Vital Aging Network e-Bulletin


Internalizing Stereotypes . . .
Icon for looking deeper
The Vital Aging Network's essential mission is to empower older adults, provide great programs to grow the capacities of older adults as leaders and develop a network that supports and connects older adults in their communities. All of these are attributes and values I strongly believe in, yet the stereotypes of aging creep into the fabric of my life as I age.

I recently had that dreaded every four-year task of renewing my driver's license. My first thought upon receiving the postcard was, "thank goodness I do not have to take a road test." Why would I think that? I am a good driver no tickets, no accidents. Then my fears turned to the eye test. What would happen if I did not pass the test? I started using eye drops several times a day, picked a day I would not being doing extensive computer work, resting my eyes for the intimidating test. While waiting at the exam station I became very nervous. Long story short, I passed with no issues. I was internalizing the stereotypes of older adults: not good drivers, vision is declining. As a vital ager, I was surprised by my actions and reactions to the mundane task of renewing my driver's license.

This simple everyday experience reinforces the need to respect, promote and value older adults in our society and the contributions they make in the work place, churches and their communities at large. So I encourage you to celebrate growing old, and join us as we celebrate the Vital Aging Network.

You are invited to a very special event: Bluegrass @ the Brewery, on Monday, October 17. Join us at Surly Brewing Company for music, trivia, light refreshments and other activities. Get your tickets now! We would love to have you join us for this fun evening. 

Pam Hayle
Chair, Vital Aging Network


Designing a Better World

Design helps us see things that do not exist. This is especially important in our times of rapid change.

Tom Fisher
In his new book, Designing Our Way to a Better World, Tom Fisher presents a thought-provoking perspective on how design can help us address our society's most challenging issues, including those related to education, public health and politics. He will illustrate how design can be a force in helping us age well.

"[Design thinking] provides not just a useful and rigorous process for coming up with creative ideas but also a synthesizing, holistic way of looking at the world around us, making connections and seeing relationships among things we often treat as separate and distinct."

Mr Fisher is the former dean of the College of Design and the director of the Metropolitan Design Center at the University of Minnesota. We are honored to have this sought-after author and national speaker, for this exciting forum. Join us!  
Designing Our Way to a Better World
Mon day, September 26 , 2016 
1:00 to 2:30 PM 
Southdale Library  
Ethel Berry Room  
7001 York Avenue South   
Edina, MN 55435

Download a flyer

Register for Mayday Celebration 

$10 Requested Donation 
Your donation will help VAN continue to offer stimulating and timely programs. 

What stereotypes lurk in your  unconscious mind

If you are a professional working with older adults and/or their families, this CEU workshop is for you.

How we think about aging has an impact on quality of life, health and even longevity. One study indicates that people with positive self-perceptions as they age live seven and a half years longer on average (Levy et al., 2002).

Professionals who work with older adults and their families have a significant impact on people's views about aging. Have you deeply examined your own views? The workshop is offered by the Vital Aging Network and designed for social workers, health professionals, housing staff and others.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Wilder Community Center for Aging
650 Marshall Avenue 
St Paul, Minnesota 55104

Register now!

The Vital Aging Network is a CE Provider authorized by the Minnesota Board on Social Work. Certificates of completion for 6 CEUs will be provided.
Buy your tickets today!
Bluegrass at the brewery

Monday, October 17, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Surly Brewing Company

Join us for a live bluegrass band and more and
support the work of the Vital Aging Network

Download a flyer
  Buy tickets
Evolve: Re-igniting Self & Community
Use your lifetime of experiences to
make a better Golden Valley 

Evolve is an eight-month, one-day-a-month course that engages people 50+ in making our communities better. We are excited to announce a class in
Golden Valley starting Wednesday, October 5.

The class is sponsored by the Golden Valley Community Foundation and people who live, work or volunteer in Golden Valley qualify for a discounted fee.   
Know plan act evaluate: Evolve framework

The class helps you:
  • (Re) discover purpose
  • Build your community leadership skills
  • Plan and implement a project that contributes to the common good
  • Become a part of a high-energy network for exchange of ideas, connections and support
Join us for a "taster" workshop and/or an information session. Learn more.

Download a flyer.  More on Evolve in Golden Valley. 

For information call Julie Roles, 651-690-4111 or email .

This course is sponsored by the Golden Valley Community Foundation (

End of summer sale!
Mapping Your Retirement book cover
Looking for a retirement, birthday or holiday gift? Here's a great idea and, for a limited time, at a reduced price.

Mapping Your Retirement: A Personal Guide to Maintaining Your Health, Managing Your Money, and Living Well  
"One of the most balanced and practical tools I have seen. It has the potential to become a classic in its category."---Amy Lindgren, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Learn more about the book.

Regularly priced at $16.50 now $8.50

Buy the Book 

Volunteer Opportunities

Ramsey County
Information Desk Attendant
Be the smiling face that provides a warm welcome, and general information to visitors of the Ramsey County Government Center East. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. For more information, Contact Ramsey County - Volunteer Services at 651-266-4090 or e-mail
Various Roles
At HeatlhEast we are called to improve the health of our neighbors. Our volunteers play an important part in achieving this mission and we have several opportunities for you to be a part of this team. We are currently accepting applications for a Gift Shop Assistant in our beautiful Garden View Gift Shop at Bethesda Hospital as well as Greeters at our Welcome Center. Also, Passport, which is a partnership we have with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, is looking for volunteers to help in the office, plan special events and lead book discussions. If you would like to be surrounded by some of the best volunteers in Saint Paul, contact Heidi at 651-232-2191 or at Free parking, training and complimentary meal for each shift worked. Call today and learn how you can be a part of this vibrant community!

The following calendar items are presented as information only. They are not Vital Aging Network events.

For Your Calendar

Powerful Tools for Caregivers
Thursdays, September 15 - October 20
12:45 PM to 2:45 PM

The Colony, 431 Prairie Center Dr., Eden Prairie
Wednesday, October 5 - November 9, 2016
10:00 AM to Noon
Wooddale Church, 6630 Shady Oak Road, Eden Prairie 
Are you feeling stretched caring for a loved one? This 6-week small-group education program is designed to provide you with a wealth of self-care tools that will help you take care of yourself while taking care of others. You will learn to reduce stress, improve your self-confidence, balance your life, better communicate your feelings, increase your ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources. Register by calling the Normandale Center for Healing & Wholeness at 952-929-1698. Sliding fee scale available. For more information, visit the Center's website.

Better Choices, Better Health
Tuesdays, September 6 to October 11, 2016
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Creekside Community Center, 9801 Penn Ave. South, Bloomington, MN
This 6-week course increases confidence and skills in managing care for yourself. It is designed to build skills in identifying issues, setting goals, solving problems, communicating, working with health care providers, and finding out where to go for more information. The program covers new topics each week and provides opportunities for interaction and group problem solving. The workshop leaders are more like coaches who guide participants through the topics. The answer to someone's question is usually found in the room from another participant who has gone or is going through a similar situation. The program serves those who are 60 years of age or better who are living with a chronic condition themselves or are caring for someone who is. For more information or to register for this course, call the Normandale Center for Healing & Wholeness at 952-929-1698.

Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls 
Thursdays, September 8 to October 27, 2016
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Creekside Community Center, 9801 Penn Ave. South, Bloomington, MN
Have you turned down a chance to go out with family or friends because you were concerned about falling? Did you know that the fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself? This 8-week program can help you improve your quality of life and increase your independence. For more information or to register for the course, call the Normandale Center for Healing & Wholeness at 952-929-1698.

Design Your Own Housing Options with Chuck Durrett 
Thursday, September 15 - 7:00 to 9:00 PM
First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve Ave, Minneapolis
Chuck Durrett image 
Join the Twin Cities Cohousing Network for an inspiring and entertaining evening with Chuck Durrett, the "Father of US Cohousing," who has designed over fifty communities in North America and consulted on many more.
Meet advocates, developers, and community-minded folks who are forming ongoing groups to explore new cohousing options in the twin cities. Tell your friends and neighbors about this wonderful opportunity! Feel free to post and pass on the  event flyer. Come when doors open at 6:30 to get a good seat. $10-20 suggested donation.
Register now!

Roseville Area Community Volunteer Fair 
Roseville Area Community Volunteer Fair
Saturday, October 1 - 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM 
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
2561 Victoria Street North @ County Road C, Roseville, MN 55113
Are you interested in exploring new opportunities to volunteer? Join Do Good Roseville for its 1st annual volunteer fair. More than 20 organizations will be available to tell you about opportunities to help all kinds from people including: children, seniors, immigrants, disabled, veterans, and the homeless. Volunteer as an individual, a family or a team. You can choose a set schedule, your own schedule, or even travel abroad to volunteer. Start by bringing a pair of shoes to be recycled for Shoe Away Hunger. Here are the details
Make a Donation
Do you value the contribution that the Vital Aging Network makes in our community and in your life? If you do, please consider making a contribution to keep VAN strong. Thank you in advance!

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