State of Mind with Debra Sloss
State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Mental Health Effects of Dementia on Patients and Caregivers

Episode #22: In honor of September, World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, Psychotherapist Debra Sloss is joined by Anne Friscia who cared for her mother Dixie for the last 9 years of her life while she lived with vascular dementia. This show also features dementia support group leader, educator and psychologist Louise Bettner, PhD, who helps us understand the many challenges facing dementia patients and their care-partners. People with Alzheimer’s and related dementias require care for a longer duration than those with other types of conditions, and this situation puts their caregivers at particularly high risk for anxiety, depression, and poor quality of life. In this show, you’ll learn more about important preparations, where to find support and how to access local resources.

Broadcast: 9/6/20

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production and to Jennifer Young, who assists with research and outreach. And thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S Sept. 26th, 2020
This Walk to End Alzheimer’s event is happening soon! This annual fundraiser supports all of the Alzheimer’s Association service and resource programs, as well as research. Naturally this year they will not be holding the large gathering which has been traditional, but there will be many teams walking in their own neighborhoods at a safe distance and wearing masks, as well as the signature purple T-shirts to raise awareness. For more information or to register to walk:,

Guest Contact Information
Louise Bettner, PhD,
Available to talk with anyone who has questions: patients, caregivers or family members.

Anne Friscia,
Available to talk to family members and/or caregivers of patients.

Books & Articles
Dementia Reimagined by Tia Powell, Random House (2019) – By a physician that reimagines quality of life and care issues for persons with dementia and their families

Still Alice by Lisa Genova   Simon & Schuster (2007) – A novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease that was also made into a movie of the same name.

The 36 Hour Day  by Nancy Mace  – A resource for families who love and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease that helps family members and caregivers address challenges and cope with their own emotions and needs.

Creating Moments of Joy, along the Alzheimer’s Journey  by Jolene BrackeyA guidebook for family caregivers that’s filled with hope, encouragement, humor, and how to live best with this disease.

Like Falling Through a Cloud by Eugenia Zuckerman East End Press (2019) –  Poetry by a woman who has Alzheimer’s)

Iris – The story of her long decline from Alzheimer’s and the effect on her husband.

Still Alice – About a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Local Organizations:
Alzheimer’s Association, Santa Cruz Chapter, serves people with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementia and their care partners by providing information, local resources, and virtual education workshops and support groups. There is also an Alzheimer’s Association chapter in Monterey.
24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900

All of the following resources can be accessed by calling this number:  1-800-272-3900

1.  Care Consultations: help with care planning, legal questions, individual education, emotional support
2. Information and Referral – Information on resources helpful to families.
3. Education – virtual education classes. Register by calling the 800 number above, or at ALZ.ORG/CRF
4. Support Groups – find these by calling the above 800 number or at ALZ.ORG/CRF
5. Community Resource Finder (ALZ.ORG/CRF – find many resources like Adult Day Programs, doctors, home care agencies, housing options and other community resources.

Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center: – Del Mar is a wonderful resource here in Santa Cruz that can assist family caregivers with a care plan for their loved ones.

Senior Network Services Senior Network Services publishes an invaluable guide of senior resources in Santa Cruz County.

Hospice of Santa Cruz County  –  Palliative services, medical equipment and medical care are invaluable.  Scotts Valley and Watsonville offices.  831-430-3000

Family Service Agency (FSA)  of the Central Coast is a dedicated underwriter of State of Mind radio program and podcast.  FSA provides resources, support, and counseling services to adults and children.  The Senior Outreach Program also serves older adults by offering peer counseling in English or Spanish in their home or in one of the many peer support groups. Ageless Art Program and I-You Venture bring art, adventure, and companionship to residential care facilities. FSA believes in the power and potential of people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own creative solutions and welcomes people of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds.  FSA Counseling Offices offer Medi-Cal, Medicare, and low-cost, sliding scale services in both downtown Santa Cruz 831-423-9444 x200 and in Soquel 831-346-6767 x200.

Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Wear with magnets, no zipper or buttons
For Men
For Women

Pajama Jeans For men and women

Care Resources from Ann
The resources provided here are the opinions of the guest on our show. There are many other businesses and services that provide dementia related services in our community and this is by no means a comprehensive list. KSQD, STATE of MIND and The Alzheimer’s Association does not endorse any specific business or organization.

Care from the HeartIn-home services addressing a range of health and social services. Anne hired additional help through this service for her mother, so that she had a personal dedicated aide for several years.  Anne found this beneficial as it allowed her mother to go to therapy

Maple House Assisted LivingMaple House is a small assisted living facility in Live Oak that did a wonderful job in caring for her mother Dixie for six years.

Elder Care Consulting – Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk is a geriatric doctor who makes house calls greatly experienced with dementia patients.

Aegis Senior Living – Assisted living and Memory Care in Aptos & Fremont, California, 831-346-1297