Preparing for Alzheimer’s/dementia

The mention of Alzheimer’s or dementia send shivers up and down one’s spine.

Exciting news is Marshall is taking action. As Marshall is one of 12 new action communities working to prepare Minnesota for the growing number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

One in eight people over 65 years of age have Alzheimer’s, and nearly 50 percent of people over 85 have the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are 88,000 Minnesotans age 65 and older with the disease and many thousands more with other dementias.

Marshall is one of seven communities across Minnesota whose citizens are working together to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and the lives of their caregivers. ACT on Alzheimer’s is partnering with these communities and offering tools to help them become ready for the increasing number of people who will have dementia as the population ages.

Marshall is using ACT on Alzheimer’s tools to assess current strengths and gaps in meeting needs that result from Alzheimer’s and other dementias, identify community goals and plan ways to respond and act together to achieve goals and measure progress. As a dementia-capable community, Marshall will:

1. Make sure people with Alzheimer’s have the right transportation, housing, health care and supportive services, financial and legal planning and support and advance care planning;

2. Recruit volunteers and other community members to respond to needs; and

3. Enrich the lives of people with the disease and their family caregivers.

“We look forward to starting the ACT on Alzheimer’s process in Marshall,” said Jamie Lanners, project leader of the Marshall action team. “Supporting our community members with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their caregivers will do tremendous good for the community as a whole.”

“Alzheimer’s can have a devastating emotional and financial impact on individuals and families. We need to make sure our community has services in place to support people with the disease and their caregivers,” said Lanners.

If everyone – neighbors, businesses, shop clerks – all become more familiar with the disease; we can be more compassionate and provide services in ways to help people who are impacted by the disease.

So, if anyone is interested in the ACT grant and what is happening with it contact Lanners at 507-929-1234.