Take action: we all have a role in helping Minnesota face aging

Minnesota’s rapidly growing senior population affects all of us.

In his article “Face it, Duluth: We are getting older” featured in the September/October edition of Duluthian Magazine, Blaine Gamst, the executive director of Ecumen Lakeshore, reminds us that seniors are vital to our communities and ensuring they have necessary care and services should be a high priority for all of us. Gamst points out that 1 in 4 Minnesota adults will be 65 years or older by 2030, making how we, as a society, face aging more important than ever.

Whether it’s caring for an elderly parent or family member or joining the senior care workforce, nearly all of us will be engaged in senior care at some point in our lives.  Gamst notes that due to our changing demographics, there will not be enough senior care professionals to meet the needs of our rapidly growing senior population. This means that more caregiving will be the direct responsibility of families and communities, and we need to be prepared to help our seniors age well.

We can all take steps to ensure Minnesota seniors feel supported. Gamst suggests we take a look at how seemingly simple actions like mowing an elderly relative’s lawn or taking time for conversation with a senior neighbor can make a huge difference.

We also have a responsibility to speak up on behalf of seniors to local and state policymakers. Making a call or sending a short email to let leaders know that senior care issues are important to you will go a long way.

To read Gamst’s full article on pages 50-51 of Duluthian Magazineclick here.

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