About 700,000 people over the age of 65 call Minnesota home, a 17% increase over 2000 ? the biggest increase in the Midwest. The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) is tasked with making sure this growing population is cared for, that they all lead long and healthy lives. The Board, made up of 25 members appointed by the governor, advocates senior issues to the state legislature as well as administering services and programs for seniors.
Those services include:
-- Family Caregivers: Support and assistance for those caring for an elderly family member.
-- Fraud: Educating and protecting seniors from such frauds as Medicare, public assistance and lottery and sweepstakes scams.
-- Healthy Aging: Statewide public education program to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle.
-- Indian Elder Desk: Helping Native Americans in Minnesota get access to services.
-- Insurance/Financial Benefits: Counseling and referral services.
-- Ombudsman for Long-Term Care: Standing up for the rights of people in long-term care facilities.
-- Prescription Help: Assisting seniors in paying for prescription drugs.
-- Senior Nutrition: Meals delivered to the home or served in a group setting.
-- Senior Surf Days: Classes for beginning senior Internet users.
-- Transportation: Setting up rides for seniors to go food shopping, medical appointments and other such errands.
It is not a service offered by the state of Minnesota, but it is a service all seniors should consider getting – a medical alert system. For seniors living alone or with a spouse, it is very important to have some sort of backup protection.
Let’s say you fall down and cannot get up to call for help. If you live alone, you could lay there for hours before someone finds you. In that time, permanent damage could set in, or worse. With a medical alert system, all you would have to do is press the alert button around your neck or on your wrist, and help will arrive in minutes. You can’t put a price on that type of service.
Well, actually, you can. Every company charges different prices for different services. To compare the offerings from more than a dozen top companies, click on this link.
According to the MBA, more than 70,000 children in the state are being cared for by their grandparents. That number has doubled since 1990 and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. In response, the MBA has started up a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program.
The program consists of a new support network spreading out across the state to provide assistance to grandparents. It includes support groups, mentoring programs and more.
So often a child ends up with a grandparent because the lives of their parents took an unfortunate or tragic turn. That can be difficult even for the grandparent to deal with, let alone a young child, so this is a vital program that eventually benefits all of society.
MBA works with seven Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) scattered throughout the state to get services directly to seniors.
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