As we age, we commonly experience times when we forget why we entered a room or where we put our keys. Those experiences are often ratified by recalling the reason for going into the kitchen or remembering the keys on the nightstand. Many would say, “Oh, it must be me losing my mind,” or another quip relating to Alzheimer’s Disease. But in fact, this is quite normal. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. A recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that over 100,000 Minnesotans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s. We expect this number to increase over the next few years.
MNRAAA will partner with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health this month. We will be discussing Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain Health, and accessing resources for prevention, education, and caregiver support.
Robyn Birkeland, PHD, will enlighten us on the effects of Alzheimer’s. Robyn earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Florida. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Robyn is an interventionist with the Families and Long-Term Care Projects team with over 20 years of coaching experience with adults and families.
Katie Louwagie, DNP, APRN, AGNP-C*, will discuss brain health. Katie is a project specialist on the Families and Long-Term Care Projects team at the University of Minnesota. She earned her doctorate in nursing practice, with a focus on adult-gerontological health, at the University of Minnesota. Katie has practiced as a nurse practitioner providing on-site primary care in the long-term care setting.
Finally, we will conclude June with resources and training opportunities. MNRAAA has been fortunate to partner with Robyn and Katie’s colleague Dr. Joe Gaugler. Dr. Gaugler has been traveling to each county in Minnesota, providing education and training to caregivers about Alzheimer’s.
June also features the longest day, or the day which has the most sunlight. The summer solstice falls on June 21st this year. The Alzheimer’s Association hosts numerous events to bring to light this disease.
We hope that you find these articles educational. I encourage you to help us spread this information to your friends, family, neighbors, and community. Through regular communication, we can continue to bring to light this disease. If you are interested in doing more within your community, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at mnraaa.org for additional information.