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Memory Loss Resources Available in Douglas County

Posted: 11/08/2023

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: Departments

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There are books, there is knowledge, and there is outreach. The Douglas County Library has Outreach Coordinator Luke Elliott on staff to help share the books and materials available, and to bring in knowledgeable experts to share information.

On Friday, November 3, the topic was memory loss and what to do if a person is concerned about a loved one.

During a two-hour presentation, Elliott showcased the many resources in the ever-expanding Memory Loss Resource Center at the library, which is located at 720 Fillmore Street in Alexandria. The resources can be found just past the checkout counter.

Jenny Theis, Senior Community Engagement Manager with the Alzheimer’s Association, also presented. She explained the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s, a specific form of dementia, as well as 10 steps to approach memory concerns.  She spelled out what to look for such as changes a loved one sees in someone’s memory, thinking and behavior, and specifically what a person is doing or not doing. Theis emphasized that decreased or poor judgment and changes in mood and personality can be a red flag. A participant asked about hearing loss and whether that can be confused with memory loss. Theis said that is a common question. She recommended addressing potential hearing loss right away to clarify whether a person can’t hear well or is actually having new problems with words.

Theis advised considering who should have the conversation to discuss dementia concerns with a loved one, what the best time and place might be and who should attend the doctor’s visit.

Once a diagnosis is made, resources from the library can provide a wide range of assistance. Elliott shared that the Memory Loss Resource Center has items for the person with dementia such as audio books, old radio shows on CDs, along with vintage CD players as well as DVDs of classic movies and television shows.

The resource center also provides books on Alzheimer’s for all ages, including books for teenagers on how they might talk to their grandma or grandpa with dementia.

Elliott also showed items people can use when they visit someone with dementia. Those include conversation cards, puzzles designed for people with memory loss, activity kits, caregiver kits and the very special Memory Maker kits which are full of items on a specific top like farming, cooking, sewing and many, many more. The kits contain fun conversation starts like bags of grain, small replica farm equipment, baking equipment, and sewing materials. By sharing the kits, those with memory loss may generate conversation with others about subjects they recall.

The event also provided information on local resources. The Alzheimer’s Association helpline is 800-272-3900.

Alzheimer’s Support Groups meeting the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Library.  


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