Whitney DeMarlo Oeltmann
Co-Founder/CFO/Family Care Partner
When her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012, Whitney went looking for resources to help her Mom and Dad with next steps. She quickly became aware of the lack of community support and knowledge she assumed she would find. Deeply disheartened, Whitney and her mother Linda DeMarlo were determined to turn their struggles and negative experiences into positive action. Receiving her master’s degree in social work from Tulane University in 1999 Whitney uses her personal and professional experiences working one on one with individuals and families after a diagnosis of dementia. Serving as the founding family for Dementia Spotlight Foundation the DeMarlo’s desire is to provide a “guiding light” for discovering the direction and resources they had hoped to find.
Dementia Spotlight Foundation Fundraising Director, Alzheimer’s Music Fest Founder
When his father, Albert Zangaro, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 14 years ago, Vince became his full-time caretaker. After an isolating first few years, he sought a way to help his family and others in the same situation.
“I started losing a lot of friends. I called some of the larger nonprofits, and there was no help. So I figured with my music background, maybe I could get a bunch of bands to play a festival, and start helping people with respite care and stuff at home for their loved ones,” Zangaro said. “Since we didn’t have a community, we’d build one.”
Eventually Zangaro found partners in nonprofits including Dementia Spotlight Foundation, which focuses on awareness and education as well as direct help for patients and families including respite for caregivers. Since his father’s passing in April 2018, Vince has worked full-time as an advocate for Alzheimer’s and dementia families.
Gary Joseph LeBlanc
Dementia Spotlight Foundation Educational Director
Gary Joseph LeBlanc, is a Certified Dementia Communication Specialist and the author of “Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness,” “The Aftereffects of Caregiving” “Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors” and co- author of “While I Still Can”. Also, a weekly columnist of “Common Sense Caregiving” published in the Tampa Tribune, Hernando Today, Hernando Sun, Feather Sound News and many other health publications, LeBlanc has over 400 articles in newsprint on dementia care. His newest book “Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors (Health Care Edition) has been credited for 3.5 CEUs. As of September 2018 he has taken on the position of the Director of Dementia Education of the Dementia Spotlight Foundation.
A proud member of the Dementia Spotlight Foundation and Alzheimer’s Music Fest family, Liz Lee specializes in helping small businesses and non-profit organizations to connect with their audiences online. She provides Dementia Spotlight Foundation with WordPress web design and consulting, website hosting and maintenance, graphic design and social media management.
Dementia Spotlight Foundation envisions a world that does not fear dementia and fully embraces the rights and needs of individuals and families living with dementia. We aim to raise awareness about dementia with the goal of helping people and communities to better understand it.
Dementia Spotlight Foundation is dedicated to supporting lives through advocacy, the arts, and dementia education. We are committed to educating both family and professional caregivers about dementia-related diseases and enhancing the supports and standards of care needed. There are over 120 medical diagnoses leading to symptoms of dementia & the journey of dementia differs for each person depending on age, health, and the type of dementia diagnosis.
Due to the complexity of dementia and the stigmas and fears associated with it, there is still an extreme lack of funding, education, and resources available for individuals and caregivers who need them. While research is thriving and we all hope for a cure, the fact remains: 5.4 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. With a focus on LIFE before loss, RIGHTS before research, and CARE before cure, we support the notion that life does not end after a dementia diagnosis and not all abilities are lost. There is life AFTER diagnosis and there is a way forward. Dementia Spotlight Foundation strives to identify service needs and establish approaches to fill those gaps for those families facing a dementia diagnosis. Dementia Spotlight Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Private Operating Foundation established in 2016.
Dementia Spotlight Foundation 2017 Board of Directors:
- Linda DeMarlo
- Whitney DeMarlo Oeltmann
- A. Kel Long, lll