ACT St. Cloud

Community Impact

Our team will point to educating about dementia, supporting caregivers, and transforming attitudes about Alzheimer’s in St. Cloud by focusing on this work:

  • Raising awareness of dementia within the local government and providing tools for city staff as they publicly serve and support residents, as well as pursuing active interest from the Stearns/Benton Medical Society
  • Addressing the gap in support of family caregivers through counseling resources and support groups and recognizing that supportive family, friends and neighbors is a community strength, along with the culture of caring about others
  • Committing to being culturally sensitive and inclusive and recognizing the health issues in diverse communities 
  • Working with the arts community to create programming for community members living with dementia 

With our action team, there is always a sense of wanting to do more.  More conversations, more outreach, more collaborations, etc.  One humbling experience was finding out how overwhelmed our Somali neighbors are.  Within the ACT effort, we discussed the difficulty a person faces when they are in a new land with a new language, norms, rules, and expectations. There is great joy in this community of immigrants and appreciation as they start their new lives, but there is also a new set of issues to work through. For instance, many immigrants are much more concerned about having health insurance than focusing on a particular health condition, like dementia.

About Our ACT Community

As the St. Cloud action team moved through the first three phases of the Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit, public information about the ACTing on Alzheimer’s effort was regularly available to the community, including radio interviews and articles in the St. Cloud Times newspaper. An informational meeting was held at the senior center to provide education and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and the ACT process, along with tapings of the LifeSpan show (local access television).  An information booth was set up at the Health and Fitness Fair, which included cognitive screening. In the community assessment phase of the ACT process, 111 face-to-face interviews were done, 10 electronic surveys were done, and 10 people participated in a community conversation, for a total of 131 assessments.

Snapshot of Activities (underway in 2017)

  • Conducting a media campaign that includes printing local resources in various formats and having a dementia awareness billboard and theater video ad
  • Provide dementia-related workplace education as a wellness initiative and skills training
  • Provide outreach to core neighborhood and housing associations
  • Sponsor Dementia Friends Information Sessions
  • Provide a five-part educational series for the community in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association
  • Explore Memory Café and Dementia Bootcamp concepts

Action Team Lead

Laura Hood
Laura.Hood@ci.stcloud.mn.us