Letter to the editor: Roseville’s Alzheimer’s and dementia supports open to all area residents

I was pleased to read Warren Wolfe’s article in the October 2014 Park Bugle about one man who is a dementia caregiver, the ACT on Alzheimer’s statewide collaborative and the Oct. 21 Roseville ACT on Alzheimer’s community meeting. This is important information for members of our community.

Wolfe’s article stated, “The Roseville Act on Alzheimer’s project was launched by the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team” (Roseville A/D). As one of the founders of Roseville A/D, I am writing to convey additional information about ongoing efforts of Roseville A/D that are immediately beneficial to your readers, particularly caregivers and people with memory loss.

Our most exciting and recent action is a collaboration between Roseville A/D and the City of Roseville to publish monthly updates about local dementia-related resources and events on the City of Roseville website. The homepage for these updates is www.cityofroseville.com/dementiainfo. The updates are useful to people in communities surrounding Roseville also, because all of the events and resources are open.

The webpages are a combined effort of Roseville A/D members, Roseville city manager Pat Trudgeon and Roseville communications manager Garry Bowman.

Roseville A/D recently collaborated with the Ramsey County Library to co-sponsor two dementia-related brain health presentations at the Roseville branch, which were facilitated by Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire, her assistant Melissa Jamrock, Ramsey County reference librarian Laura McDermott and a Roseville A/D member.

The presentations were open to anyone, regardless of residence, and we hope they are the beginning of a long and informative collaboration between Roseville A/D and the Ramsey County Library.

Roseville A/D’s earliest long-term accomplishment was the development of a Caregiver Survey that was administered to members of a memory café and resulted in immediate changes in programming and the stimulation of productive discussions. The survey is available to anyone. Send your request to sara.barsel@q.com.

Roseville has four memory cafés for caregivers and people with memory loss, thanks to Alzheimer’s Speaks founder and Roseville A/D member Lori La Bey. To our knowledge, La Bey started the first memory café in the U.S.: Arthur’s Memory Café (formerly J. Arthur’s Memory Café) in Roseville in 2011. This memory café has now expanded to three groups. The memory cafés pull people into Roseville from surrounding areas as far as one hour away, due to the need for these gatherings. La Bey has helped establish at least five other memory cafés in Minnesota, including the fourth Roseville memory café, Cherrywood Pointe Memory Café.

Roseville A/D member Heritage Place of Roseville offered free Alzheimer’s Foundation memory screening last November on National Memory Screening Day. Check the Roseville A/D webpage to find additional memory screening events in 2014 and 2015.

Roseville A/D is pleased to have launched the Act on Alzheimer’s project and will work to accomplish some of the ideas that came forth from the Oct. 21 Roseville ACT project community meeting, in addition to other initiatives.

We welcome suggestions and additional members. We meet on the first Friday of each month, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Roseville City Hall. For additional information, contact sara.barsel@q.com.

Sara Barsel, Ph.D. Co-organizer Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team

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