Telemedicine is here to stay! COVID-19 stresses the value of telemedicine. Over the past eighteen months, we were restricted in our physical access to our health care providers. Telemedicine appeared as an answer. However, the Age-Friendly Northfield Health & Wellness team realized that many older adults weren’t aware or comfortable with all that telemedicine could accomplish.The efficiency and ease of telemedicine could help so many of us connect with our providers from the safety of our homes. With funding from Northfield Hospital & Clinics, AFN developed a handy guide in both English and Spanish to familiarize us with the wide range of services available over the phone or computer, especially helpful to those living in rural areas or having transportation barriers. In 2020, one-third of patient visits were telemedicine. Over 83% of providers surveyed by the MN Hospital Association reported that telemedicine was meeting patient needs! All providers are ready to handle your call.These guides are distributed around town as well as FiftyNorth (senior center). You are welcome to pick one up. Pass some around to your friends.
On December 11, 2019, five members of the Age-friendly Northfield steering committee represented Northfield at a Summit sponsored by MN Leadership Council on Aging. The summit brought together leaders in older adult services from around the state.
Highlights of the summit included Governor Walz signing an Executive Order 19-38, committing to a future more responsive to the needs of our aging population benefitting people of all ages. The Order sets the course for our state to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States & Communities and establishes the Governor’s Council on an Age-Friendly Minnesota.
The Council will include nine state agencies and boards, and up to six at-large members with desired representation by caregivers, businesses, tribal communities, local governments and older citizens.
Once formed, the Council will create a preliminary plan and legislative recommendations due August 15, 2020, then a final plan including recommendations for enacted legislation by the end of 2021. The Order does authorize the establishment of an ongoing “Age-Friendly Board” to operate beyond the original Council’s term.
“Minnesota has been doing a lot of good work across many different agencies, but we haven’t had the mechanism to pull it together and prioritize it across the board,” said Kari Benson, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging. ”That’s key, we need to connect that work and really raise the profile.”
“This is a universally shared value,” Walz said. “It’s a universally understood point that our state is much better socially and economically if we get this right.”
Minnesota Members of the AARP network of Age-Friendly cities include Northfield, Minneapolis, Maple Grove, Alexandria and Hennepin County.
Age-friendly Northfield received a $5,000.00 grant from Northfield Shares! The grant will be used toward the development of a centrally located comprehensive, coordinated information and referral system for older adults in our community. Age-friendly Northfield is currently working on a web-based resource center. Many older adults are healthier and more active/independent than ever before, for others, living longer does not necessarily mean living well. Both of these changing demographics will have a dramatic impact on the community structures and services required to meet the needs of an aging population. Through collaborative efforts and local support, our goal is to invest the time and resources and prepare today so that current and future older adults of Northfield will have the support they need to age well in our community for years to come. Thank you to our current supporters: Northfield Shares, Northfield Hospital and Clinics, Northfield Retirement Community, Three Links, Community Resource Bank, AARP, City of Northfield and FiftyNorth. Learn about our community foundation; Northfield Shares: https://northfieldshares.org/
A group of Carleton College math students from the Center for Math and Computing, have volunteered to help Age Friendly Northfield with analyzing the community survey results. A community report will be developed and presented to the community at an upcoming event in mid-February. Pictured: students with Age Friendly Northfield committee members; Chris Ellison, Patty Ciernia and Nan Just.
Community conversation on Medicaid: May 31st from 6 PM – 7:30 PM at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. The future of Medicaid is at risk; learn how proposed changes to the program would impact you, your loved ones, and our Northfield community. Free event, registration not required.
What is an age-friendly community? Join members of the AARP/WHO Age Friendly Northfield Advisory Council to learn what this initiative is all about and how to add your voice to helping Northfield help its older adults remain independent with a high quality of life. Friday, April 28 at 1:00 p.m. at the Northfield Senior Center in room 103. Northfield Senior Center: 1651 Jefferson Parkway
‘Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts,’ premiering January 25, 2017, at 10pm ET on PBS (please check your local listings), is an urgent wake-up call about the national threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease. Many know the unique tragedy of this disease, but few know that Alzheimer’s is also a major and rapidly growing public health crisis. The project’s centerpiece is a high-profile national PBS documentary that powerfully illuminates the social consequences for America unless a medical breakthrough is discovered for this currently incurable disease.
There are now five million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. Because of the growing number of aging baby boomers, and the fact that the onset of Alzheimer’s is primarily age-related, the number of those with Alzheimer’s is expected to rise 70% by 2030. And by 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that number will explode to 15 million, including half of Americans over 85, unless prevention or a cure is found.
This “tsunami” of Alzheimer’s cases will not only be a profound human tragedy for the country, but an economic one as well. Due to the length of time people live with the illness and need care, it’s the most expensive medical condition in the nation. Without a medical breakthrough, future costs for Alzheimer’s threaten to put in jeopardy Medicare, Medicaid and the life savings of millions of Americans. It’s estimated that when the number of patients triples in the years ahead, the budget to address Alzheimer’s will exceed that of the Defense Department.
Few people are aware of any of this. The purpose of Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts is to change that. With power and passion, the one-hour documentary weaves together the sobering statistics about Alzheimer’s; expert commentary delineating the societal consequences if we don’t have a medical breakthrough; and compelling stories filmed around the country in places where Alzheimer’s is growing rapidly – places where we see previews of the future happening today.
On August 2, 2016, the City of Northfield passed a resolution to apply to become part of the World Health Organization/AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. Our application has been accepted by AARP and the process of examining the current framework and acting on the results of that analysis is now ready to begin.
PHOTO: MN State Director of AARP presents acceptance plaque to Northfield City Administator; Ben Martig.
City of Northfield Resolution: cityof-northfield-resolution-2016-083
City of Northfield Letter of Commitment: letter-of-commitment-northfield-mn