Vital Aging Network e-Bulletin
MAY 2016

Growing Old, Serious Business
By Pam Hayle, Chair,
Vital Aging Network

Older Americans Month
May is Older Americans Month---a month set aside to celebrate the contributions of older adults to our society. When President Kennedy first celebrated older Americans by designating May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, Kennedy encouraged all Americans to pay tribute to older people across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans Month which we continue to celebrate today.

I was recently skimming through my community newspaper and was drawn to the title "Older Americans Month: Blaze a Trail." The title made me smile and feel proud to be an older adult, that smile soon turned to disappointment when the major kick-off event was "Celebrate your month at the Birthday Bash and Bingo lunch" Followed by weekly events like making a May basket, ice cream social, and free Arthritis and Nutrition Tips. I had to read it several times to be sure I was not missing something more important, meaningful, serious such as a community project, volunteer opportunities, a lecture on current events, or anything designed to stimulate the minds and spirits of older adults.

I have continued to ponder this over the last couple of weeks. Are these events what older adults in my community want or is it just an easy way to have activities versus engaging older adults in meaningful ways. I challenge us all to do one thing this month that is "serious" that shows the vital role older adults have in their communities. Celebrate Older Americans Month in a serious way that makes a difference, and of course there is nothing wrong with having a little ice cream along the way.


South Pacific

We are pleased to partner with the Guthrie Theater to once again offer the Vital Aging Network Night at the Guthrie.

One of the most celebrated and lauded musicals in American theater, this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic contains a treasure trove of memorable songs from "Bali Hai" to "There is Nothin' Like a Dame" to "Some Enchanted Evening." Set in an island paradise during World War II, this sweeping romance tells the story of two couples---a U.S. Navy nurse and a French planter, and a Marine Corps lieutenant and a young local girl--- and how their happiness is threatened by the dangers of war and prejudices of their times.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 
7:30 PM 
Guthrie Theater 
Wurtele Thrust Stage 
818 South 2nd Street  
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Download a flyer

Limited number of tickets available at a great price of
Order now!   
Buy Tickets 

Susan Hawkins
Join us for this all-Evolve/ALVAgathering. Tap into your creativity,skills and passions. Help each other create new projects, break through snags slowing current projects, find new empowering activities, or find something else that unleashes your inner creative spirit!   

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

6:30-8:30 p.m. 
University Lutheran Church of Hope 
Evolve logo
601 13th Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN
(Plenty of parting available, enter on 7th Street)

Learn more about the gathering.

Friends welcome!
Let's talk about aging! 

Whether we're 6, 66 or 106, aging is happening to all of us . . . if we're lucky. That's not going to change. But what can change is how we view aging and how we treat one another and ourselves as we age.

Negative self-perceptions contribute to poor health outcomes, poor memory performance and shorter lifespans---on average 7-1/2 years shorter. But we can change the narrative about aging.

Join us for this special edition, one-session discussion covering the same material as our three-session discussions.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
1:00 PM to 5:30 PM 
Wilder Center for Aging
650 Marshall Avenue 
St Paul, Minnesota 55104

Download a flyer |  Register now!
Free and open to everyone!
Healthy Volunteers Needed for
Brain Imaging Study

The University of Minnesota's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) is seeking healthy volunteers in the following age ranges: 18-22 and 70+ for a brain imaging study. If you are interested in participating, please contact Andrew Oliver at 612-624-4865 or email Study participants are compensated for their time while participating. Download the flyer.
Wellness 50+ Initiatives---
Making an Impact!

The Oakdale team is offering monthly community gatherings called "Discover Your Fitness". Watch this short video to learn more about the impact they are making.
"It is really important to take personal responsibility. It is up to each and everyone of us to decide what our priorities are, what's important to us in staying healthy," says Oakdale Wellness 50+ team member Polly Carlson.
In the News

The Atlantic's City Lab, April 6, 2016, by Ellie Anzilotti
With the older population of the world set to triple over the next century, medical professionals and urban planners alike are speculating as to how best to adapt. But Matthias Hollwich, an architect and the author of the book New Aging: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever, says it all starts with breaking down the divisions between age groups that our culture has depended on for so long.

Loneliness: The new (old) smoking?
The Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2016, by Melissa Healy
The scourge of loneliness has been with us since time immemorial, but only in recent years has its toll on human health gained appreciation. New research shows that feeling lonely or socially isolated bumps up a person's average risk for coronary heart disease and stroke -- two of the developed world's most prolific killers -- by 50%.

Baby boomers, are you fit for everyday life?
Chicago Tribune, April 8, 2016, by Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy
It's not how long we will live, but how well. The key is maintaining functional fitness, says Dan Ritchie, who, in 2013, co-founded Functional Aging Institute, a business that teaches fitness professionals how to train mature clients. Functional fitness means movements that help you in everyday life. Think cross-body and full-body motions, bending or picking something up off the floor. The goal is to build a body capable of real-life activities.

Walk, Jog or Dance: It's All Good for the Aging Brain
The New York Times, April 7, 2016, by Gretchen Reynolds
By some estimates, the global incidence of dementia will more than triple in the next 35 years. That grim prospect is what makes a study published in March in The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease so encouraging: It turns out that regular walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and even gardening may substantially reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.

Should I Take Social Security at Age 62?
Motley Fool, April 4, 2016
When to claim Social Security is one of the most important decisions you'll make about your retirement. Most people could start getting benefits when they turn 62, but there are many factors that go into determining whether claiming that early is the best decision. Here are some of the things that you should consider in making your choice.

Why We Must Reframe How We See Alzheimer's
Next Avenue, March 6, 2016, by Mike Good
The complexity of Alzheimer's and the non-uniformity of the disease from person to person have resulted in a gross misrepresentation of it. Society as a whole has significant misconceptions and expectations about what Alzheimer's is and how it affects the individual and his or her family. 
Volunteer Opportunities
The Father Project
GED Tutor 
The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project is a program of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota. The goal of the FATHER Project is to assist parents in overcoming the barriers that prevent them from supporting their children economically and emotionally. Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is looking for volunteers to work individually with program participants to help them prepare to take the General Educational Development (GED) exam. The goal of the program is to help participants pass each of the parts of the GED exam so that they can receive their diploma. Review key concepts with adult participants including English, math, social studies and science.The FATHER Project is located at 2700 E Lake St.,
Minneapolis, MN 55407. Two hour shifts preferred during these times: Tues, Wed. and Thurs., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. To RSVP, please email Sara Triplett at or call her directly at 651-379-5824.

Mock Interview Training 
We will be doing
Mock Interview Training on Friday, June 19 from 9:30am to noon. The agenda includes a more in-depth look at what it means to be a Goodwill-Easter Seals participant, how to give constructive feedback and encouragement, interviewing specifics and more. After this training, we will share in the success of participants that we serve by attending a graduation. This training session will be done at the Goodwill-Easter Seals Main Office, 553 Fairview Ave N, St. Paul MN 55104. To RSVP, please email Sara Triplett at or call her directly at 651-379-5824.
Various Positions
RSVP is a national Senior Corps program sponsored locally by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. We are currently seeking volunteers for dozens of positions including:
  • Child and Youth Tutors for daytime, after-school and summer programs. Help students improve reading skills and catch up to grade level, or help with homework and projects.
  • English Language Learner (ELL) and Adult Basic Education Assistants and Teachers. Help adults improve their reading, writing, social studies, science, English and/or math skills
  • Program Coordinators to help organize and deliver services
  • Visitors and Drivers for older adults
More opportunities listed here. For East Metro opportunities, contact Jyni Koschak at or 612-704-6116. For West Metro opportunities, contact Mary Quirk at or 612-704-6114. Free RSVP benefits for volunteers age 55 and over.

FamilyMeans Caregiver Support Program
Male Companion
Family Means is looking for a few good men. Do you enjoy talking, playing cards, doing a puzzle, going for a walk, spending time in the garage, talking about sports, career's and just having a nice conversation with another male? FamilyMeans Caregiver Support program is in need of male volunteers between the ages of 20-85 to spend time with a senior male who is frail or has a chronic health condition or memory loss. Volunteers are also needed for male children who have a disability, so that their caregiver could get a break. Volunteers are there for companionship and supervision and do not provide any medical care and or daily living care. Volunteers are needed throughout Washington County during the day, evening or weekend hours for 2-4 times per month for a 2-4 hour visit. Contact Dianne Vierling FamilyMeans Volunteer Coordinator at 651-789-4055,

Computer Resource Assistant
Does technology come easily to you? Help Tubman's shelter residents and members of the community access one of today's most valuable resources, the computer. Assist clients with internet searches, housing forms, online job applications, and Microsoft office documents. Help keep our computer lab accessible to those who need it most! Download the application and send it to or call Katie at 651-789-6752 with questions.

Ramsey County
Frequent Filer (Office Assistant)
Volunteer office assistants are needed in several areas. Accounts Payable---open received mail and log the details on a spreadsheet, and doing some filing.  Accounts Receivable---filing. Administration---work with the Volunteer program, Training & Development and Human Resources. Multiple shifts available, Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Downtown St. Paul location with limited reimbursement for parking expense or bus fare. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. Contact Ramsey County - Volunteer Services at 651-266-4090 for additional information or email to

Allina Health

Hospice Volunteer
As an Allina Health hospice volunteer, you will support patients and families in your own community. Provide companionship, support and a listening presence for patients at end of life and their family members. Allina provides free online training with wrap-up training groups provided monthly in St. Paul. Allina Health's hospice program serves patients and families in 32 counties throughout Minnesota and into western Wisconsin. Volunteer in homes or facilities or at JA Wedum, a residential hospice in Brooklyn Park. Find your perfect fit! Please apply online at or call 612-262-7108 for more information.

Mothers First
Child Care Assistants and Drivers
The Mothers First program provides prevention and intervention services for pregnant women who are abusing chemicals. A Child Care Assistant is needed to help agency staff in providing supervision and care for the children while mom is attending counseling sessions. Drivers are also needed to provide transportation to mothers in recovery to/from groups with our Mothers First program. Mileage reimbursement is provided. Contact Ramsey County Health & Wellness Service Team - Volunteer Services at 651-266-4090 or for more information.

Ebenezer Minneapolis Campus

Truth Point Surveyor
Ebenezer is recruiting 2-4 volunteers for a long term project conducting a survey of residents. A 3-month commitment is requested for this position, schedule is flexible, possibly 6 hours/week. Ideal candidates will practice good confidentiality and boundary issues, have good social skills and be able to navigate a Notepad touch screen.

Food Shelf Volunteers
Assist with an In-House Food Shelf program. Come and help every 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2:15-4:30pm. You will be helping carry in food, set up tables, handing out numbers, passing out food and taking down. They need up to 12 volunteers. You will receive mandated Civil Rights training (20 minutes, before your first shift). Volunteers are asked to arrive at 1:45 pm to help unload the food truck.

Ebenezer has many additional opportunities. Download a flyer or contact Laura Arne, Director of Volunteers, at 612-872-8515.

Fitness Leader
Is 2016 your year to get fit or stay fit? Are a leader? Is volunteering at a great St. Paul community organization on your list of things to do this year? Look no further, Lyngblomsten has multiple opportunities for you to get/stay fit, lead and volunteer all at the same time! Tai Ji Quan, Walking Groups and A Matter of Balance classes are just a few of the volunteer opportunities that await you at Lyngblomsten. Check  out, go to the "Get Involved" tab for more volunteer information and for an application, or call Shelli at 651-414-5297.

Cafe and Gift Shop Assistance
Did you enjoy your retail career but are ready for a change of pace? Are you a social person that wants to volunteer in the Como area of St. Paul? Why not come to Anna's Café and Gift Shop at Lyngblomsten Care Center? Anna's Café and Gift Shop volunteers help residents/tenants (average age 87), staff and families find gift items, greeting cards, snacks and personal items in our small gift shop and scoop ice cream or make quick cook items in the Café. Volunteers also run the cash register and visit with customers and each other! Training is provided. Weekday shifts are from 8:30-1:00 and 1:00-4:15, weekend shifts are from 11:45-4:15. Fill out an application at or call Shelli at 651-414-5297 for more information.

The following calendar items are presented as information only. They are not Vital Aging Network events.

For Your Calendar

Various Dates in May
Artful Living with Lyngblomsten
Lyngblomsten Campus
Artful Living is designed to provide quality arts experiences to enhance lives, ignite creativity and drive passion toward living full, whole, and healthy lives. A variety of community classes and programs are held throughout the month.  Download the flyer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Life Reimagined Checkup: Discover Your "What's Next"
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Roosevelt High School
4029 28th Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55406

We all know that having purpose leads to effectiveness at work, better health, happiness and even prolonged life. However, in reality, your talents, passions and values may not always be in alignment---whether in work, relationships or with your health. In this workshop, you will reflect on past experiences, explore future possibilities and connect with peers to find shared aspirations for "what's next." You will understand the Life Reimagined Approach which is a series of practices that help you identify priorities, take the first step, get past barriers and achieve goals, all with greater purpose. Minneapolis Community Education is offering this class in partnership with AARP Minnesota. Register online or call 612-668-4828. 
Cost: $15. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Discovering the Cello with Joe Kaiser and Rebecca Haas
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Lyngblomsten Campus, Newman-Benson Chapel
1415 Almond Avenue,
St Paul, MN
It is often said that the cello is the instrument that comes closest to resembling the human voice. From its rich, bass tones up through its soaring soprano register, this program will explore the expressive power of the cello to communicate the full range of human emotion.
Download the flyer.

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Vital Aging Network | 2365 N. McKnight Rd. | North St. Paul | MN | 55109