ACT on Alzheimer’s Ely

“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.

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

  • Convened an ACTion Team with 25 individuals.
  • Held an Elder Expo, an event dedicated to healthy adult lifestyles, education, and caregiver support.
  • City leaders brought the project to the City Council and got them on board. They assigned a city councilor to the ACTion Team.
  • Local businesses offered fundraising opportunities for the Longest Day, an event to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s.
  • Have identified champions in the clinic and hospital as well as the support of the Community Care Team. They have started discussions on how they can become dementia friendly and are looking for best practices in care coordination for dementia patients

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