There was a woman named Mabel at the care facility where I worked during high school and college. Mabel was friendly and outgoing and usually had a smile on her face. In the early days she would chat with anyone and everyone she met in the hallways or lounges. Most of the other residents ignored her and the staff were often too busy to take time to listen. The problem was, Mabel's stories didn't make sense. She had strung together little snippets of brief moments from a wide variety of times in her life and was clinging to them like a life preserver.
I came to learn that Mabel had some form of dementia. Through the seven years I worked there Mabel's visitors became few and far between. She disappeared farther and farther into the fog which had become her reality and ended up wandering the hallways mumbling to herself until she became bedridden.
Unfortunately dementia and Alzheimer's disease are a reality for many people, including the family and friends who care for those afflicted. This year's Artful Dodger project, "Memories," has paired with the Webster County Alzheimer's Association to raise awareness. Check out the beautiful scrapbooks created by area artists and plan to take part in the annual Memory Walk and art auction to be held October 16th.
Someone in our community who is sharing his love of history is Brett Williamson, teacher at Fort Dodge Senior High. Read about what inspires his teaching and find out what Williamson's students like best about him. Amanda Helmick also brings us the story of Patrick Monaghan, a student at Iowa Central who is aiming to become a Deputy Sheriff after completing his studies at the college.
Robert Wolf has been visiting with the Friends of the Animals and shares what he learned about this group's passion for helping to get the new animal shelter up and running. In Faith Matters, Robert brings us the story of Rollin Swanson and his wife, Cleo, who work with the After Care ministry for the Church of the Damascus Road. Discover what it takes to help former inmates re-enter society and establish a normal life once more.
Amelia Presler presents this month's book picks from the Fort Dodge Public Library. Edward Jones helps us think about saving for retirement. October is prime apple season, so why not try one of our apple-themed recipes? October also brings the annual nationwide screening day for depression. (This year it's October 7th.) If you get an annual physical but have never taken a screening for your mental health, maybe it's time. Living with depression or other mental illnesses can take a physical toll. Read more about it in this month's health article.
Cooler temperatures, changing leaves and less daylight each day can mean it's time to curl up with a good magazine or book. As always, thanks for reading!