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Dementia the topic of pair of events this month

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A pair of events in Willmar this month will focus on Alzheimer's disease and related dementia disorders and how caregivers and the community can best care for this population.

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Richard Taylor, a retired psychologist and author, will speak at Vinje Lutheran Church at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Taylor was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 58. Now 66, he frequently writes and lectures on the need to recognize the humanity behind the disease.

Taylor is leading a staff training at Lakeview Ranch in Dassel earlier in the day. His guest presentation in Willmar was privately organized by Compassionate Care and is open to the public.

The West Central Dementia Awareness Network also is holding an event for the public, "Finding Your Way Through Memory Loss," on Oct. 26 at the Willmar Community Center.

Ann McKinley, nurse manager for the Center for Senior Behavioral Health at Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, will speak from 5 to 6 p.m. on "Dementia and What Their Behaviors Tell Us."

Her talk will be followed at 6:15 p.m. by a presentation on "Humor and Caregiving" by Lori Petersen, whose stage name is Granny L.

Dr. Merlin Nelson, a neurologist at Affiliated Community Medical Centers, will give an update at 7:30 p.m. on the latest in treatment, medications, research and diagnostic evaluations for dementia and memory loss.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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