The Sanctuary at St. Cloud is hosting ongoing events to help people learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The sessions will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 15, Feb. 19, March 19 and April 16 at The Sanctuary, 2410 20th Avenue, St. Cloud.
During these fun, interactive courses, attendees will learn more about Dementia Friends, a worldwide movement to make communities dementia-friendly. Topics will include the five key messages about dementia, what it’s like to live with the disease and how to turn your understanding into action that supports people living with dementia. Attendees will also learn tips on how to better communicate with someone who has Alzheimer’s.
Cristina Rodriguez, the resident engagement director for memory care at The Sanctuary, will lead the discussions. Rodriguez is a certified dementia practitioner, certified validation associate and dementia champion. She has spent the past 20 years working with individuals who are living with dementia and their families or caregivers.
The Sanctuary at St. Cloud is the first 100 percent trained dementia-friendly community in the state of Minnesota. The community hosted its first dementia education training this summer, and the sessions continue to grow in popularity. To date, The Sanctuary has made over 100 Dementia Friends through its outreach.
After the scheduled April session, classes will continue to be held at The Sanctuary from 1: p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month.
The need for Alzheimer’s education comes as the number of older adults living with the disease continues to grow.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 91,000 Minnesotans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s. A third of seniors over 85 have the disease.
Nearly 250,000 caregivers in Minnesota are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. More than half of this caregiving takes place in their own homes, and these caregivers need more support.
“We want everyone who attends these sessions to turn their new understanding into a practical action that can help support someone living with dementia,” Rodriguez said. “The action can be as big or small as you choose, but it will make a difference. Every action counts.”
For more information about the Dementia Friends informational sessions, call 320-252-6325 and click here to view a flyer.