Litchfield

Litchfield Is Working to Become Dementia Friendly

July 8th, 2016

ACT litchfield

Families in every city, town, and rural area in Minnesota are feeling the effects of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Relatives, friends, colleagues, and neighbors are touched by the disease, and many want to help.
Litchfield is one of up to 43 action communities throughout the state taking steps to create a dementia friendly culture, which is informed, safe, and respectful of people living with dementia and their families, provides supportive features community-wide, and fosters quality of life for everyone. Every part of Litchfield can take steps to create a dementia friendly community, such as:

  • Businesses that train employees on interacting with customers who have dementia
  • Clinics that promote early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and provide care and support options
  • Faith communities that welcome and engage people living with dementia and their families
  • Residential settings that offer services and activities adapted for memory loss issues

 

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are 91,000 Minnesotans age 65 and older with the disease and thousands more with other dementias. The disease also touches nearly 250,000 family members and friends who are caregivers. In Litchfield, an estimated 137 people over the age of 65 will have dementia, and in the Litchfield Area those numbers expand to 241 people. As a response to this reality, Litchfield is using an evidence-based community toolkit to assess current strengths and gaps in meeting needs related to Alzheimer’s, to identify community goals and ways to respond, and to determine action steps to achieve the goals.
In order to move towards a more dementia friendly community, the Litchfield ACT on Alzheimer’s team is building a team to assess the needs of the community. We are looking for people who would be willing to join the assessment team or people who would be willing to be a participant in our survey’s and interviews.
The Litchfield ACT on Alzheimer’s team will be hosting a community event to kick off the start of our project and community involvement. The event will be a showing of the film “Still Alice” with Sandy Oltz, Julianne Moore’s consultant, giving a short speech before. This event will be held on Friday, July 22 at 6 pm at the Little Theater at the Litchfield High School. This event is free to the community and everyone is welcome to learn more about dementia and Alzheimer’s and what our team is doing to make the Litchfield Area more dementia friendly. You can RSVP to the even by going online to www.meekermemorial.org/calendar/ or by calling (320)693-4590. On behalf of the Litchfield ACT on Alzheimer’s team and the Meeker Memorial Hospital, we invite you to come by.
To learn more about this important work and how to get involved, please contact Alexa Deal, MMH Communications Intern at adeal@meekermemorial.org.

Meeker Memorial Hospital and Clinic will be a Tobacco Free Campus

May 11th, 2015

Meeker Memorial Hospital (MMH) was smoke-free for more than 25 years. As a healthcare facility the sale of tobacco products or smoking has not been allowable in the building. As the number one cause of deaths in the United States, tobacco remains a priority health concern. As a healthcare leader, in May during National Hospital Week, May 10-16th, MMH will implement a Tobacco-Free Campus policy for all patients, visitors and staff. A Tobacco-MMH Announcement for Tobacco Free Campus PhotoFree Campus means that tobacco use not only is not allowed in the buildings but now will no longer be allowed on the grounds or in vehicles parked on the grounds including the use of electronic cigarettes. This step as a healthcare leader will align with the hospital Mission.

Efforts are being led by the MMH Wellness Team and Tobacco Free Campus Taskforce. In 2010, MMH was a program recipient of start up grant funding to form a Worksite Wellness Team through the Meeker, McLeod and Sibley Healthy Communities Collaborative with funding from the MN Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). Since that time, the MMH Wellness Team has implemented many worksite initiatives serving not only staff but the community.

Now, staff can engage in fitness breaks, access a Mother’s Room, to support mom’s returning to work who are breastfeeding, have a hospital Garden to Table program to provide fresh vegetables to staff and visitors in the Prairie Winds Cafe‘ or for patient meals. There is a new Fit Choices 4 Life menu offered by A’viands nutrition services and healthy catering offered for community groups and staff. Staff are encouraged to exercise using hospital equipment and grounds. More classes and community space is dedicated for Weight Watchers, TOPS and RSVP Bone Builders or other community health programs.

A tobacco-free campus was a long term goal for the Wellness Team to implement. It affects, staff, visitors, and patients. This commitment to healthy living continues to grow inside and outside the hospital; helping MMH fulfill part of its Mission to help make the Meeker County area a healthier place to live.

Across the state of MN, hospitals are working on community health initiatives, an important part of the Strengthening Healthy Communities campaign launched by the MN Hospital Association. Efforts happening at Meeker Memorial support this broad base effort. “As an anchor in our community, it is our social responsibility to not only provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art healthcare, but to engage with our area residents in optimizing the health and wellness of our entire community,” says Kyle Rasmussen, MMH’s CEO. For more information, support classes and materials to assist patients and visitors regarding the MMH Tobacco Free Campus go to: meekermemorial.org

Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Healthy Communities is making a difference!

June 25th, 2014

The Healthy Communities Collaborative has been working for the past 4 1/2 years to help create good health where residents, live, work, learn and play.

Through SHIP funding, we are working on making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice! See the You Tube Video below.

YouTube Preview Image

Below are report summaries divided out by sectors – Worksites, Schools, Community, and Health Care. We are proud of our partners and our staff assigned to work on these initiatives though Statewide Health Improvement Program funding through the Minnesota Department of Health.

The work we are doing through SHIP improves health and saves money by building stronger communities. Our local communities chose SHIP strategies that are best for them. The result? Real, community-led improvements in healthy eating, physical activity and reduced commercial tobacco use.

MMS Progress Report Summary 2013

Communities 2013 Report

Health Care 2013 Report

Schools 2013 Report

Work Sites 2013 Report

 

SHIP Success: Litchfield School Garden

April 21st, 2014

Litchfield Students are playing in the dirt!  Thanks to the new school garden and renovations to the middle school green house, students are learning how to grow, care for, harvest, and eat vegetables!  Three raised bed gardens provided a home for vegetables grown by students which were later harvested and used in the classroom.  The hands on education provides great enthusiasm and a sense of ownership of the garden.  Salsa making was a highlight in Ms. Rick’s FAC’s class which incorporated tomatoes, onions, and peppers into a tasty treat for students.  Apple trees and raspberry bushes were also added to the garden with the Youth Energy Summit Team assisting in the planting of these.  Stop out and visit the garden or visit with a student about their experiences of playing in the dirt.

School Garden

SHIP Success: Litchfield Farmer’s Market

April 8th, 2014

Many more Meeker County residents were able to support  the Litchfield Farmer’s Market after August 1st due to new hours which extended the market to 5:30 pm.  Community members voiced great appreciation for the change in hours which now provides those who are working with the opportunity to buy fresh locally grown produce on their way home.  New hours weren’t the only things that Farmer’s Market organizers worked to achieve.  Taste testing, recipes, music and special events for market go-ers of all ages were on the agenda for most market days.  The goal is to create a vibrant market and atmosphere that is inviting to people of all ages.  The goal is to support local growers and our local economy, increase foot traffic at the market and the consumption of healthy, locally grown produce.  Be sure to watch for 2014 Litchfield Farmer’s Market events to be announced.

Litchfield