The five- part free educational series on dementia and healthy cognitive aging kicks off in February
Beginning in February, the Gloucester Lyceum and the Sawyer Free Library, is kicking off an educational series on dementia and healthy cognitive aging. Of Sound Mind: A Series on Dementia will feature local experts in the field of cognitive aging who will explore current dementia research, discuss methods of keeping your brain healthy, and ways to understand better and support people experiencing and caring for those with the disease.
“We hope that this important series, which is free and open for all to attend, will help to foster community conversation and support around dementia and this burgeoning health crisis,” said Sawyer Free Library Director Jenny Benedict.
The five-part series will take through May at the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. All events are free and open to all to attend. SeniorCare, Inc. will have trained volunteers on hand to share resources and answer questions following each event.
Of Sound Mind: A Series on Dementia schedule includes:
Saturday, February 5, 2:00 pm: Photographer Joe Wallace speaks on his series, “The Day After Yesterday: Portraits of Dementia”
Joe Wallace will speak about his powerful photo exhibit “Day After Yesterday: Portraits of Dementia” on display in the Library’s Matz Gallery through February.
The exhibit juxtaposes Wallace’s portraits of individuals living with dementia with younger photographs of the subjects and a brief narrative of who they are as people. This body of work aims to de-stigmatize those living with dementia, use empathy as a means for connection and understanding, and tell a complete story of those living with the disease and its effect on their families and loved ones. Trained as a journalist, Joe Wallace has been a portrait photographer and storyteller for twenty years. Like many, Joe has a deeply personal connection with dementia.
Thursday, March 10, 5:30-7:00 pm: Steps to Managing Memory, Alzheimer’s Disease, & Dementia with Dr. Andrew Budson
Based on his award-winning book, Dr. Andrew Budson will explain how individuals can distinguish changes in memory due to Alzheimer’s versus normal aging, what medications, diets, and exercise regimes can help, and the best habits, strategies, and memory aids to use, in seven simple steps. He will also discuss his newest book, including how caregivers can manage issues with memory, language, vision, behavior, driving, incontinence, sleep, and more.
Andrew E. Budson, M.D. is Chief of Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology, Associate Chief of Staff for Education, and Director of the Center for Translational Cognitive Neuroscience at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System, Associate Director for Research at the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, and Lecturer in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He is also the Medical Director of the Boston Center for Memory, located in Newton, Massachusetts.
Saturday, April 9, 2:00-3:00 pm: Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s with Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter
Alzheimer’s and other dementias cause memory, thinking, and behavior changes that interfere with daily living. Learn about common warning signs of Alzheimer’s and what symptoms to look for in yourself and others, as well as tips for approaching someone who is experiencing changes in their memory, the benefit of early detection and diagnosis, and more.
Saturday, May 7, 2:00 pm: Presentation by Dementia Friends
Dementia Friends is a global movement changing how people think, act, and talk about dementia. By helping everyone in a community understand what dementia is and how it affects people, each of us can make a difference for people touched by dementia. The presentation will share five key messages about dementia and a bit about what it’s like to live with dementia to help community members understand dementia and the small things they can do to make a difference for people living with dementia.
Saturday, May 21, 2:00 pm: Book Talk with author Siobhan McDonald on her picture book Hilda’s Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts an interactive read-aloud designed for entertainment, understanding, comfort, and connection with people living with dementia.
Artist, teacher and author, Siobhan McDonald is passionate about helping seniors with memory loss to connect with loved ones and caregivers through conversation and sharing their personal stories. Learn how providing visual arts workshops to seniors with memory challenges inspired her interactive book Hilda’s Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts.
All presentations are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Face masks are mandatory for those attending. For more information about the event or other Sawyer Free Library offerings, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5500.