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Sharing support and memories

Dementia awareness events to take place all this week in Marshall

MARSHALL — Coping with dementia, or caring for a loved one who has dementia, can feel overwhelming. But one important thing to know is that you are not alone, members of the Marshall Area Dementia Awareness Network said.

“People who have walked this path can go with you,” Jaen Weilage said.

This week, members of the Marshall Area Dementia Awareness Network have planned a variety of events in Marshall to help share information about dementia. The awareness events kick off Tuesday with a “Paint the Town Purple” event downtown, and culminates with a 5K Walk/Run For Memories on Saturday.

There is a lot of information to share about dementia, Weilage said. Dementia isn’t a normal part of aging, and it can involve more than just problems with memory. There are also resources for people living with dementia and their caretakers, and organizers of hope to help connect community members with support.

Dementia awareness supporters began organizing a local Walk For Memories starting in 2018. “And it just grew from there,” Weilage said. The dementia awareness activities this week are meant to be suitable for people at different age levels, and through different formats. Some events will be in person, while others will have virtual options, or be broadcast over KMHL Radio.

On Wednesday morning, a reading of “Grandpa and Lucy,” a story about connecting with a grandparent who has dementia, will be broadcast over KMHL. “Grandpa and Lucy” is a story written by a St. Paul Girl Scout, Edie Weinstein, as part of a project to help young people learn about dementia. Weinstein hoped the book would help young people talk to and connect with family members or friends who have dementia, Weilage said.

“It puts things on kids’ level,” she said.

A one-act play by the Remember Project, “Fortune Cookies,” will also be performed virtually on Thursday evening. The play focuses on one woman who has cooked up a way for her family to be on the lookout for signs of dementia.

There are chances for people to participate in a live event too, Weilage said. On Friday afternoon, the Marshall Area Storytellers will be holding an event at the A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota office at the Lyon County Government Center. The storytelling event will focus on sharing memories.

The Walk For Memories on Saturday will feature a 5K walk/run starting at Boulder Creek Assisted Living in Marshall. There will also be tables from support organizations, music and food to raise funds for the Marshall Area Dementia Awareness Network for future events and educational programs.

“It’s going to be like a festival,” Weilage said.

Saturday’s walk will take place on the day of the summer solstice, which has a symbolic meaning as the longest day of the year, Weilage said. The event will honor people with dementia and their caregivers. For them, “Every day is the longest day,” Weilage said.

Schedule of events

Tuesday

5-7 p.m.: “Paint the Town Purple” at Memorial Park. Enjoy refreshments, stroll downtown and vote for the best decorated businesses while remembering those affected by dementia.

Wednesday

10 a.m.: Tune into KMHL for a reading of “Grandpa and Lucy”

Thursday

6:30-8:30 p.m.: “Fortune Cookies” virtual event. Must reserve tickets prior to the event at marshall-fortune2021.eventbrite.com.

Friday

3:30 p.m: Marshall Area Storytellers — “Memories That Tug At Your Heart.” Event is at A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota at 607 W Main Street, or online.

Saturday

10 a.m: Walk For Memories/5K Fun Run For Memories at Boulder Creek Assisted Living. Free, and no pre-registration. First 50 people to register on Saturday receive a free water bottle.

11 a.m.: Live music and booths

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.: Walking tacos provided by Boulder Creek

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