Nationally known speaker Jolene Brackey will speak July 25 at the SG Cinema.
Nationally known speaker

Jolene Brackey will speak

July 25 at the SG Cinema.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Gundersen Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove is excited to host nationally-known speaker in Alzheimer's education, Jolene Brackey.

During her seminars, she will be empowering attendees to look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer's disease and encourage people to focus more on creating moments of joy instead.

After graduating from Iowa State University, Brackey began her career as an interior designer. She soon realized that "she derived greater joy from helping people improve the interiors of their lives."

She found a job as an activity director for an Alzheimer's special care unit. She didn't know what Alzheimer's was, but she knew she liked older people.

She found ways to create positive outcomes and moments of joy for individuals with the disease as well as for those who care for them.

She explains her vision, "Soon we will look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer's disease and focus more of our energy on creating moments of job. When a person has short-term memory loss, his/her life is made up of moments.

"We are not able to create a perfectly wonderful day with those who have dementia, but it is absolutely attainable to create perfectly wonderful moments - moments that put smiles on their faces, a twinkle in their eyes or trigger memories.

"Five minutes later, they won't remember what you did or said, but the feeling you left them with will linger."

Brackey has written a book, "Creating Moments of Joy" that shows people how to create those special moments. Her book provides inspirational solutions for anyone who has been touched by Alzheimer's.

She has many resources available for healthcare workers and families with loved ones with Alzheimer's. More information about all of her products are available on her website at

"We are very excited to have her speaking here in Spring Grove," commented Gundersen Tweeten Care Center's activity director, Gloria Oakes-Speltz.

"Her usual venues are big conferences, so it is a privilege to have her here. I heard her speak at the Minnesota Statewide Activity Professionals conference and really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I am looking forward to hearing her speak again."

According to the Alzheimer's Association, "Dementia is the second largest contributor to death among older Americans, second only to heart failure. Alzheimer's is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, cure it or even slow its progression."

"With an increasing prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's, it is important to be educated and understand the disease," added Oakes-Speltz in regards to the significance of having this quality speaker and topic in Spring Grove.

Brackey's "Creating Moments of Joy" evening presentation is free and open to the public to attend. She will speak from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Spring Grove Cinema on Thursday, July 25.

Earlier in the day, she will also be offering continuing education sessions for those in the health care field. Registration space is still available in the Thursday session from 1 to 5:45 p.m. or the Friday session from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

To register for a session, contact Gundersen Tweeten Care Center's administrator, Michelle Borreson, at (507) 498-3211, ext. 145 or via email at

Open house is this Sunday

Gundersen Tweeten Care Center is hosting a 50th anniversary open house on Sunday, July 21, from 2 - 4 p.m. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Staff from all of the different units will be on hand, and they will give tours of the facility to those whom are interested.

They will be serving refreshments served in the solarium. There will also be a history table spanning the past 50 years of the facility and the changes it has gone through.

The facility has a Relay for Life team that will be walking during the event in Spring Grove in August.

This team will be hosting a bake sale featuring Norwegian-baked foods with all the proceeds going to Relay for Life during the open house.

The staff at Gundersen Tweeten Care Center has been collecting favorite recipes from staff, residents, families of residents and board members and is creating a commemorative 50th anniversary cookbook.

The cookbook is in process and will available for purchase beginning sometime this fall!