Real ways Minnesota can boldly face aging

More Minnesotans have submitted bold and innovative ideas on how Minnesota can face aging – thank you!

Many of the ideas we received focused on community engagement, including the need for intergenerational connections. In one respondent’s words, fostering intergenerational relationships could be as simple as securing a regular time and space at a care center for open playtime and letting a local early childhood or parent group know when this is. “Residents can interact or simply watch the kids play,” said the respondent. “In addition to the immediate benefits for young and old, it brings a different population into the setting and helps them think about aging.”

One respondent said Minnesota should also encourage seniors to give back to their communities by sharing their wisdom and talents. “Elevate organizations like Senior Corps that encourage volunteerism from those age 65 plus,” said the respondent. When it comes to the workforce, one respondent emphasized the importance of encouraging the “young old” to remain in the workforce by partnering with family caregiver alliances and other organizations to develop models for flexible employment with benefits. 

Many respondents underscored the importance of health and wellness strategies. For example, one respondent said it would be helpful for CNA training to be offered to family caregivers. Another respondent suggested allowing mental health practitioners to lease space from care centers, so they could serve residents in addition to private clients and provide a sustainable way to offer mental health services to those in senior care.

Other respondents pointed out the need for community resources on aging, which is already happening in some communities around Minnesota. “Long-term care facilities could partner with AAAs to lead support groups, offer screenings and host expos on healthy aging,” said one respondent. “They could train and hire staff or partner with the Senior LinkAge Line to have live, in-person long-term care navigators to assist community members in understanding the system and options.”

What are your ideas? Now more than ever, Minnesotans must work together to find bold and innovative ways to support our rapidly growing senior population. We want to hear your thoughts!

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