Oktoberfest is benefit for Tamarisk

Tamarisk volunteer caregiver program’s annual fall benefit, Oktoberfest, takes place Friday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m., at Majestic Oaks, 701 Bunker Lake Blvd. N.E., Ham Lake.

The event includes music, dancing, beer garden, buffet dinner, silent auction and other activities.

Tamarisk’s volunteer caregiver program provides companionship, non–medical assistance and respite to families dealing with the end stages of life threatening illnesses such as Parkinson’s, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s Disease and multiple sclerosis.

Tamarisk serves the Anoka County area and surrounding cities in northeast Hennepin County and northwest Ramsey County.

“At no cost to those we serve, we attend to our companions’ non-medical needs,” said Jeanne Haus of Tamarisk.

“Our focus is to enrich and dignify the last days of their lives, enabling them to remain in the comfort of their homes for as long as possible.

“During their visits, our volunteer caregivers may socialize, play cards, share a movie, listen to music, prepare a light meal, help with housekeeping tasks or read quietly while the companion rests.

“Simultaneously volunteer caregivers give much needed respite to family caregivers, offering trustworthy, regularly-scheduled time for rest and renewal so family caregivers may better face the unrelenting demands of health crises that can dominate their lives.”

From now to the year 2030, Minnesota’s population will be aging as never before, according to Haus.

Growth in the above age 60 population is projected to far exceed that of other age groups, Haus said.

“We seek to fill the growing need for companionship, practical non-medical aid and respite services to this population,” she said.

Tamarisk was established in 1993 after a local resident realized how unprepared she and her family had been as they dealt with the emotional issues and other needs of a dying loved one.

To buy tickets go to http://tamarisk.org/events/annual-gala/purchase-2012-gala-tickets/.

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