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Aging in place

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I recently received an email joke; a person approximately age 70 in warm clothing with a walker that had a “V” shape added out in front was walking in the snow. The caption read “Aging in northern Minnesota!” Really! My version of that looks a little different.

Aging in place may mean different things to each of us, but there are some areas of common ground. We all have chosen to live in the lakes area because we love the lakes, woods and quality of life. That doesn’t have to change as we age. Change is a fact of life; it is how you adapt to it, as you age, that makes a difference to your quality of life.

We enjoy the natural resources the lakes area has to offer for all ages. There are minor adjustments that can be made to our homes to ease the aging — wider doorways, raised counters and toilets, ramps for easier access and security systems for ease of mind.

Medical care is part of the aging process also. There are many facilities throughout the lakes area that can accommodate those needs when they arise. Specialists frequent the local clinics, referrals can be made to facilities beyond local providers and your health care will not suffer because you choose to age in place, here at home. There are individuals who will provide transportation to medical appointments, even when they are beyond the lakes area.

The transition to needing additional assistance with household chores, fall yard work or plowing snow is one that you may not want to cross but there are businesses here that will customize their staff to fit just what your needs are. Do you really want to scrub that floor, paint the siding or walk behind that lawn mower? Hire others to do what is a struggle for you and they will appreciate the support for their business.

How does The Center fit into this aging in place idea? We provide a place for programs, events and activities for individuals age 55 and up. Let me explain; programs may include but are not limited to Morning Club that has speakers from the community every week, writer’s group and book clubs that have local authors’ presentations, rosemaling instructors from Norway doing week long workshops, educational and medical programs and more. Events include, but are not limited to concerts, bus trips to a variety of performances, bandstand concerts, dinners, plays, expos, dances and more. Activities include 500 card group, bridge, cribbage, bingo, Bone Builders exercise class, computer classes, games, rosemaling, water color and folk painting, wood carving and more.

Beyond the physical programs, events and activities, you will also find great people here. People that are going through or have gone through the same challenges you are. Take the opportunity of coming in, taking a tour and finding out how we can help you.

As you can see we can provide you with a place, whether that is 803 Kingwood St., or The Center sponsored events at an off site location, where you are welcome, invited and encouraged. We are here to assist you in your transition of aging in place. The Center is a wonderful place.

DEANN BARRY is the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center director.