Roseville programs of movies and talks aims to help people cope with Alzheimer’s

After drawing more than 400 people last spring to programs about Alzheimer’s disease, a Roseville group has launched a fall series of expert talks and documentary movies on the topic.

The Roseville ACT on Alzheimer’s project is part of a statewide effort of 34 groups to create “dementia-friendly” communities. The project works to help area people better understand dementia, build skills and gain confidence as they learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and similar illnesses.

Coping with dementia is a growing issue as people live longer. About 90,000 Minnesotans have dementia, a number projected to reach 120,000 in 10 years. In Roseville, about 750 with the debilitating disease are living at home. Overall, one in nine people age 65 and older will develop dementia, rising sharply to one in three among those 85 and older.

Four talks by local experts will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on successive Thursdays at Roseville City Hall, 2660 Civic Center Drive.

They are:

  • 8, neurologist Dr. Michael Rosenbloom, director of the HealthPartners Memory Clinic in St. Paul, “Understanding Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease”
  • 15, neuro-psychologist Dr. Sonia Mosch of the HealthPartners Memory Clinic, “Testing for Dementia: Diagnosis to Treatment and Real World Implications”
  • 22, Deb Nygaard of Arthur’s Residential Care in Roseville, “Practical Tips for Avoiding Power Struggles”
  • 29, Catherine Engstrom of Wilder Foundation Caregiver Services, “Caregiver Stress/Burnout (Taking Care of You)”

On two Sundays in November, documentary movies about how the arts help people with dementia will be presented at Lyngblomsten care center campus, 1415 Almond Ave., St. Paul, near the State Fairgrounds, from 1-4 p.m. The dates and movies are: Nov. 1, “Alive Inside,” a film about the power of music to tap stored memories, and Nov. 15, “I Remember Better When I Paint.”

All events are free and open to the public and will include time for audience questions.

The fall program started Sept. 20 with the HBO documentary “The Alzheimer’s Project: Caregivers,” shown at Lyngblomsten.

Roseville ACT focuses on building awareness, education and skills so that those with dementia can continue to live as independently as possible in their communities, helped by friends, family, neighbors, businesses and city services.

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, a group of diseases that interfere with memory, judgment and ability to tackle daily tasks. There is no cure, and treatments so far only can ease symptoms in about half of patients for a time.

The Roseville ACT project is sponsored by the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team (Roseville A/D), a consortium of community volunteers, service providers and government officials organized in 2013. Among its projects, Roseville A/D this year launched a website with information and resources about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Roseville A/D received two grants totaling $18,000 from the statewide ACT program in 2014 and 2015 to survey community members, hold a community meeting to set goals, then choose and complete programs aimed at helping people cope with dementia issues.

In addition, the group seeks volunteers to help with two area projects: P.S. I Understand, a peer-support program by Wilder Caregiver Services matching current caregivers with former caregivers, and the Gathering, a day program operated by Lyngblomsten at Centennial Methodist Church in Roseville that, with new volunteers, has been able to expand services.

The Roseville ACT project will end this year, but the Roseville A/D group is considering projects for next year, which could include efforts to help churches, businesses and families caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Minnesota ACT on Alzheimer’s project has won two national awards this year for engaging communities in education about dementia. Now a national program called Dementia Friendly America, based on the Minnesota project, is starting with pilot projects in Denver, Colo.; Tempe, Ariz.; Santa Clara County, Calif.; Prince George’s County, Md.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and the state of West Virginia.

For more information about the Roseville A/D program, Roseville ACT or other community resources, go to www.CityofRoseville.com/dementia.info

 

Warren Wolfe is a former reporter for the Star Tribune, where he wrote about aging and health care issues for more than 20 years. He is retired and active with the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team.

 

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