Resource Fair to Provide Training on Creating a Dementia-Friendly Community

Friday, January 25, 2019

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS), along with partners Big Stone County Memory Link Group and First English Church of Ortonville, will host an event providing training on more effectively serving consumers who may struggle with symptoms of Dementia.

The Dementia-Friendly County Resource Fair will take place on Thursday, January 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the First English Church, 9 NW. Third St., Ortonville, Minnesota. Please join us for lunch at 11:30 a.m. followed by training until 1:30 p.m.

This event is free for attendees but requires registration by calling the LSS Big Stone County office at 605.924.0977 by Saturday, January 26. Attendees who register before January 26 will be entered into a drawing for door prizes.

Representatives from Big Stone County agencies will be available to answer questions and provide information about Dementia-specific supports and services. The training aims to help businesses, organizations, agencies and churches to interact more effectively with consumers who live with Dementia.

“As the number of aging Minnesotans increases, our family members, neighbors, friends and customers are more likely to show signs and symptoms of Dementia,” said Jeanne Pufahl-Ward, program coordinator for Caregiver Respite Support Services at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “It’s crucial to educate ourselves and our associates about the role we each play in creating a Dementia-friendly community and county.” 

With the increasing number of aging adults throughout the state and country,  a number of  families are caring for loved ones with Dementia. According to the National Alliance on Caregivers, more than 34 million Americans provided unpaid care to adults age 50 or older in the last year.

Lutheran Social Service supports family caregivers across the state by providing in-home respite care, where a volunteer visits a few hours a week so caregivers can take a break. During this time, caregivers can take a nap, run errands, attend medical appointments or meet with friends to recharge. LSS also offers group respite care, caregiver training, and education including a Powerful Tools Course, support groups, counseling, and coaching.

Lutheran Social Service is currently seeking additional caregiver respite volunteers to offer this crucial support. Volunteers can earn a $200 per month living allowance as well as an education grant of $1,600, which they may use to further their education. Volunteers 55 and older may pass the grant on to a child or grandchild.

“It is a privilege to support caregivers who demonstrate extraordinary love, dedication and courage,” said Tara Geise, director of Caregiver Support & Respite Service for Lutheran Social Service. “Often, caregivers are so focused on the person they are caring for, that they forget about themselves. Our goal is to assist Minnesota caregivers with effective coping skills and helpful resources to reduce stress and prevent burnout.”

Please visit our LSS Caregiver Support & Respite Service page or call 1.800.488.4146 to learn more about services and volunteer opportunities.