— By Pamela Schmid When a friend urged her to take part in a painting competition 17 years ago, Nancy Chakrin declined. She had just completed treatment for breast cancer and was busy caring for her aging parents. And she hadn’t picked up a paint brush in 23 years. Then Chakrin reconsidered. She spent three weeks painting a stormy sky over a lonely country road and discovered the regenerative power of art. “Being able to focus on art gets your mind …

— Social isolation and poverty is a big problem for seniors in our community.  Without a local network of family and friends, seniors who live alone often decline more rapidly, and face a grim holiday season with little money to spend and limited contact from others. Each year AARP partners with Twin Cities-based non-profit Gifts for Seniors to try add a little joy to the lives of these individuals by hosting a holiday gift drive. New, unwrapped gifts are being collected …

— AARP members, volunteers and staff will be helping out at Sheridan Story on Wednesday, December 6th.  More volunteers are needed, find out more. By Laura Ledray More than 100,000 children in the Twin Cities live in food insecurity; meaning they are not sure where their next meal will come from. This is a statistic that Rob Williams repeatedly shares when he explains the mission of The Sheridan Story. For children who are food insecure, school offers them a nutritious breakfast …

— August 30, 2017 Samuel A. Di Piazza Jr. Chair, Board of Trustees Dr. John Noseworthy CEO and President Mr. Jeff Bolton, CAO and Vice President Mayo Clinic 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905 Dear Chairman Di Piazza, Dr. Noseworthy, and Mr. Bolton: As a leading voice for the 50+ population, AARP Minnesota & AARP Iowa are writing to express serious concerns with Mayo Clinic’s decision to restructure and reduce hospital services in Albert Lea, MN, including the elimination of …

— Fall is just around the corner, and so is this year’s St. Paul Classic Bike Tour.  On September 10th, thousands of people will ride their bikes in the streets of St. Paul, enjoying music and convenient rest stops along the way.  This ride is a showcase for the pleasant scenery throughout St. Paul, including views of historic neighborhoods and dramatic overlooks of the Mississippi River.  The tour appeals to many who dislike biking in traffic, and draws in solo riders, …

— This fall, boomers who are looking for meaning and direction, or are interested in exploring encores, have several new options–right here in the Twin Cities. See below to learn more about these programs, and how to apply. University of Minnesota Advanced Careers (UMAC) initiative UMAC brings boomers to campus for a period of self-reflection and learning as they figure out the next stage of their lives. This two semester fellowship experience is an innovative pathway to transition from career jobs into …

— Join AARP Minnesota, Twin Cities Jazz, and host Freddie Bell for a night of entertainment and inspiration at the Capri Theater.  Actress and advocate Holly Robinson Peete will share her personal story of balancing life as a family caregiver while working and raising a family. This event is a great opportunity for those who love jazz music, are interested in connecting with other caregivers, or simply want to learn more about caregiving. Tuesday, May 23rd 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Capri Theater 2027 …

— Premium Support Model Could Hurt more than 800,000 Minnesotans Since its inception over 50 years ago, the Medicare program has provided people on Medicare with a guaranteed set of benefits. Some proposals call for replacing those guaranteed benefits with a fixed dollar amount that beneficiaries would use to purchase their health care coverage. This approach is known as a premium support model, sometimes also referred to as vouchers. Under most premium support models, people on Medicare would choose between competing …

— Get some fresh air at the Labatt Blue U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, Jan. 26-29, at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. Founded in 2006, the popular event is free and open to the public. ESPN has named it one of the “101 things sports fans must experience before they die.” Pond hockey is played much like traditional hockey, except it is less formal, has fewer players and is played on a natural frozen body of water. The tournament’s website calls it “Hockey. …

— Caregiving may be one of the most important roles you will ever take on in your life. You may have become a caregiver suddenly or perhaps your role has evolved over time. No matter where you are in the continuum of caregiving—starting to plan, helping to coordinate a big move, or taking care of a family member in your home—having resources at your fingertips will make the process easier. With many organizations offering different types of help and services, it …