The meeting was called to order at 6:15 17 attenders
Linnea Tweed, Director of Vital Living Program
from East Side Neighborhood Services talked about some of the services
available to help Eastsiders age in place.
East Side Neighborhood Services is a centerpiece
of NE Minneapolis. It’s been serving the East Side for over 100
years. It continues to be a place where people find support to solve
immediate needs or to engage strategies to achieve
self-sufficiency and stability. They have broadened their territory
recently and now offer services in 46 locations across Hennepin
County. ESNS offers programs for people from 6 weeks old to the end of
life. Children receive education that targets Kindergarten
readiness, young people develop the skills and social responsibility
that they need to succeed in school and life, and adults of all ages
make connections that support health and holistic well-being.
Vision Statement: Every person thrives and every voice matters. One of the ESNS strategic priorities is to build an interrgenerational community that values
and respects everyone, increases understanding and engagement, and
focuses on health and well-being for all generations. This is something
we’ve started reframing; it is actually a family
project It’s based on the concept that everyone is aging. Because
aging affects everyone if should be looked at from an intergenerational
The Vital Living
Program creates access to community-based services for older adults.
Among its goals are to preserve individual choice and control; to
identify and stabilize risk factors; to connect older
adults to services and resources; to extend community living and
maintain quality of life; to increase social engagement and reduce
Looking at the statistics, 87% of adults 65 and
over want to stay in their home and community. Maintaining one’s
social and physical health is something all of us can do to meet that
goal. Social connections play an important role in
health and can decrease the risk of death by at least 50%; falls are a
leading cause of fatal injury and a common cause of non-fatal trauma
leading to hospital admissions among older adults; about 80% of older
adults have at least one chronic condition and
at least 68% have 2 or more, creating a burden for individuals and for
the healthcare system.
How does the Vital
Living Program supports its goals? It works to develop, expand, and
sustain services that are critical to maintain community living for
older adults and their caregivers. We work to grow
partnerships with housing providers to expand healthy aging programs in residential communities. We work with other programs to develop
intergenerational programming. Ms. Tweed and a colleague have presented
programs in the Monroe Village Apartments and at other buildings that
have larger numbers of residents over age
65 including a popular program, “A Matter of Balance”, a story-sharing
program, exercise classes, and disease self-management
classes. Because transportation can be an issue, ESNS brings programs
out into the community, but ESNS can also provide transportation to the
central building from Southeast,
Northeast and Near North neighborhoods.
The “Juniper” flyer lists 9 evidence based classes
developed to connect people with neighbors, to build confidence, and to
increase people’s ability to live a full and healthy life. [QUESTION –
What is an “evidence-based” class? ANSWER
– it is a class that has been developed, usually by a University or a
research agency. They use testing to determine what impact a class or
exercise actually produces — the criteria are stringent — the simplest
explanation that they measure what someone’s
targeted ability was when they started the class and if (or how much)
that changed by the end.] Attendees of the Juniper courses will learn methods to live well despite health challenges, to get more exercise, and to have
support for managing chronic health issues.
“Vital Living with East Side” is a flyer on help
for caregivers – An ESNS program, NE Day Spot is a safe and fun place
where the person who needs assistance can make new friends and take part
in activities while their caregiver has a temporary
respite to handle personal errands or just have some private down-time.
At the same time, the program provides a social opportunity for the
person who needs assistance. Seeing only the same person day after day
is a source of stress. NE Day Spot is open every Friday from 10 am to 2
pm, pre-assessment is required. There
is also a support group for caregivers that meets every 3rd Friday of
the month, 10-11:30am, which is the same time as a NE Day Spot session.
Additional programs include intergenerational
engagement opportunities. We are pulling some young people in with
older adults working on activities and projects together.
Linnea shared a few items from future presentation by the Minnesota Leadership Council
on Aging for its 2019 Summit where an important topic will be state
funding for long term services. It’s not good news. Right now
the funding is Medicare and Medical assistance; to get that, you must
be a Minnesota resident, have a Social Security
Number, and meet some other criteria. We’re finding that lower income
people have financial support through Medicade, while upper income
people have enough money of their own to afford the programs. It’s the
middle income people who are struggling to get
this kind of help. [With a nod to Jim Drake of Southeast Seniors who
attended] That is what makes programs like Southeast Seniors so
important — they are sources of help for middle income people.
The Minnesota Council on Foundations
reports that only 00.8% of private philanthropy is designated
for aging services. Right now ,people are more interested in investing
in an 8 year old than in an 80 years old. That can be looked at as
failing to support previous investments. People
also look at investing in social services from the Return On Investment
(ROI) lens and often believe that youth investments
promise a higher ROI.
Minnesota Gerontological Society has monthly
webinars on various topics. This month’s was on home modification,
learning the difference between “accessible” and “universal home design”
and related topics. It looked at finances: how much
should one consider investing in a home to make it accessible? Does a
plan or design make financial sense? To know how to make those
decisions, whether or not to invest in your current home. Handouts are
being developed by Lifetime Home Project in St.
Paul, including resources, financial planning and more. This will be
on the Lifetime Home Project website early next year.
On December 11, Minnesota Leadership Council on
Aging is holding a summit sponsored by AARP and others to engage in
information exchange and action planning around an Age-Friendly
Minnesota. One question being looked at is: How we can utilize current
best-practices to develop a statewide plan.
Ms Tweed learned from working with Mill City Commons (a community which is based on the “Village” model started in Boston) that health programs work best in “community” — people living in community developed social networks that
attracted more people wanting to be part of that network. [Another shoutout to Southeast Seniors for developing an amazing program.] Although it doesn’t have a Block Nurse program as Southeast Seniors has, Northeast Seniors does have a very good program located in Columbia Heights serving that suburb and NE Minneapolis.
For more information about ESNS, go to
www.esns.org at the top, find the “Our Programs” and click on that,
then scroll down to Older Adults Some insurance companies are
supporting some of the healthy aging programs. Right now, BCBS and Health Partners are reimbursing East Side for some of the costs. They see the programs as preventive care.
Questions: Snow shoveling: heard on the street is
that those services are filled up. How can we provide that service for
more people? Linnea: great question but I don’t have a great answer.
There is “Senior Community Services” which provides
chore services like snow shoveling, light housekeeping, yard services
in Northeast. They are not taking new clients because they don’t have
enough shovelers. When volunteer shovelers weren’t enough, they started
paying people $15 an hour and still couldn’t get enough people. They worked with schools trying to tie into
programs that are offered in the schools, but have to be really creative
about providing transportation and so on. Many youth in the ESNS
programs don’t have cars, and their families may not
have stable housing. Some kids have not lived in a house, so do not know how to care for one.
QUESTION we have had a person who was slipping cognitively.
has family nearby, but her friends didn’t know the family, and didn’t
know whom to call to discuss the situation. ANSWER Right now, if you
are concerned about a person’s safety, know that it doesn’t matter if
your concern is about hoarding, self-neglect, neglect by others, OR
actual abuse by
someone, report what you’ve seen by phoning MINNESOTA ADULT ABUSE
REPORTING CENTER at 1-844-880-1574
This switchboard is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Know that Minnesota
encourages good faith reporting of suspected maltreatment by any person,
including self neglect. Your name will never be revealed, but you will
have the assurance that someone who has special training and
understands this kind of situation
will make contact for a meeting and do some level of assessment. The
person you are concerned about will have the freedom to decline
assistance as long as a situation doesn’t
violate health rules.
[EQ: I have copies of the “Juniper” flyer and the “Vital Living with
East Side” to share. Contact me for copies. Ms Tweed also left me a
2-page list of publications about “aging in place”. Some are from
AARP, ASSIST and other organizations and all of them are available
through your public library.]