Cambridge is working to prepare itself for Alzheimer’s

Cambridge is one of many communities across Minnesota whose citizens are working together to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and the lives of their caregivers.

ACT on Alzheimer’s is partnering with these communities and offering tools to help them become ready for the increasing number of people who will have dementia as the population ages.

One in eight people over 65 years of age have Alzheimer’s and nearly 50 percent of people over 85 have the disease.

Since forming nearly four months ago, the Cambridge ACT on Alzheimer’s action team has 23 people from various walks of community life.

The team is completing 55 surveys in the community and will summarize the results in October. The Cambridge team will highlight their work at GracePointe Crossing Nov. 19, which is National Memory Screening Day.

Team lead Julie Tooker, Community Relations Director at GracePointe Crossing said, “Everyone wanted to take ownership and complete the interviews [survey] face to face to establish relationships. The people on our team are so committed. It’s a blessing.”

ACT on Alzheimer’s is a statewide collaboration designed to prepare Minnesota for the budgetary, social, and personal impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Under one of its goals, the group is helping communities become dementia capable. A dementia capable community is informed, safe, respects individuals with dementia and their families and caregivers, and provides options that support the best quality of life.

“We have close connections in Cambridge,” Tooker said. “We’re small enough that people know each other.  We not only work here, we live here.  We want Cambridge to be better and support people with Alzheimer’s.”

Cambridge is using ACT on Alzheimer’s tools to assess current strengths and gaps in meeting needs that result from Alzheimer’s and other dementias, identify community goals and plan ways to respond, and act together to achieve goals and measure progress.

As a dementia capable community, Cambridge will:

• Make sure people with Alzheimer’s have the right transportation, housing, health care and supportive services, financial and legal planning and support, and advance care planning;

• Recruit volunteers and other community members to respond to needs; and

• Enrich the lives of people with the disease and their family care givers.

More information about ACT on Alzheimer’s is available at www.actonalz.org.

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