To help make Topsfield a caring and supportive community for those residents living with dementia and their caregivers.
Dementia Friendly Team Update (January 2018):
After much research, meetings (with the Alzheimer’s Association, state-level dementia support organizations, and people in key Topsfield organizations including our Police and Fire Chiefs and Veterans Service Officer), our Dementia-Friendly (DF) Team has determined the most effective approach to help Topsfield become a Dementia-Friendly community is through a three-pronged approach. The three prongs are:
- Raising Community Awareness
- Providing training to organizations/businesses
- Providing additional Social Opportunities/Services for those living with dementia (to support the great work already being done by the COA and the Rest-Stop-Ranch and Memory Café).
Dementia Friendly Team Update (February 2018):
The Dementia Friendly (DF) Topsfield Team made tremendous strides during the month of February.
Co-Chairs Lynne Bermudez and Bette Cullinan hosted the first in a series of monthly Dementia Information Sessions on February 7th at the Topsfield Library. The turnout of more than 40 people was impressive, especially because a snowstorm was imminent. Participants learned that dementia is a collection of symptoms that can be triggered by several diseases. Warning signs as well as local and state-level resources that are available to those living with the symptoms and their caregivers were provided.
Also presenting at the meeting were Emily Kearns, Project Manager of Dementia Friendly MA, who shared information about statewide DF initiatives. Emily was so impressed by our first Dementia Friends Info Session and the progress that Topsfield’s Dementia Friendly Team has made that Lynne and Bette have been invited to present their strategy with the North Shore Alzheimer’s Partnership!
Masconomet sophomore and Girl Scout Gold Award Candidate, Maggie Chiffer, explained her Dementia outreach to Masconomet teens and her “Dance Out Dementia: Train Your Brain with the Beat of Your Feet" exercise program (see below).
Our local expert, Mary MacDonald, foundress of Rest-Stop-Ranch and the Topsfield Memory Café, shared her organization’s purpose and activities (see link below).
To register for one of the following Dementia Friends Info Sessions, please call the COA RSVP Line: (978) 887-6866:
Dementia Friendly Team Update (March 2018):
Co-Chairs Lynne Bermudez and Bette Cullinan hosted the second in a series of monthly Dementia Friends Information Sessions on March 19th at the Topsfield Library. Also presenting at the meeting were Emily Kearns, Project Manager of Dementia Friendly MA, who shared information about statewide DF initiatives, Mary McDonald, foundress of Rest-Stop-Ranch and Topsfield Memory Cafe, and Maggie Chiffer, the Masconomet sophomore who created, and is conducting, Topsfield's Dance Out Dementia classes, which will continue indefinitely.
The turnout at the session was again impressive, with more than 30 new people attending. Warning signs of dementia, as well as local and state-level resources available to those living with dementia were discussed.
THE NEXT INFO SESSION WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 26th AT 1:00 PM AT TRINITY CHURCH!
DF Sessions will be held at the library on the following dates at 7 PM in 2018:
May 24 October 11 November 8
Lynne and Bette will also be providing a Dementia Awareness session on April 26th at 1:00 PM following a special Lunch ’n Learn sponsored by SeniorCare. Students who attend a DF Session will receive community service credit for the time spent learning how to be a better citizen and neighbor.
The Topsfield Fire Dept. has been scheduled to receive First Responder Dementia Training from the Alzheimer's Association on April 2nd. Customer service training, to show how best to provide support and service to people living with dementia, will be provided by the Alzheimer's Association for staff working in the Topsfield Library, Town Hall and segments of municipal departments on May 30th.
Dementia-Friendly Team Update (June 2018):
The DF (Dementia Friendly) Team provided a Dementia Information Session to 17 people on April 26th following the COA Weekly Luncheon at Trinity. So far 507 people in MA have attended Dementia Information Sessions – and Topsfield accounts for 25% (129) of that number (out of 351 towns)!
The Alzheimer’s Association provided training to Library and Municipal Departments staff on May 30th. More than 40 employees and volunteers attended.
Those working on Dementia Friendly Initiatives at the state level have been so impressed by Topsfield’s Dementia Friends Sessions that our DFT Co-Chairs have been asked to offer a session to employees of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on July 11th. We are proud of Lynne and Bette who have earned quite the reputation among those involved in this important movement.
THE NEXT LOCAL DEMENTIA FRIENDS INFO SESSION WILL BE HELD BEFORE OUR FAMILY & FRIENDS DINNER ON JUNE 21st AT 4:45 PM AT TRINITY CHURCH!
The fall dates for DF Info Sessions have already been set:
October 11 November 8
Our intern, Maggie, will continue to offer her weekly Dance Out Dementia classes and is preparing to introduce a segment on brain health and dementia prevention into the Masconomet Health Curriculum. She guided an exceptional intergenerational Dance Out Dementia class on May 24th, which attracted almost 60 residents ranging in age from 2 to 92. Afterwards, all enjoyed a Mother Earth Tea sponsored by the Daisy Troop.
Mary MacDonald’s Rest-Stop-Ranch is open and welcoming all of those who want to find respite and support in her relaxing gardens. “We offer year-round and seasonal programs for caregivers and people with disabilities.” For updates, subscribe to the blog at www.rest-stop-ranch.com.
After embarking on a successful partnership to host an Indoor Memory Café in Topsfield during the winter months, we look forward to offering a summer visit to Rest-Stop-Ranch as one of our weekly excursions on July 31st. If you have been wanting to stop by, this will be a wonderful opportunity to visit along with neighbors and friends.
Dance Out Dementia: Train Your Brain with the Beat of Your Feet
Join Maggie for a lively Dance Class!
My name is Maggie. I’m a sophomore at Masco, and I am excited to announce that the dance course that I designed for for my Girl Scout Gold Award Project will be offered indefinitely! Classes will be held at Trinity most Thursday afternoons between 3:15 PM and 4:00 PM. My classes are designed for all levels, and there is no prior dance experience required. Class will begin with a seated warm-up and then move on to standing exercises. However, the class is designed so that everything can be done seated if desired. The classes will focus on tap dance and rhythmic movement. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and workout shoes (sneakers, etc.) I am very excited to extend this program, and I really hope you will continue to come and bring your friends along. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at: email@example.com
Check out my website danceoutdementia.com for more information.
Dementia Friendly Team:
Lynne Bermudez Co-Chair, Topsfield COA Board Member
Bette Cullinan Co-Chair, Topsfield COA Board Member
Mary MacDonald Foundress of Rest-Stop-Ranch
Creative Director of Memory Cafes
Maggie Chiffer Candidate for Girl Scout Gold Award
Karen Moniz Caregiver Specializing in Dementia
Paula Burke Topsfield COA Executive Director
Dementia Friendly Partners: