In the initiative’s first phase, “home” was a starting place for intergenerational conversations about aging and planning for the life changes that are inevitable. Through this lens, the project learned from individuals and families about their preferences as they share what home means now and how this might change as they age. Not surprisingly, health and the importance of staying healthy was a top discussion item. Thus, in the second series of conversations, we asked community members to think together about what Physical, Mental/Emotional, Nutritional, Spiritual and Oral Health means as we get older and asked them to identify what is needed to achieve aspects of personal health. Participants also, identified what gets in the way of personal health and asked what others (family, community, policymakers, etc.) need to do to assure that people can plan having options that meet their definitions of health. We hope to use this information as we work together to remove barriers that get in the way of health as we age.
Over the course of six weeks, we held five Calling Home conversations in different Minnesota communities. We partnered with communities that 1) had strong community organizations or other momentum in community action, 2) reflected the geographic diversity of Minnesota, and 3) reflected the cultural diversity of Minnesota. The meetings were hosted by the following local conveners;
• North Minneapolis Session: Henry Crosby with Heritage Park YMCA at the Cora McCorvey Center. Primarily African-American males.
• Legacy Adult Day Care Session in Golden Valley: Lili Ugaz at this Spanish-Speaking assisted living facility. • Suburban Ramsey Session in Roseville: Mary Sue Hansen from the Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative. The audience was diverse in aging, background and intergenerational.
• Cedar Riverside Session in Minneapolis: The African Immigrant Community Center in Cedar Riverside, Minneapolis. The Cedar Riverside area is primarily a Somali-Speaking community
• Perham County Community Session, MN: Rural Minnesota: Chuck Hofius and Tracy Hendrickx from Sanford Health and Maggie Fresonke from Perham Health