Stillwater Area ACT on Alzheimer’s
In the beginning, Liz simply noticed that her husband Greg’s personality had changed. Once mild mannered and patient, he would become extremely upset and agitated over minor things. “After a little arm twisting, I got him to see a doctor,” said Liz. “At first he was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment; later they diagnosed Alzheimer’s.” Despite what she was seeing, the diagnosis was a “total surprise,” she said. “I think that to the majority of people, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is the most shocking experience you can have in life. It certainly was to me. So many aspects of the diagnosis and the disease are extremely worrying and there didn’t seem to be anyone to help,” said Liz.
Today, through the Stillwater Area ACT on Alz efforts, Liz would be able to access the help she desired back then. Dementia Resource Navigators accompany people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers on each step of their journey. “It wasn’t so much the medical issues; I needed help with day-to-day living issues. I needed someone with some knowledge who could address these and make suggestions,” says Liz. “As a volunteer with ACT, it is gratifying to see that people are now getting the help they need as they navigate these difficult issues.”
About Our ACT Community
Stillwater Area ACT on Alzheimer’s was formed in May 2014 with leadership from FamilyMeans, a Stillwater-based social services agency. The ACTion Team is comprised of community members, nonprofit service providers and health care professionals as well as representatives from faith communities, senior residential settings, local government and businesses.
Snapshot of Activities
- Interviewed 100 stakeholders to find the dementia-friendly goals most important to the Stillwater Area.
- Gathered more than 60 people to hear the community assessment results and prioritize potential actions.
- More than 100 employees in two businesses have participated in Dementia Friendly @ Work training resulting in increased ability to provide respectful service and support to customers with dementia and their companions.
- Provided Dementia Friends training to 250 older adults at a local health and wellness conference.
- Began marketing the availability of Dementia Resource Navigators—local experts who can help families find their way through the experience of dementia.
Resources, News and Events
To Stay Informed
Stillwater Area “Know the 10 Signs” Bookmark
Beyond the Basics of Alzheimer's: New Treatments, Approaches & Research held June 3, 2015 (flyer)
Help for Families Impacted by Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia, November 2015 (Press Release)
In the News
Stillwater Area Initiative Offers Businesses “Dementia Friendly” Training
June 30. 2016, Stillwater Gazette
Stillwater Meeting to Focus on Alzheimer's Disease
January 2, 2015, Pioneer Press
Action Community Team Contact