It has been a crazy couple months dealing with Covid-19. We just everyone to know that we are still here and we are still doing great things for seniors in our service area. That isn't to say though that we aren't getting antsy to get back to our exercise classes, blood pressure clinics, art classes, etc. As soon as the Governor gives us the go ahead those will start back up again! In the mean time, we are busy doing our gift bag deliveries. The bags are filled with non-perishable food items, personal care items, puzzles, crossword puzzle workbooks and many other donated items. If you are a senior in our service area and would like to receive a gift bag or are lonely and would like a friendly phone call please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Celebrating Life: an Arts Series” is a program adapted for older adults from Mia’s Art Adventure program, a program designed for school age children. The goals of Celebrating Life are to offer older adults the opportunities to 1) learn about art, 2) establish an emotional connection with art, and 3) find relevance for art in their own lives. Celebrating Life values critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, curiosity, inclusivity and diversity, empathy, respect and kindness, lifelong learning and reflection. Three trained Minneapolis Institute of Art Adventure guides, one of whom is a geriatric social worker experienced in group work, lead two educational sessions using full-color poster reproductions of works of art from Mia’s collections, followed by a visit to Mia to view the real works of art. Our seniors had an awesome time on their field trip! Enjoy the pictures below.
Every year we pair up the 4th graders from a local school with seniors in our service area to be pen pals. They write back and forth all school year and get to know each other. In May, the 4th graders walked over to the Como by the Lake Apartments and they did a craft with their senior pen pal and had root beer floats. This year the kids also brought along their recorders and treated us to a concert! It was such a fun afternoon and a great way to celebrate the end of the school year.
We have done traditional chair yoga for the past couple years with great success. It's challenging and forces us to slow down and relax. Dianne Hansen is a certified Laughter Yoga teacher and she came in to do a demo class. Laughter Yoga combines interactive laughter exercises with deep centering breaths and calming movements. Laughing is an easy way to strengthen all immune functions, bring more oxygen to the body and brain, foster positive feelings and improve interpersonal skills. It was such a workout and we had a great time doing it!
Love was in the air last week! Gifts for Seniors generously donated 35 gift bags to our program for Valentine's Day. We are blown away by the generosity of this awesome program. We loaded up the car and did surprise visits and boy did they love it! They eagerly opened up their bags and oohed and awed over all the items. Take a look at the pictures below and thank you Gifts for Seniors for thinking of our seniors on Valentine's Day.
The holidays can be a lonely time for many people and that is especially true for seniors. We sent our elves out last Saturday to deliver 40 gift bags to seniors in the neighborhoods we serve. It was so fun visiting with them and putting a smile on their faces! The gift bags were filled with donated items from Gift for Seniors, Bergin Nut, board members, Rice Street Family Dental Care, and Impact Printing.
The North End-South Como Block Nurse Program wishes everyone a Happy Holidays!
Yoga isn't just for girls! Four years ago Molly started teaching chair yoga to a group of about 4 people. Since then the class has grown and we routinely have a group of 15-20 people! It is exciting to see that many seniors wanting to exercise, improve their balance and flexibility. Usually there is a couple guys that come to class, but this fall we noticed more men joining us! It made us so excited we had to take a picture. If you are looking for a senior yoga class to join come give ours a try! Chair Yoga is every Monday from 11:00am-11:45am at the Como by the Lake Senior Apartments. Everyone is welcome - including guys and there is no cost!
We are so proud of Janet Simmons for being one of six outstanding people presented with the Dorothy Richardson Award for Outstanding Leadership! Honorees have invested their energies and talents to bring about specific change that positively impacts their neighborhoods and communities. Back in 2015 the owner of the Como by the Lake Senior Apartments was about to sell the affordable housing into a luxury, market-rate development. Janet acted quickly to organize her neighbors, and enlisted help from HOME Line, a tenant-advocacy nonprofit, and NeighborWorks member Aeon (nonprofit developer, owner and manager of high-quality affordable apartments and townhomes). They organized a community meeting, contacted government representatives and local media. In August of 2015, Aeon ended up purchasing the building keeping affordable housing in St. Paul. Congratulations Janet and thank you for all your hard work! We have some amazing seniors in our neighborhood!
Click on the links below for more information on Janet:
We are so excited to announce that we have hired Olivia as our new Volunteer/Service Coordinator! She started a couple weeks ago and is making her way around the neighborhood meeting all the great seniors we work with and the volunteers that help us out. Olivia most recently led art classes for senior living with Alzheimers and Dementia. At North End-South Como Olivia works with the community and families to connect seniors to services and support so they can live as independently as possible in their homes. In her spare time she likes doing things outdoors and listening to live music. Olivia lives in St. Paul with her daughter and husband. If you see her out and about say hi or give her a call at 651-489-4067.
No, these happy Senior's aren't back in school! You don't have to be a kid to enjoy opening up a fresh box of colored pencils and a brand new coloring book. Every Wednesday from 11:00-11:45am you are invited to join us at Como by the Lake Senior Apartments for a chance to socialize, color and let your creative juices flow!
Coloring has many benefits:
- Improves mood
- Relieves stress
- Reduces agitation
- Improves dexterity and hand/eye coordination
- Provides a sense of accomplishment
Hope to you see you soon! No need to bring anything. We have all the supplies and there may even be some treats too.
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Annie Mueller, Executive Director