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Mom’s refrigerator

My parents lived just three blocks away from me until a couple of months ago when we needed to move them. Their decline was gradual and because they lived close by I was able to keep an eye on them and help them stay in their home. Continue Reading

(Photos and video by Paige Elliott)

Senior Safety Pride Day 2014 honors living legacy in Twin Cities

It was a muggy but otherwise ideal afternoon for the 13th Annual Senior Safety Pride Day, Friday, August 15 at Boom Island in Minneapolis.Sponsored by Mad Dads of Minneapolis, Phillips West, Center Point Energy, Community Action and others, the event served more than 300 seniors with grilled food, games and prizes, and live entertainment. The celebration also included a mini-resource fair, where community organizations provided information about safety, health and wellness, and economic services available in the community.Among the attendees this year were the Royal Red Hat Sabathanettes, the Jolly Seniors, Minneapolis 4th Precinct Police Inspector Mike Kjos, Public Safety and Civil Rights Policy Aide to Mayor Hodges, Nicole Archbold, and many more. Crowd favorites, the Sabathani Still Kickin’ Dancers, got things moving, eventually inspiring some in the crowd to brave the humidity and learn some new steps.Seniors have a special place in the heart of VJ Smith, President and Local Founder of Mad Dads, and the event is his way of giving back. “It feels good to honor our seniors,” said Smith. “If you think of how we got where we are today, it’s only because of them. Continue Reading

CTEP member Hnou Vang teaches Me Mar, a Karenni refugee. (Photo by Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva)

ST. PAUL NOTES | CTEP: Mending chairs and relationships

With six “very old” chairs, the elderly woman knew she needed some repairs. Trying out her new computer skills, she put “chair repair” into Google, and saw several repair shops within easy driving distance — and a website called “how to repair chairs.” And, she proudly told her Computer Club friends, she followed the directions and fixed all the chairs herself!The Computer Club for Seniors at Episcopal Homes in St. Paul was just one of the projects that this year’s CTEP members dreamed, planned and implemented. CTEP stands for the AmeriCorps Community Technology Empowerment Program of SPNN. Continue Reading

Hamline Midway Elders Program Director Tom Fitzpatrick is one of just two Hamline Midway Elders employees. (MinnPost photo by Gino Terrell)

Volunteers help seniors live independently in the St. Paul Midway neighborhood

Jo Ann Olsen said volunteering for Hamline Midway Elders was her husband’s final request before he died.“When my husband was dying, he says to me: ‘One of the things I want you to do, when you have everything settled, I want you to go to the Hamline Midway Elders,’” Olsen said. “And that’s how I started volunteering here, and I’m glad that I did it.”Part of the Living At Home Network and based in Hamline Methodist Church in St. Paul, Hamline Midway Elders was founded in 2001 with the mission of providing services to help seniors live independently in their own homes.This organization is small — a two-person staff, Service and Volunteer Director Monica Gallagher and Program Director Tom Fitzpatrick — and uses 40 to 50 volunteers. Volunteers include people 40 to 60 years of age living in the community as well as college students, including students from nearby Hamline University. (Hamline’s students provide more than volunteer time: one class organized a fundraiser, presenting Fitzpatrick with a check for $1,345 in donations at a conference last month.)Community Sketchbook focuses on the economic and social challenges facing communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color, and how people are trying to address them. Continue Reading