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Office of Aging

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In 2007, the Carver County Board of Commissioners created the Office of Aging located in the Public Health & Environment Division, to prepare the County for a massive number of older Baby Boomers and to change the face, fabric and culture of aging in the County. 

While the Carver County population is doubling, the number of residents age 65 and over is expected to quadruple, increasing from 5,246 in 2000 to 24,490 in 2030.   More than 90 percent of these older residents will be Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964.   These older boomer residents in Carver County have had different life experiences and will have different expectations from today’s seniors.   

Charge of the Office of Aging

The challenge for Carver County and its cities is to create communities that Boomer residents will want to stay in as they age and to plan the growth of these cities to create communities to meet their needs.  The Office of Aging identifies how Carver County will change with the aging of the Boomers and educates residents, local governments, businesses, civic groups and school districts on the changes.  It supports the work of the city-level Commissions and collaborates with community partners to identify how to meet the needs of boomers.

Current Office of Aging Initiatives

  • Six City-level Aging/Senior Commissions

Six Carver County cities, Chanhassen, Mayer, Norwood Young America, Victoria, Waconia and Watertown have appointed commissions to advise the City Council and city staff on issues related to current and future 65+ residents.  These Aging Commissions include residents from 30 to 80 years of age, have the Mayor or City Council person as a liaison, and meet monthly to identify and address issues.

  • “Baby Boomer Assessment Project” with CURA (Center for Urban and Regional Affairs – University  of Minnesota)
    • Focus groups have been held with Watertown Boomer residents ages 44-52 and 53-62 to identify their expectations and needs to remain residents of the city.   
    • An assessment/survey instrument has been developed for Carver County cities to use to determine the specific needs and expectations of their Boomer residents, in order to retain them as residents and meet their needs as they age.
  • Universal Design Project
    • The Office of Aging provided training for planning staff from four Carver County cities to explain how  promoting universal design in new housing construction, universal and accessible home remodeling will allow residents to age in place.  
    • Following the training, three participating cities had a work session on Universal Design with the Planning Commission, Economic Development Commission and City Council members.
  • "Vulnerable Adults: Roles and Responsibilities in the Public and Private Sector"
    A meeting was held with the County Attorney’s office, County Adult Protection and County Senior Services regarding who can, should and must get involved and report a vulnerable adult in Carver County. The audience included Carver County senior service providers including managers of market-rate senior apartment buildings.
  • CarFit Events
    Working with the Aging/Senior Commissions, CarFit events are planned for residents throughout Carver County during the year. The events are designed to provide a quick comprehensive check of how an older person and their vehicle work together. A 12-point checklist is completed and recommendations made for car adjustments and adaptations.  Occupational Therapists from Ridgeview Medical Center will participate in the events.  
    • Next CarFit event is September 24th, from 4-7 p.m. in Waconia  - Contact Jan with the City of Waconia at 952/442-5802 to register.  
    • If you would like to schedule a CarFit event in your community, at your business or at a senior housing complex contact Lenny Schmitz at 952-361-1328 or lschmitz@co.carver.mn.us
  • Volunteer Speed Match
    The Chanhassen Senior Commission and Senior Center along with the Carver County RSVP Outreach Coordinator conducted a Volunteer Speed Match event.  Fifteen agencies from throughout the County had 3-minute interviews with 30 prospective volunteers to determine whether there was a “match”.
    Carver County Sheriff's Office in partnership with the Office of Aging, is proud to announce a new program called TRIAD.  TRIAD is a partnership between law enforcement, the community and the senior citizen community all working together to keep our senior citizens safe.  The TRIAD program is coordinated through the Sheriff’s Reserve Program.  The implementation plan has three phases: The first phase includes meeting with senior citizen’s commissions to provide brochures and contacts for the senior citizen community.  The Carver County Sheriff’s Office TRIAD program will help provide presenters and support for events. The second phase includes proactive coordination of events and topics for discussion through the Carver County Sheriff’s Office TRIAD Program; the third phase includes conducting large scale events e.g. County-wide personal safety, home security or traffic safety seminars. 
  • Potential New Project: Community Nursing/Parish Nurse Programs
    The Office of Aging plans to investigate the models used to provide case management and referral using nurses serving a faith-based community or a neighborhood and develop recommendations for a Carver County-wide initiative to recruit and train nurses or other professionals to serve in these roles.
  • Potential New Project: Telehealth
    There are a number of interested parties in the City of Waconia working on and exploring the telehealth issue, as it relates to vital signs monitoring, medication compliance and sensor networking. 

Will Carver County be ready for the Boomers?

The Office of Aging asked this question at its kick-off event Feb. 29, 2008 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska. The event featured "Transform 2010: Preparing Minnesota for the Age Wave" presented by LaRhae Grindal Knatterud, director of Aging Transformation for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and Loren Colman, assistant commissioner with the DHS Continuing Care Administration. State demographer Tom Gillaspy spoke on Aging and Carver County, and Carver County Public Health planner Katy Boone gave an Office of Aging presentation. (Aging and Carver County and the Office of Aging Presentation are also available in pdf format.)

Challenge for Carver County: Developing Communities for Boomer Residents

The Office of Aging sponsored a daylong conference, "Challenge for Carver County: Developing Communities for Boomer Residents," Dec. 11, 2008 at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The conference began an exploration of the issues facing the county and its cities as residents prepare for a new and much larger generation of older residents, Baby Boomers. Discussion centered around the need to develop communities with the amenities, services and housing options tailored to the needs of the Boomers, individuals who will have different expectations and demands than their parent's generation. The conference agenda included the following presentations, some of which also provided handouts:

Senior Volunteer Opportunities/Resources news

Office of Aging Contact Information

Carver County Public Health, 952-361-1329 or public-health@co.carver.mn.us 

 600 East Fourth Street (Second Floor), Chaska, MN 55318