On November 5 at 1 p.m., November 14 at 1 p.m. and December 8 at 6 p.m., the Winona Dementia Friendly Community Action Team presents “Steering into the Skid,” an event that helps family members, caregivers, local businesses, and the broader community be in a conversation around the subject of dementia as well as the most well-known form of memory loss which is Alzheimer’s disease.
“Steering into the Skid” was written by the husband-wife team of Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy. “Growing older has led us to think about the effects of aging on ourselves and our relationship,” said the playwrights. “We’ve known friends-couples-who have faced Alzheimer’s or other devastating conditions with such dignity, courage and love that we felt compelled to write about a couple forced to adjust to new demands on their imperfect but loving marriage.”
Audience members meet Tim and Amanda played by Twin Cities’ professional actors, Jim Pounds and Danette McCarthy. In 12 short, clever scenes, one per month — starting on New Year’s Eve, the audience comes to know this loving couple and bear witness to the early progression of dementia.
“Our ultimate goal,” said facilitator and actor Danette McCarthy, “is to assist community members and leaders consider new ways to think about memory loss and to become aware of local resources that support families who are dealing with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.”
This program takes a unique approach to building awareness, sharing information, and inviting authentic community conversations. Audience members come together via Zoom and then watch the play together, followed by a facilitated conversation.
“Steering into the Skid” is part of The Remember Project, which toured the lower St. Croix Valley in fall 2015. To date, over 60 events and conversations have taken place to address the stigma, isolation, and fear associated with dementia. There are two other plays that are part of The Remember Project: “Riding the Waves” and “Into the Garden,” which will also come to Winona in 2021.
Hosted by the Winona Dementia Friendly Community Action Team, the program is also sponsored by WNB Financial, Horihan Insurance, Miller Scrap and the Southeast Minnesota Area Agency on Aging. To learn more, please call 507-454-5212. To register for the event, go to https://skid-winona-110520.eventbrite.com.
The Remember Project in Winona is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to support a 2020-2021 tour in Greater Minnesota. Funding for this unique Dementia Awareness Tour is an Arts Tour Minnesota activity made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
The Remember Project is a program of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging.
The Winona Dementia Friendly Community Action Team is a group of concerned people from local nonprofit agencies and businesses, local assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, the Winona Friendship Center and the community. Together, the Action Team is working for Winona to become truly Dementia Friendly.