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Dementia network to host day of events

WILLMAR -- The newly formed West Central Dementia Awareness Network is hosting a series of events Oct. 27 to help raise awareness of dementia and some of the resources available to help families.

"Finding Your Way Through Memory Loss" will take place at Church of St. Mary in Willmar.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., virtual tours will be offered that simulate what it's like to have dementia. The virtual tours are suggested for caregivers, family members and anyone who works with individuals who have memory loss; participation is not recommended for those with memory loss.

Memory screenings also will be offered between 4 and 7 p.m. The evaluation takes 5 to 10 minutes and is encouraged for those of all ages. Results can help provide a baseline for future screening and indicate whether additional testing might be beneficial.

At 7 p.m., Mary Bauer will give a presentation on understanding Alzheimer's disease and dealing with communication issues and challenging behaviors. Bauer is the regional director of the Alzheimer's Association.

All events are free, but a donation is suggested to help defray costs.

Appointments are required to take a virtual dementia tour. To make an appointment, call the Willmar Community Senior Network Living at Home/Block Nurse Program at 320-214-7140.

No appointments are necessary for the memory screening.

Anne Polta

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

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