By Laura Thomas, Director of Aging Well at Prairie Five Community Action Council

Last summer, I received a quantity of the Walk With Ease books to distribute. The response and subsequent feedback from book recipients were so great, I knew I wanted more. At the end of last year, I received funding from the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MNRAAA) to purchase a quantity of two books to make available to residents in Prairie Five’s service area: Walk With Ease and Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey. Both books are organized with short chapters which means you could devote 5-10 minutes each day to reading and not feel overwhelmed.

“If I could put 15 minutes of daily walking in a pill, this is what I would prescribe to all my patients.” If you have been meaning to start a walking program but have hesitations or need a boost of motivation, Walk With Ease, a book published by experts at the Arthritis Foundation, may be a great resource! Used on your own or with a friend, this book will help you “walk safely and comfortably, create a fitness program tailor-made for you, improve your flexibility and stamina, fight the I-don’t-want-exercise blues, follow simple warm-up and cool-down stretches, motivate yourself, reduce pain and feel great.” It includes a walking diary and other valuable content.

The second book, Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer's Journey, is comprised of over 100 short chapters organized by Defining Moments, Family Moments, Challenging Moments, Transitioning Moments, Enhanced Moments, and Final Moments. Author Jolene Brackey explains, “Keep it simple. Open the book to one chapter that speaks to you. Every person with Alzheimer’s is different. Therefore, I am not your teacher; your experience with this person, in each moment, is your teacher. I have carefully selected stories, quotes, and dashes of humor- may you remember, cry, laugh, love, and find a bit of hope.” This book is a wonderful companion to have at all stages of the memory loss experience- it offers great perspectives and is affirming to know that you aren’t alone.

Thanks in part to funding from two organizations, MNRAAA and the Southwest Initiative Foundation, Prairie Five is able to offer each of these titles at no cost to residents of our five-county service area- Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift, and Yellow Medicine counties.

If you live in one of these counties and would like to request a book or more information, you can email or call 320-226-8861. If you live outside of these five counties, the state library system has the Brackey title and has an abundance of information and digital resources for Walk With Ease.