Monday, September 24, 2012

Brainerd area Walk to End Alzheimer's 2012

The Brainerd area Walk to End Alzheimer's was held at the Northland Arboretum on Saturday, September 22, 2012. It was a cool, crisp morning, but the coffee was on, the donuts delicious, and hearts warmed to walk for a cause.

All photos on this page by Mary Aalgaard

Thank you to LouAnn Owens for chairing the Walk committee. We had a great turnout and a meaningful morning.

Thank you to Ken and Tess from WJJY and BL Broadcasting for mc-ing this event. We know this cause hits home for you, too.

The Moore family shared their story and led the walk.

Walk on to improve memory.
One generation making life easier for the other.
Even the dogs lent a paw of support.
To view more photos of the Walk, visit Spotted at the Brainerd Dispatch.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Music keeps memories alive

Music is another language, a way to communicate when words fail. Doris at Hold My Hand: a Social Worker's Blog has an excellent story on how she connected with a woman suffering from Alzheimer's by bringing her classical music and using sensory stimulation.

Doris has an excellent blog on working in nursing homes, and has many stories on patients who suffered from dementia. During April, she wrote a story from a woman's perspective who had dementia.

May the music of your life always play in your heart.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Forum on Living Well with Alzheimer's

Dr. Terry Barclay spoke at the Brainerd LAMAA Forum on Alzheimer's and dementia.

A few highlights from his speech:

* Celebrate what your loved ones who are suffering from dementia can do, and try not to dwell on what they can't do.

* People who are suffering from dementia have not lost their ability to sense mood and feel stress. What is most perserved is the emotional brain, the ability to feel love and connectedness.

* Work hard to seek out joy. Do fun activities. Go to concerts and plays. Engage in the arts. Music and art are another way of connecting and communicating, a different language, one that doesn't disappear.

* Try really hard to live in the moment. Don't quiz them and confuse them with "Do you remember" questions. Talk about what's going on right now. Introduce yourself. Be the one who tells them their story.

* Eat a healthy diet. Good heart food is also good brain food.

* Spice it up! The mid-Western pallet it rather bland, so we need to make an effort to add a variety of spices, particularly those in curries and the Mediterranean diet. High doses of brightly colored fruits and veggies, not as much meat, and really cut back on red meat.

* Caregivers, stop being stubborn and thinking "I can do it all myself" and ask for help. We all need help from time to time, and caring for someone with dementia is one of the most stressful things you can do. You need to take care of yourself and be emotionally and physically healthy in order to effectively care for others. (These are doctor's orders.) Plus, most people want to help. Don't shut out their generosity.

* The blues are not a normal part of aging. If people are retreating and isolating, address the issue. The highest rate of suicide happens in the elderly.

* Knowledge is power. Get all the information you can on the illness. Keep track of meds. Know who is in your network.

* All life has value. You can continue to live, love, laugh and learn together through any stage.

We offered several wonderful breakout sessions at the Forum.

Hannah Erickson, RN, demonstrating a machine in her "Living Well at Home" session

Thanks to Central Lakes College for hosting our Forum and providing us with brain healthy snacks.

If you'd like more information on Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and the LAMAA group, contact us at

Live well. Laugh often. Love much!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Advocates for Alzheimer's Visit Washington, D.C.

Corrie Brown visited Washington, D.C. last month in support of funding for Alzheimer's disease. The following is her review of the trip.

Corrie Brown at the LAMAA Forum: Living Well with Alzheimer's

On April 23-25 over 700 Alzheimer’s Association advocates, visited Washington D. C. to convene, learn and advocated for more research and funding on behalf of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. They visited numerous Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill on April 25th to encourage support for a National Alzheimer’s Plan that accelerates and prioritizes the government’s efforts on Alzheimer’s disease and commits the resources necessary to change the trajectory of the disease by providing $100 million in FY 2013 for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach, and support activities. Lastly they asked their legislators to co-sponsor the “Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act (S.738/H.R. 1386)” which would improve access to diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, provide information on medical and non-medical services for newly-diagnosed patients and their families, and document the diagnosis in the patient’s medical record. If you would like to become an advocate please send us an email!

To view photos of this event, click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Forum on Dementia and Alzheimer's in the Brainerd lakes area

LAMAA Presents
Living Well with Alzheimer's

May 15 & 16, 2012

Central Lakes College, Brainerd Campus

This forum is open to the public. Anyone wishing to learn more about Alzheimer's Disease and dementia is welcome to attend. The same information will be offered on Tuesday, May 15, 3:30 - 8:00 pm, and Wednesday, May 16, from 7:30 am - Noon, with just a few changes. You can attend both days since there are several breakout sessions to chose from. The cost is $10. CDUs, CEs and CMEs are available for professionals in the medical field. Please let us know if you are attending as a member of the medical field or as a caregiver or community member.

Vendor booths are available for $75.

A free dinner for physicians with Dr. Terry Barclay, will take place on Tuesday, May 15, at 6:00 at The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes. Please RSVP to Lauree Davis (Lakewood Behavioral Health Department) by Monday, May 7, at 218-894-8852 or
The Forum includes a keynote address from Dr. Terry Barclay and several breakout sessions including: medications, depression, the teen perspective, caregiver support, and information on cognitive testing. 

Terry R. Barclay, PhD is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist who specializes
in aging, memory loss, and dementia. Dr. Barclay received his doctorate in clinical
psychology from Michigan State University with residency training in geropsychology
at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. He is a graduate of the neuropsychology
postdoctoral fellowship program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
where his research focused on the cognitive and psychological changes associated with
normal aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias. Dr. Barclay is the Director
of Neuropsychology at HealthPartners and Regions Hospital in St. Paul and maintains
a private practice in Edina, MN. He specializes in neurodegenerative disease and
early detection of cognitive impairment in the geriatric population. As a Research
Investigator with the Alzheimer’s Research Center, his published findings have
described the relationship between cognitive impairment and medication compliance, the
characterization and measurement of neuropsychiatric symptoms among patients in long
term care, outcomes in medication therapy for the treatment of dementia, and the impact
of behavioral and emotional disturbances on professional caregivers. Dr. Barclay also
serves as the Clinical Director of Minnesota’s statewide program for dementia caregivers
called Family Memory Care, is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory
Council for the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota and North Dakota, and is a dementia
consultant for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

For more information, please contact:
Kori Busho
Customized Training Representative
Program Coordinator
Online registration for Forum on Dementia and Alzheimer's at CLC

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Volunteers Keep Hope Alive

People who are aging slowly become isolated. They might not be able to get out of the house on their own, or it exhausts them. They sit at the window, looking out as life walks by, waiting for someone to call or stop in. Many family members take turns visiting their aging loved ones, and some hire people to come in for care and companionship. Others have neighbors or church members who look in on them. We are social beings with a need to be near each other and share our stories. Click on this link to read about the joys of volunteering and bringing hope to someone who needs it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sharing a link on Alzheimer's Research

Deb Cranny, from Home Instead, shared the following link on Alzheimer's research. The good news is that discoveries are being made and we are closer to understanding the disease. It's a growing concern as our large population lives longer. But, we can do something. Knowledge is power. It also relieves some of the anxiety of aging and, specifically, dementia. You are not alone. Dementia research is high priority.

Click on the link to Help for Alzheimer's Families.