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Seven communities already acting on Alzheimer’s are: Twin Cities Jewish Community, St. Paul Neighborhoods and the towns of Walker, St. Louis Park, Willmar, Cambridge and Forest Lake. The works in progress include:
• A training session developed by the Twin Cities Jewish Community to teach area rabbis signals to identify dementia and ways to help intervene and offer support to families.
• St. Paul Neighborhoods is adapting a European program to develop a community of informed “friends” who can identify signs of dementia and how to assist those struggling with tasks such as shopping or traveling on a bus.
• St. Louis Park is raising awareness by including an Alzheimer’s-themed book for the citywide book club.
Allen is grateful for the help he gets in his community.
“I have a support group of people under 65, through the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota, and they provided a social worker to meet with my family and help us plan,’’ he said. “We also have a lot of 80-year-old women in our building who help me keep an eye on Julie when I’m working. And she goes to a day program in Hopkins through Augustana. She loves it. She sings in a choir and it gives her a sense of purpose.’’
More information: www.ACTonALZ.org.
Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144