“When an Ely woman returned home recently to discover her husband had wandered away, she knew what to do. ‘The first place she called was us,’ Nancy Scheibe said. By ‘us,’ Scheibe meant Front Porch Coffee & Tea, the downtown coffeehouse she owns with her husband, Doug. Being a ‘dementia-friendly’ business is the normal order of things at Front Porch, Scheibe said. ‘It just seems natural to me to take care of our elders,’ she said. Attitudes like that are what a small nonprofit organization in Ely hopes to encourage as it implements . . . ACT on Alzheimer’s. . . . One of the purposes . . . is to create a “dementia-friendly” community so that people with Alzheimer’s and similar disorders can safely remain in their homes longer. Front Porch Coffee & Tea is an example of a business that already exemplifies what it takes to provide a safe atmosphere for those with dementia.”

—Story from “Grants will help planning for Alzheimer's support in Duluth, Ely,
Duluth News Tribune, May 1, 2016.

Community Impact

Our team can point to raising awareness, providing education and transforming attitudes about Alzheimer’s in Ely by:

  • Increased curiosity around what a dementia friendly community is and more conversations among community members
  • More caregivers and family members with dementia seeking resources and information
  • Volunteers engaging with people in their community who have dementia

In our work toward increasing dementia detection and improve care, we’ve seen an increase in referrals and use of resource materials as a result of ACT trainings with physicians and health care staff.

About Our ACT Community

Northwoods Partners took the lead in establishing the Ely ACTion Team in 2016. Northwoods Partners provides support services to seniors and their caregivers and has a strong working relationship with health care providers. The ACTion Team includes community members from the clinic and hospital, city government, ministerial community, assisted living and long-term care settings, legal profession, businesses, a pharmacy, a local foundation, and caregivers. Ely has a large senior population along with many retirees who live there seasonally.

Snapshot of Activities (underway in 2017)

  • Provide multiple training opportunities on dementia to community members, health care providers, businesses, and city government
  • Place articles and ads in local papers and on local radio shows to increase awareness of dementia and resources available
  • Focus on dementia friendly community work and healthy aging at Ely’s Annual Elder Expo event
  • Create a comprehensive resource brochure
  • Increase the number of resource materials available to family caregivers and health care providers

Resources, News and Events

In the News

Grants Will Help Planning for Alzheimer’s Support in Duluth, Ely
May 1, 2016, Duluth News Tribune

Action Community Team Contact

Lisa Porthan