2008 News

December 31, 2008

MBA Receives National Caregiving Award

The Minnesota Board on Aging and DHS have been named recipients of the 2008 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award. This national award is presented by the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving.

Minnesota received this award for its Family Memory Care Initiative, a translation of the New York University Caregiver Intervention, funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging Alzheimer’s Demonstration Grants to States. In conjunction with New York University, the project is being implemented in eight pilot regions of Minnesota.

"We are truly honored by this award," said Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman. "This program is an important part of Minnesota's efforts to support people in their homes for as long as possible. This is not only what people prefer but is usually the most cost-effective way to provide the long-term care services they need."

New York University and Minnesota will split the $10,000 award and will receive a statuette designed for this award by Frank Eliscu, the designer of college football’s Heisman Trophy.

Aging Policy Summit: Vision for the Future

The 2009 Minnesota Legislative Session will focus on the growing budget deficit. How will this affect programs and services for older people throughout Minnesota? What are the legislative priorities of the agencies that support and serve older adults? What do legislators say about the upcoming session?

The Aging Policy Forum will feature legislators, key state and community-based agencies, and leaders in the aging field to discuss these important issues and present their policy positions and plans for 2009. Audience members will participate in helping to shape legislative proposals for 2009.

Co-sponsored by the Minnesota Leadership Council On Aging and the Minnesota Board on Aging.

Tuesday, January 13, 8:00am-12:00noon. Wilder Center Auditorium, 451 Lexington Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55104. Registration form. For information, call the Vital Aging Network at 651.917.4652 or email info@vital-aging-network.org.

Medicare Part D Brings Medicare Officials to Minnesota

Kerry Weems, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), visited  Minnesota November 19 to promote Medicare Part D open enrollment. The event was held at the Minnesota Employers Association Inc., in Plymouth.

During Weems' visit, he met with employers, employees and caregivers about the Part D help in Minnesota that is available, which included the Senior LinkAge Line®, (1-800-333-2433) a service of the Minnesota Board on Aging, and the CMS designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman, Jean Wood, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Sue Erksdahl, vice president of the Employers Association joined Weems in promoting the assistance available to help make Minnesotans make good decisions.

Pictured from left to right front are:
Sue Erksdahl, Vice President Employers Association and Jean Wood, Executive Director MN Board on Aging

Pictured from left to right back are: Kerry Weems, Acting Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Cal Ludeman, Commissioner MN Dept of Human Services

Outstanding Seniors For 2008

Lt. Governor Carol Molnau and MN Board on Aging Chair Mary Koep honored Don Brand, New Ulm, and Betty Wenner, St. Peter, as the 2008 Outstanding Seniors.

Governor Pawlenty Appoints Seven to Minnesota Board on Aging

Governor Pawlenty appointed Joseph Grant, Larry Juhl and Tracy Keibler, and the reappointment of RD Brown, Sharon Bring, Kenneth Moritz and Donald Tomsche to the Minnesota Board on Aging on July 18, 2008.

Brown, of St. Paul, recently retired as the vice president of child and family support services with the Children’s Home Society and Family Services. His community activities include having served on the St. Paul Mayor’s Committee on Aging. Brown is reappointed to a four-year term that expires January 2, 2012.

Bring, of Strandquist, is a grain farmer and county commissioner in Marshall County. She is the past chair of the Lutheran Social Services Senior Nutrition Program. Bring is reappointed to a four-year term that expires January 2, 2012.

Grant, of Duluth, manages elder care at the Duluth Clinic where he is responsible for human resource management, financial management, and clinical operations. Grants’s health care grant review experience includes work for the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund in St. Paul and the Office of Rural Health Policy in Washington, DC. Grant holds a master of arts degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota –Duluth and bachelor of arts degrees in economics and political science from the University of Minnesota. He is appointed to a four-year term that expires January 2, 2012. He replaces Betty Gysland on the board.

Juhl, of New London has a number of years of experience in the long term care field. He is the former chairman of the board for Care Providers of Minnesota. From 1991 to 2000 he served as the mayor of New London. He is a U.S. Army trained medic and is educated in nursing home administration. Juhl is appointed to fulfill a four-year term that expires January 3, 2011. He replaces Julie Storm on the board.

Keibler, of Eden Prairie, is a private business owner. She holds a mini-MBA from the University of St. Thomas in non-profit administration and a bachelor of arts in Japanese language and literature from the University of Iowa. Keibler is appointed to a four-year term that expires January 2, 2012. She replaces Margaret Moss on the board.

Mortiz, of Minneapolis, is a retired vice president of Cargill, Inc. He is past president of senior resources and is a board member of the National Retiree Volunteer Corporation. He is a retired member of the U.S. Army. Moritz is reappointed to a four-year term that expires January 2, 2012.

Tomsche, of Little Canada, retired in 1997 as deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and has served as the state advocacy chair for Minnesota AARP. He is reappointed to a four-year term that expires January 2, 2012.

The Minnesota Board on Aging develops, coordinates, evaluates and administers federal and state funds for programs for the aging; makes grants to 14 area agencies on aging and non-profit agencies; and serves as an advocate for older persons. The board consists of 25 members appointed by the Governor.

The announcement above was reprinted from the Governor's website.

2008 Older Americans Month Program Champions, June 12, Minnesota Falls Prevention Initiative

The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) is pleased to present the 2008 Older Americans Month Program Champions. The 2008 Program Champions highlight programs and initiatives in States and communities that demonstrate the principles of the Administration on Aging’s efforts to modernize community-based long term care and provide greater assurance that older people in the U.S. will maintain their independence in the community longer than ever before.  A new 2008 Program Champion will be featured on the AoA website each business day during Older Americans Month through July 2008.

Read about all the AoA Program Champions for Older Americans Month

Preparing For and Responding to Excessive Heat Events

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die from heat waves each year than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined.  Older individuals are particularly vulnerable to the effects of heat stress. 

Heat-related dates are preventable! People and communities need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death.  The following resources outline important steps that can be taken to respond to excessive heat events:

Extreme Heat, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, http://www.hhs.gov/disasters/emergency/naturaldisasters/heat/index.html

"It's Too Darn Hot" Tact Sheet, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/planning-for-extreme-heat.htm

Elden Johnson, Senior LinkAge Line® volunteer from Hallock, honored in Washington, D.C. for Extraordinary Volunteer Work

MetLife Foundation “Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards” were presented on   May 9, 2008 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.   Met Life in partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging honored older volunteers who have made exemplary contributions and provided outstanding service to their communities.

Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging was proud to have our volunteer, Elden Johnson, Hallock, MN selected as a recipient of the Award.  Elden began volunteering as a Senior Surf presenter and continues in this capacity, holding sessions at area libraries and senior centers, teaching seniors the basics of computer and internet use.  His knowledge of computers and his patient, gentle style of teaching make him well-qualified for this position and he gets rave reviews from his students and library personnel.

Elden is also a state-certified Health Insurance Counselor.  One of his biggest areas of contribution has been with the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.  His computer expertise made him a natural to complete online comparisons of drug plans, review the comparisons with beneficiaries, and enroll them into their selected plan.  He was a “one stop shop”. 

Elden has also been instrumental in organizing medication management sessions at the Hallock Senior Center.  These sessions allow individuals to have a one to one counseling session with a licensed, specially trained pharmacist to review their medications and insure their current drug therapy is both safe and effective. 

This award was presented to Elden for his volunteer work at Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging by Charles Pettigrew, Senior Business Consultant MetLife Foundation.  In addition, he serves and volunteers in many other ways in his community.

The Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging is a program of the Northwest Regional Development Commission and serves 21 counties in Northern and Western Minnesota.  Our goal is to support the dignity and independence of older persons.  Our State Health Insurance program and volunteers provides high quality information and education to assist Medicare beneficiaries with understanding the basics of Medicare and choosing supplements, Advantage plans, or Part D plans as well as assisting with many other needs and areas of concern for seniors.

Congratulations on this national award, Elden, and thank you for your service and impact on others and your community.

MBA along with AARP sponsor series from TPT called “Getting There"

The first show, Relevance, airs this Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. From the TPT website we learn that "Getting There engages those 50+ in the issues, opportunities and community resources for vital living...Host Jan Smaby leads an ensemble cast of those older than 50 as they explore the ways in which they’re staying involved and inspired. Don’t be surprised to find out about skydiving and baseball tours. We’ll meet some folks who are taking the time to mentor young people and a little later the Granny Basketball team takes to the court to battle a squad of teenagers."

Getting There: Relevance
Host Jan Smaby leads an ensemble cast of those older than 50 as they explore the ways in which they’re staying involved and inspired.

Showtimes, tpt 17:

Friday, June 13, 7:00pm

Saturday, June 14, 1:00am

Saturday, June 14, 7:00am

Saturday, June 14, 1:00pm

Getting There, Conclusion: Independence
Who is going to care for you? Do you have an advocate? Have you been an advocate for a loved one? These are the front burner issues for host Jan Smaby and guests as they explore new ways to think about caring and lifestyle.

Showtimes, tpt 17:

Friday, June 13, 7:30pm

Saturday, June 14, 1:30am

Saturday, June 14, 7:30am

Saturday, June 14, 1:30pm

Make the Switch to Digital TV by February 17, 2009

In 2005, Congress passed a law requiring all US television stations to turn off their analog broadcast channels on February 17, 2009. This means that people whose televisions receive programming via antennas (that is, people who do not subscribe to cable, satellite or telephone company television service) will not be able to receive television reception after February 17, 2009 unless their televisions are equipped with a digital tuner. More than 450,000 households in Minnesota will be directly impacted by this change.

Digital television provides better picture and sound quality than analog TV. It also makes it possible for viewers to interact with their television sets, and to make multiple programming choices they can’t make with analog televisions.

In order to receive television reception via antenna after February 17, 2009, consumers will need to purchase a television set with a digital tuner built in, or obtain a DTV converter box and connect it to their analog TV. All US households may request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of DTV converter boxes. More information about the coupon program can be found at www.dtv2009.gov.

For more information about switching to Digital TV, go to a Web site created by the Federal Communications Commission at www.dtv.gov. The site contains Frequently Asked Questions about the Digital TV transition, information about the DTV converter box coupon program, and tips for shopping for a Digital TV. 

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