Nearly 100,000 Minnesotans live with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementias and that number is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade. While there is no cure, studies show that engaging in meaningful activities can improve the quality of life for affected individuals and their caregivers.
This March, the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is offering free training workshops to help family and professional caregivers learn to use museum resources to provide person-centered care for people to live well with dementia. The workshops are part of the “House of Memories” program, originally developed in the U.K. by National Museums Liverpool, and launched in the U.S. last fall by MNHS.
Professional caregiver workshops are scheduled for March 25 and family caregiver workshops are scheduled for March 26-28 at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. Participants will receive a toolkit and view training videos based on the real-life stories of people living with dementia.
The House of Memories program also offers resources and activities via its “My House of Memories” app, which features more than 100 interactive pages of MNHS collection items which can help those living with dementia draw on memories to create personal connections with family, friends and caregivers.
MNHS has worked to add a specific focus on African American families which is the population most impacted by the disease.
The Mayo Clinic’s Charter House, Rakhma Homes and St. Paul African American Faith ACT Community are community partners on this project. All program resources are free.
To find out more about the workshops, visit mnhs.org/houseofmemories. The “My House of Memories” app can be downloaded to tablets and smartphones from iTunes and Google Play. Search for “My House of Memories” and look for the pink house.
—Information provided by the Minnesota Historical Society
This article originally appeared in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.