Dec. 14 program offers tips on dealing with losses of dementia

When someone has Alzheimer’s disease, friends and relatives experience a series of losses that can seem almost overwhelming at times, especially around the holidays.

How to deal better with the ongoing losses of living with dementia will be the topic of a presentation Thursday, Dec. 14, from 1 to 3 p.m., as part of the monthly Dementia Caring & Coping series at the Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N.

The speaker will be Ted Bowman, a counseling and family therapy specialist who also leads a dementia caregiver support group in St. Anthony Park. Bowman himself experienced the strain of family caregiving when his mother developed dementia.

For family and relatives, dementia may include the changing daily stresses of caregiving for someone with an incurable and progressive disease that can alter personality, erase memories, cloud judgement and eventually lead to death. 

For spouses, the losses can include dramatic changes in the dreams of what retirement would be like, altered relationships with a husband or wife, learning new skills such as cooking or family finances to keep the family going, and even the loss of friends who are uncomfortable being around someone with dementia. 

Adult children, too, can become overwhelmed with caring for a parent with dementia — sometimes while trying to hold down jobs and care for their own families.

Bowman, who also teaches a course on grief counseling and therapy at the University of St. Thomas, will offer participants new perspectives and tools for dealing with those ongoing losses. The series is sponsored by the library and the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team. For more information, go to

—Warren Wolfe retired from the Star Tribune, where he wrote about aging and health care issues. He is a member of the Roseville A/D Community Action Team.

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