Thank you for submitting your bold and innovative ideas on how Minnesota can face aging. Three common themes emerged from the responses we received:
- Ensuring the right care and services for seniors to stay in their homes and remain as independent as possible.
- Bolstering health and wellness services for seniors and people of all ages.
- Building intergenerational connections between older and younger Minnesotans.
Several respondents emphasized helping seniors live at home for as long as possible. Respondents pointed out that aging in place includes addressing housing, transportation and health. “Be proactive with health so seniors can stay independent as long as possible,” said one respondent, underlining the need for health coaches and personal trainers for elderly Minnesotans.
Health and fitness was another topic often cited by respondents, including ways to support and advocate for physical wellness. One respondent suggested, “Why not start with preschool kids? Teach them exploring outdoors like Finland does? Develop a culture of activity and robust living?” Another respondent cited her personal experience, saying that as a 65-year-old who exercises daily, she is in much better shape than those who don’t exercise. “We need to start this campaign with people of all ages, not just seniors.”
Another respondent pointed out, “It takes a whole person approach to senior care that looks at every element of wellbeing, not just medical, to help people reach life goals and maximize health long-term.”
Other respondents emphasized intergenerational ways to fight ageism and build relationships. One respondent wrote, “Teach the children to respect their elders – that it becomes their responsibility to nurture, and care for their elders, as their elders cared for them.” Another respondent highlighted how important it is to prioritize spending time with older adults. “Listen to them. They have a lot of great stories to tell. Visit them often.”
Now more than ever, Minnesotans must work together to find bold and innovative ways to support our rapidly growing senior population. What are your ideas?