If you asked Beth Kampf to describe the past few years, chances are she’d say they have been harder than she’d expected. Her father is living with Alzheimer’s, and recently the disease has become more noticeable to Beth and her mom. While Beth’s father attends Cassia’s Open Circle adult day center and lives at home in Rosemount, she resides in Hopkins and assists her mother caring for him and are starting to feel they need more support as caregivers.
Some months ago, Beth began attending the local memory café in Hopkins. The memory café provides opportunities for those diagnosed with memory loss and their care partners/family to engage with peers in a relaxed, unstructured environment. The café was created through a unique effort to make Hopkins a more dementia-friendly community. This effort will be celebrated in May through a month-long schedule of dementia-friendly events.
In Beth’s case, attending the memory café not only helped her find support; it helped her discover memory kits that could help her father retain some memories. She was able to borrow a kit from her church, Gethsemane Lutheran in Hopkins. Kits offer games and activities at different levels to engage people with Alzheimer’s and to make communication between caregivers and individuals with the disease easier. Kits can also help ease frustration for those with memory issues.
Beth’s story is just one of many that reflect the experiences of Hopkins residents who are either caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or experiencing the disease. Many, including Beth, have been part of the ACT on Alzheimer’s initiative in Hopkins, focused on creating a more dementia friendly community for all local residents.
To help support and educate those living with dementia and their caregivers the Hopkins ACT on Alzheimer’s is proudly sponsoring several dementia specific community events in May in celebration of “Senior Awareness Month”, which is recognized across the nation. Throughout the month, residents in Hopkins and surrounding cities are invited to attend the following events, which are FREE and open to the public.
- Forgetfulness, Is it normal or a warning sign – May 5th
- Driving and Dementia – May 7th
- Open Circle Support Group – May 7th & May 21st
- Hopkins ACT Overview – May 9th
- Memory Café – May 14th
- Hopkins Fire and Police Supporting ACT – May 16th
- The Gift; how caring for someone with Alzheimer’s brought unexpected blessings – Author Rick Naymark – May 23rd
- Emerald Crest Meal and Meeting Support Group – May 23rd
- Dementia Friends Session – May 28th
- The Glenn Hopkins Community Caregiver Support Group – May 28th
For complete list of 2019 May events including dates, times and locations go to www.augustanacare.org/dementiafriendly.
The ACT on Alzheimer’s initiative is powered by the Hopkins ACT on Alzheimer’s Action Team which includes members from; the Hopkins Library; City of Hopkins, Hopkins Fire and Police, Cassia Services and Communities; Chapel View Health Care Center; Emerald Crest of Minnetonka and Cassia Open Circle, Volunteers of America – Elder Homestead of Minnetonka, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Hopkins Elks, and The Glenn. For more information, please contact Laura Herman at 952-697-5373 or Laura.Herman@cassialife.org.
Augustana Care Open Circle Adult Day Services offers three convenient locations throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. Each of our locations offer programs, recreation, personal care, respite and social connections to individuals with memory loss or other emotional or physical needs. Contact one of our centers to learn how Augustana Care Open Circle can support care partners to find balance and meaning in a life touched by memory loss or other diagnosis. We offer care consultations that are targeted to the needs and values of caregivers. Click here for more information.