When we have candid and thoughtful conversations, we can spark the kind of bold and innovative thought we need to transform how we age in Minnesota.
Minnesota, like most other states, has a growing senior demographic with a decreasing workforce availability. That tension dictates that we think and act creatively to address the gap between what someone may need in terms of services and what services will be available to them based on workforce resources.
We have a well-established framework of collaborative partnerships eager to work together including providers of older adult services, consumers, state agency officials, legislators, and other interested stakeholders. Minnesota has always been a leader in developing new models for senior care because we have leaders with vision and passion willing to take risks and take on challenges.
But we need more than that for innovative change—we need bold leadership and broad involvement from individuals, corporations, leaders and organizations across the entire state. Innovation requires us to step outside our comfort zone to work collaboratively with partners who may not, today, be involved in senior care.
If they are lucky, most Minnesotans will not only age well in their home state, but so will their parents, grandparents, children, other family members, and friends—we need to not only plan for our own future but the future of our loved ones as well.
Senior care is an issue that will touch every Minnesotan. We can increase awareness and acceptance when we all talk about it. Have conversations with friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, your legislators, city officials, community groups – anywhere you go, start a conversation about aging in Minnesota.
Patti Cullen is President and CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota.