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Community Support for Dementia - Now with the Help of MindStart

Posted by Monica Heltemes on 9/20/2016
Roseville, Minnesota is a medium sized suburb of St. Paul with a population around 30,000. One thing that sets it apart from some of the surrounding communities, though, is its aging population. Over 20% of Roseville is over age 65. And of those older adults in the community, 11% of them have Alzheimer's disease or other form of dementia and 15% of those are living alone. A few members of the community saw this significant segment of their population - people who often do not get much support for living with their disease - and decided Roseville needed to take action. I was privileged to recently meet with these advocates and hear about all they are doing to support the people with dementia in their community and offer how MindStart could be a part of their grassroot efforts.

 
Monica, MindStart Owner, presenting at a recent Roseville A/D meeting

The Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team (Rsvl A/D) was founded in September 2013. Participants in this unique group are Roseville community members, Roseville municipal staff, including Roseville Fire and Police Departments, county library staff, local aging services professionals, and the local school district personnel. The accomplishments of the Rsvl A/D team in the past 3 years is astounding and includes:
  • Community assessment and planning for dementia-related needs, which included a survey of caregivers
  • Creation of a webpage on the Roseville city website dedicated solely to activities of the Rsvl A/D group and many other local and web-based dementia resources
  • Development of a speaker series co-sponsored by Rsvl A/D and the local Ramsey County Library, called “Dementia: Caring & Coping"
A current project the Rsvl A/D is working on is creating dementia-friendly activity 'kits' that can be checked out from the local library system. MindStart is providing support to this project, helping to advise on what activities might be appropriate, while considering the changes that occur in individuals over the course of the disease.

Rsvl A/D Team founder, Sara Barsel, said that people rarely realize the services that available to them until they discovered the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team. I applaud the work of Roseville A/D and think they are truly an inspiration and resource for other communities to follow, especially those with many older adult residents.  It is these types of supports that can help people with dementia to stay living longer in their own home and with less toll taken on the caregivers.

To learn more about what the Roseville A/D is doing, visit their webpage
Contributing Author: Danielle Korby, University of MN Journalism Major

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