Benson is a town of 3,100 people in Swift County, located on the northern edge of MNRAAA’s service area. Due to the foresight and commitment of community members, new services are being offered there as of this spring.
Dawn Dailey, Librarian at the Pioneerland Public Library in Benson, attended a training where she learned about Memory Kits for people with dementia and their caregivers. Dawn presented the idea of creating Memory Kits to the Benson Area Memory Loss Network. By the next month’s meeting, bags and contents for nineteen kits were being gathered! Each kit helps the person with dementia and their caregiver explore memories of events and activities. Examples of the kits’ themes are farming, music, sewing, needlework, trains, and gardening. The kits can be borrowed from the Benson Library, just like books. The library also added a section of books about dementia and caregiving to provide additional support to those who need it.
In addition to the newly created Memory Kits, the Benson Library is now hosting monthly Memory Cafés. The Café is supported by members of the Benson Area Memory Loss Network, with one or two members providing food and beverages every month. Members of the Network also stay at each Café to facilitate conversations and offer host services, as needed.
The Benson Area Memory Loss Network is a group of people representing community services who are working hard to enhance the lives of those with memory loss in Benson and the surrounding area. Educational community events are now being planned for the fall.
A Grand Opening of the Memory Loss Resource Center will be held at the Benson Library on May 16th from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. Feel free to join the Grand Opening or contact Betty Christensen, Program Developer, at [email protected] or 507-508-5496 for more information.