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Oct 172016
 October 17, 2016  Posted by  Age-Friendly Communities, Uncategorized

Sandwich Generation on KARE11

Caring for an elderly parent while raising children can sometimes be overwhelming. To help “the sandwich generation,” the Minnesota Board on Aging and the Area Agencies on Aging have partnered with KARE11 to discuss and explore the issues the sandwich generation faces in day to day life.

A weekly segment, The Sandwich Generation,  airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m. These segments can also be seen online in KARE-11’s Features section of their website: The Sandwich Generation.

Oct 132016
 October 13, 2016  Posted by  Health, Uncategorized

What does it mean to live a healthy life? Eating healthy? Being physically active? Living life to its fullest? On Senior Day at the recent Minnesota State Fair, more than 175 people participated in a survey about staying healthy as we age. Ninety-five percent ranged in age from 45 to 84 with the largest percentage (46%) aged 65 to 74. Participants represented counties throughout Minnesota; 78% were from the Twin Cities metro area.

Survey results provide a snapshot of how of older adults think about staying healthy:

  • Why is staying healthy important? Have more energy (84%); Live longer (74%); Avoid disease/injury (76%); Better mental health (74%); Keep medical costs down (74%)
  • What do you do to stay healthy? Don’t smoke (94%); Stay socially connected (78%); Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables (72%); Get two hours+ exercise weekly (68%)
  • What is your biggest challenge in staying healthy? Getting enough exercise (62%); Following a balanced diet (58%); Reducing the chance of falling (31%); Managing a chronic condition (27%)
  • Where would you attend programs that provide support in staying healthy? Community center (69%); Fitness center (54%); Church (37%); Clinic or hospital setting (24%)

Survey shows value of evidence based health promotion classes

Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging, through their Healthy Living as You Age initiative, are furthering many of the ideas raised in the survey results. The initiative develops a network to make evidence-based health workshops available to people across the state. The workshops help people manage chronic conditions, prevent falls and prevent and manage diabetes.

Participants in Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance classNora Slawik, Project Manager for the initiative, notes that “These workshops encourage seniors to engage in their own health. We envision a broad culture change that fosters self-managed health and well-being as we age.”

Read more about Healthy Living as You Age. To learn about upcoming classes, contact your regional Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

If you are interested in being trained to lead an evidence-based health workshop in your area, contact your regional AAA.

“I am 80 and have an artificial leg. This class has helped tremendously with my balance. It’s wonderful! I accidently dropped a coffee cup the other day and I was able to catch it before it hit the ground. I wouldn’t have had the reflexes to do that without this class.”
—Suzanne, Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance class participant

“The Living Well with Diabetes class was wonderful; we had 12 residents participate. One resident who actually reported weight loss because of following through on her action plan. I think it was beneficial for all who attended. It seemed [as if] many felt they were alone in their battle (cooking, eating right, exercising, understanding doctors, etc.). Now they have buddies they can relate to in our community.”
—Angie, activities coordinator for a housing with services community

May 102016
 May 10, 2016  Posted by  Communication

How can the Senior LinkAge Line® help ease the challenges of aging? This program, produced by ECHO-TV with support from the Minnesota Board on Aging, provides an overview of the services offered and how to access help.

To view the program in Hmong, Somali, Spanish and Russian visit tpt ECHO.

ECHO is a nonprofit organization that strives to bridge gaps in health, safety, civic engagement and emergency preparedness for immigrants and refugees in Minnesota. ECHO launched ECHO TV in partnership with St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)  and Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) to provide TV programming in multiple languages.

Jul 132015
 July 13, 2015  Posted by  Age-Friendly Communities, Aging in Place

Dementia Friendly America information sheetMinnesota’s ACT on Alzheimer’s has inspired a national project—the Dementia Friendly America initiative! The initiative was announced at the White House Conference on Aging on Monday, July 13th.

Families and communities in every city, town, and rural area in the U.S. are feeling the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Over five million Americans—one in eight age 65 and older and one in three age 85 and older—is living with dementia. They are supported by 15.5 million family members and friends.

Building on the ACT on Alzheimer’s community engagement model employed throughout Minnesota, the Dementia Friendly America initiative is fostering dementia friendliness in communities across the country. The initiative will be deployed through web-based resources and technical assistance.

Tempe, Arizona; Prince George’s County, Maryland; Knoxville, Tennessee; Santa Clara County, California; Denver, Colorado; and the state of West Virginia will be early adopters of the dementia friendly community process.

Download an information sheet.

If you would like more information about Dementia Friendly America, please contact us.

Jul 132015
Minnesota AAA directors receiving n4a Innovations Award

Minnesota AAA directors receive n4a Innovation Award: (left to right) Linda Giersdorf,
Catherine Sampson, Dawn Simonson, Lori Vrolson, Connie Bagley

On July 12, 2015, Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging received an Aging Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The award commends the Minnesota Agencies for their partner role in developing the ACT on Alzheimer’s initiative and providing technical assistance and support to communities statewide—helping them assess, analyze and work to achieve community goals for becoming dementia friendly.

m4a Innovation Award Info SheetDawn Simonson, executive director, Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging and Lori Vrolson, executive director, Central Minnesota Council on Aging, received the award at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging annual conference and tradeshow in Philadelphia. Simonson and Vrolson also represented ACT on Alzheimer’s as participants in the conference panel, “Equipping Communities to Support People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.”

Read the an info sheet about the award. If you would like more information, please contact us.

Mar 212015
 March 21, 2015  Posted by  Aging in Place, Health

Toolkit for Working with Persons with Complex Needs and Older Adults

The goal of this toolkit is to offer resources and guidance to certified Health Care Home clinics caring for seniors and people with disabilities who have complex functional support needs in addition to their medical issues.

The toolkit was developed through the efforts of a formal workgroup of the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) Demonstration. Medicare conducted the demonstration in Minnesota and seven other states. Your clinic is able to bill Medicare monthly for your care coordination services for individuals participating in Traditional Medicare. January 2015.

Download the Health Care Home Care Coordination toolkit.

Sep 302014
 September 30, 2014  Posted by  Age-Friendly Communities, Aging in Place, Long-term Care

The report “Raising Expectations 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers” is from AARP, The Commonwealth Fund and the The Scan Foundation. It takes a multi-dimensional approach to measure state-level performance of long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems that assist older people, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers. Download the Minnesota fact sheet.Continue Reading Minnesota Ranks Number 1 in New Report on Long-Term Services

Sep 052014
 September 5, 2014  Posted by  Uncategorized

by Paula Span, “The New Old Age,” The New York Times, September 5, 2014. When public television’s “POV” series airs this family saga, “The Genius of Marian,” on Monday, viewers will see dementia take its inexorable toll on a vibrant woman, an actress turned social worker, and on her husband, children and friends. Read the articleContinue Reading A Picture of Dementia

Jul 302014
 July 30, 2014  Posted by  Age-Friendly Communities

By Robert B. Blancato,, 7/23/14.
The American public’s cynicism about Washington can diminish when bipartisanship prevails and bills become law. . . . So why is the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act not in this group? The law’s name may not be recognizable for some, but many of the services the law provides and funds are widely recognized, such as Meals on Wheels, senior centers, elder abuse prevention and low-income community service employment. Read the article.

Continue Reading Why Not the Older Americans Act?