Abundant Aging - Community Building
What is Abundant Aging?
With the right community supports, older Minnesotans are ‘Abundantly Aging’: staying healthy, choosing to live at home longer, contributing to their neighborhoods and remaining as independent as possible.
Abundant Aging at LSS is the guiding principle that informs how we shape our Older Adult Services to positively impact individuals, families and communities statewide. We partner with older adults as they give by tutoring youth and supporting other older adults; and as they receive through our services that provide healthy meals, transportation, social contact, financial guidance, a break for caregivers, or financial/estate oversight.
About our Community Building Initiative
We are putting our Abundant Aging vision into action by bringing individuals, organizations, education systems, government agencies, faith groups, health care entities and resources together. By facilitating relationships, we are supporting communities to address the challenges and barriers that older adults face.
First, we connect individuals, organizations and groups in an area so they can identify shared community needs, tackle barriers and develop new opportunities to promote vibrant communities for older adults.
Next, we invest in relationship building with that community and interested parties. Once relationships begin to form, collaborations, teams, work groups, committees and/or advisory councils create plans that address the needs identified. Plans are implemented by local community members who determine the pace, direction and scope of each activity.
Abundant Aging in Action
One example of our initiative in action is ‘Friends in the Kitchen’, our new free cooking classes for older adults.
Through community outreach, we learned that for many people aged 55 and older, preparing meals is a challenge. Cooking for one, tight budgets, knowledge of how to cook healthy foods, and limited mobility are common barriers to healthy eating.
To support older adults in the area, and in partnership with the St. Peter Food Co-op, LSS launched a cooking class called ‘Friends in the Kitchen’. Each class provides participants with flavorful, healthy meal choices that they can cook at home. During classes, participants taste the food and learn how to make it. The meals, designed to be both freezer-ready and shareable, avoid using processed ingredients. They can also be made with limited mobility at a cost of about $4.00 per day.
Due to the great popularity of this creative class in St. Peter, Friends in the Kitchen has expanded into Bemidji, Mankato and Winsted.
Find Friends in the Kitchen dates and locations in the LSS events calendar.