Off the Shelf: 2019 Life Living Series will focus on “Facing Alzheimer’s Together”

Alzheimer’s disease is a huge health concern for seniors and their families. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and 16.1 million Americans provide unpaid care for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the only cause of death in the top ten that currently cannot be cured, prevented, or slowed. Those individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s often find it difficult to sift through the information and resources available. This year’s Life Living Speaker Series and Brown County Community Read, sponsored by New Ulm Public Library, United Way of the Brown County Area, New Ulm Early Childhood Family Education, and New Ulm Park and Recreation, is themed “Facing Alzheimer’s Together” and aims to help highlight Alzheimer’s resources and topics and how families can face Alzheimer’s together.

On Sunday, January 13, Elaine Spain from the Minnesota River Agency on Aging will present “Act on Alzheimer’s: Community Engagement.” Following Spain, Theresa Schroeder and Tom Henderson from Brown County Human Services will present an overview of national and state rules and requirements for eligibility for Alzheimer’s assistance programs.

On Sunday, January 20, Mary Cassen of Catholic Charities will present “Active Aging Programs for Caregivers.” She will discuss options, classes, and resources for caregivers in Southern MN.

On Sunday, January 27, Rosalys Peel will present her book, “Mike and Me: An Inspiring Guide for Alzheimer’s Couples.” When her husband Mike was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Rosalys Peel searched the bookshelves for a “couples guide” that would show them how to deal with Mike’s illness at home instead of in a care facility. Unable to find that book, she eventually decided to write it herself. Peel will discuss her family’s experiences living with Alzheimer’s and her process for writing the book.

Each program will be offered at 2 p.m. at New Ulm Community Center (600 N German) and 6:30 p.m. at Springfield Public Library (120 N Cass Avenue).

A limited number of Peel’s books are available for free at New Ulm Public Library and Springfield Public Library; first come, first served. Books are also available for sale at the United Way of the Brown County Area office (Lind House upper level, 622 Center Street, New Ulm).

This program is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative with funding from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Funding was also provided by New Ulm Medical Center and New Ulm Area Community Education. Contact the library at 507-359-8331 with questions.