandle Chapter with 10 year of experience as an Ambassador to Senator Markey of Boston, MASS. In addition to her volunteer experience, Wingate Healthcare employed her for 4 years as the Director of Memory Care and was director of Home Instead in Boston 5 years prior to that.

She comes to Mobile, following her fiancé, Chris McDonald, who is the assistant Certified Athletic Trainer for the USA baseball team. They will be wed soon in Panama City and settle down in Mobile. Please welcome Angela (AJ) to our area. She is available to speak about AD and is responsible for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s and The Longest Day. Let her know if you want to help by calling 850-225-0680 or reach her at asplummer@alz.org.






Spirituality & Dementia: Finding Hope During a Seemingly Hopeless Time

May 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Allan Eldridge photo

E. A. Roberts Alzheimer’s Center presents Spirituality & Dementia at their next Educational Dementia Support Group.  The minister of Regency Church of Christ, Allan Eldridge will speak about finding hope during a seemingly hopeless time.

The support group will be on May 11, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the E.A. Roberts Alzheimer’s Center, located at 169 Mobile Infirmary Blvd, Mobile, AL  36607.  Complimentary care will be provided during the meeting.  Please call 251-435-6950 for more information.

Lisa Genova’s TED Talk About Dementia

May 3, 2017 at 11:19 am