As seniors age, a diagnosis of dementia puts many families in crisis mode, as they wonder what will happen and how to best care for their loved ones. The Shakopee Parks and Recreation Department is teaming up with Emerald Crest Memory Care and All Saints Senior Living to offer a three-part educational series on dementia to raise awareness of the disease and help families identify ways they can support those in need.
“There’s a growing need for awareness and education of dementia,” said All Saints Senior Living Director Marketing Lori Gerval. “There are resources available [in the community] and we want to connect the resources to those diagnosed with memory loss, as well as their caregivers.”
The series, offered Wednesdays in April at the Shakopee Community Center, is aimed not only at people living with dementia and their caregivers, but also active older adults who want to become educated about this common disease, so they can better plan ahead and prepare their families to make informed decisions.
“As seniors are still independent and active, this is the time to have those tough conversations with their families, so when a change in their health or housing status occurs, they are prepared, and families can proceed with confidence they are meeting their love one’s wishes,” said Christine Drasher, director of admissions and marketing at Emerald Crest.
The three-part series includes sessions regarding:
• What is dementia? Identify what is normal forgetting versus the signs and symptoms of dementia, 4-6 PM, Wednesday, April 3. Code: HW 403
• Aromatherapy: Uses and benefits for those with dementia and their caregivers. Dr. Ellen Kerber will share current research and recommendations for using essential oils to promote clam, rest and balance, 4-5 PM, Wednesday, April 10. Code: HW 410
• ‘Alzheimer’s Gifts’ Author Rick Naymark shares his fun and touching “attitude adjustment” for those care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Naymark cared for his mother for eight-plus years, 4-5 PM, Wednesday, April 24. Code: HW 424.
This free series aims to educate active older adults and families on memory loss; registration is required. Registration is required online at www.ShakopeeMN.gov/registration.
“We hope seniors and their families will be more prepared, less stressed and more comfortable in knowing there are resources available to support them,” Drasher said. “Most importantly, they realize they are not alone, and the healing begins with acceptance and having the tough conversations.”