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e l ty s e f i l s s e l e g a t, n a br i v For a

STAYING SAFE As you begin traveling again

Seniors are more


Protect your family’s

INHERITANCE An Echo Press publication

8 tips 1

for eating healthy & staying fit

Base your meals on higher fiber starchy carbohydrates


2 Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish

4 5

Eat lots of fruit and vegetables

Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults


Do not get thirsty

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

6 8

Get active and be a healthy weight

Do not skip breakfast

Open 6am-10Pm 7 Days a Week! 320-763-3446 • www.ELDENS.com Corner of 3rd & Nokomis, Alexandria

Only store in town that is LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED.

Alomere means best of the best. Dear neighbors, It’s wonderful to receive positive news in the midst of one of the most challenging journeys we have all experienced over the past year, and it gives me great pleasure to share a very bright spotlight on some recent national recognition received by Alomere Health. First, I would like to extend my congratulations to our cancer program team for completing the Commission on Cancer (CoC) survey and achieving full accreditation status.

Combined with recently being nationally recognized by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services as a 5-Star hospital, and Healthgrades’ patient safety award, our programs and organizations recognition is evidence and a great testament to the teamwork and overall commitment to supporting a culture of accountability and excellence that has been embraced by the staff and physicians who work in our clinics and hospital settings.

Thank you for placing your trust in us. That’s the most valuable recognition of all. Sincerely,

Carl Vaagenes Alomere Health CEO

Additionally, I’m pleased to share the news that Alomere Health has once again been recognized as a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital for 2021. This is the fourth year in a row for Alomere, making us one of only three hospitals in Minnesota to achieve this status! There is no better illustration of the value that rural facilities provide to their communities than to be recognized as one of the top performing rural facilities in the nation. Earning a spot on the Top 100 list is based on performance across numerous metrics. It is the health care industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural provider performance.

Here for Life

Alomere Health • Alexandria Clinic • Osakis Clinic • Lakes E.N.T. • Heartland Orthopedic Specialists

Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 3

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6 The advantages of RV travel 17 Get outdoors!


Seniors are more tech savvy


8 12 13 13

Staying fit after 50 Make sure to use safe gardening practices Can eating berries improve your memory? Alexandria area pick-your-own berries and farmers markets

STAYING SAFE as you begin traveling again Page 16

FASHION GOING GREY the natural way Page 22


20 Help protect your family’s inheritance


19 Family time: reconnect with your grandchildren 4 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021

22 Foot fashion 22 Fashion over 50


11 Five ways to make your new apartment feel like home 14 Make your move less stressful


10 The Alexandria Senior Center is there for you 15 Resources for Minnesotans 21 Douglas County Senior Services

We've Moved...Come Visit us at Geneva East!

The advantages of


Individuals approaching retirement or those who already have retired may be ready to make some life changes. Travel is something many older adults enjoy when they have much more free time. Recreational vehicles are great ways for people to get out and about. An RV is more than just a way to get around; for many people it becomes a lifestyle. The RV Industry Association (RVIA) says there are now roughly 18,000 campgrounds around the country, and certain facilities are pushing to improve and upgrade campgrounds in national parks and on federal lands. Individuals considering if the RV lifestyle is for them can refer to this list of RVing benefits.

Inexpensive travel (or living): RVers may be attracted by the idea of low-cost travel that doesn’t involve hotels and airfare and reduces their reliance on restaurants. RVs can be rented for roughly $100$500 per day, and RV parks usually run between $35-$50 per night, according to Allianz Travel Insurance. To keep the costs down even more, certain truck stops, big box retailers, churches, hotels, movie theaters, casinos, rest stops and other roadside locations will allow free overnight parking. Just verify before staying to avoid being ticketed.

Freedom to come and go: When traveling in an RV, there are no set check-in-/check-out times to follow or boarding times to meet. RV travel can be strictly on your schedule.

Plenty of help: Others who have embraced the RV lifestyle tend to be very friendly. Those with more experience may be willing to share their expertise and offer tips for better excursions. Creature comforts: People who vacation or choose to live in their RVs tend to keep familiar items and essentials on hand, including preferred linens, clothing, toiletries, books, games, and more. When taking such items

along, there’s no need to pack and unpack much for any trip. Follow the weather: If desired, RVers can pick up and follow the jet stream. If 70-degree days are your thing, then follow those temperatures coast-to-coast. If you like skiing or snowboarding, you can head to colder climates. The RV lifestyle may attract soon-to-be retirees. There are various advantages to getting on board.

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Seniors are more

TECH SAVVY Technology is the future, and digital communication has opened many doors for people around the world. Although younger generations have grown up with technology at their fingers, Baby Boomers and older adults did not. In spite of that, studies show growing numbers of seniors are open to the idea of technology. According to a 2014 study by Pew Research Center, 59 percent of seniors regularly use the internet – a 6 percent increase from the previous study conducted in 2012. Today, 67 percent of adults age 65 and older say they go online. Pew also says that, although seniors consistently have lower rates of technology adoption than the general public, four in 10 seniors now own smart-

phones, which is more than double the amount that did in 2013. Seniors in Australia are especially tech savvy, as Deloitte’s mobile consumer survey found 78 percent of Australian seniors aged 65 to 75 own a smartphone, up from 69 percent in 2016. While stereotypes have long painted seniors as technologically inept, seniors are actually more socially and digitally engaged than ever before. Seniors use technology in many different ways. Some use mobile apps to manage medications and doctor’s appointments and monitor their fitness regimens. Some families employ 24/7 alert systems or smarthome technology to keep seniors comfortable and safe at home for as long as possible. Noninvasive, ‘smart’ technology can

analyze factors such as whether or not doors are left open, if there has been movement in a home, or whether appliances/ lights are on or off. This represents a great way for families to stay informed and provide assistance even if they are not nearby. SilverSurfers, a seniorbased information website, says other tech that seniors are embracing includes online


dating; audio and digital books; online shopping, which is especially valuable to seniors who have mobility issues; and social media, which can keep seniors connected to others and feeling less lonely. Technology is no longer just for teenagers or active workers. Seniors are increasingly embracing technology and becoming a fast-growing demographic for tech usage.


Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 7

Staying fit


In an ideal world, people young and old exercise each day. But as men and women age, finding time to work out is not so easy. Your 50s are the perfect time to commit to your fitness, which will allow you to maintain your health and mobility in the years to come. But before beginning a new exercise regimen, men and women 50 and older should take heed of some safety tips to ensure their efforts are not derailed by accident or injury. Speak with your physician. The National Institute on Aging notes that even people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis can be physically active. However, anyone with such a condition and even those who don’t fall into those categories should consult with their physicians and receive

Here are a few more tips to help maintain your health and mobility: ALTERNATIVE EXERCISE. Don’t forget that things like gardening, sweeping and vacuuming, swimming and even dancing are good exercise. TRY GROUP CLASSES. It can be much easier to stay motivated if you work out as a group.

a full physical before exercising. Such a consultation and checkup can shed light on any unknown issues, and physicians can offer advice on how to safely manage any problems that may arise. Begin with low-intensity exercises. Even if you feel great and have maintained a healthy weight, don’t push yourself too hard at the start. Your body needs time to adjust to physical activity, so choose low-intensity exercises like walking and light strength training so your muscles, tendons and ligaments can adjust. Initially, exercise every other day so your body has ample time to recover between workouts. Choose the right places to exercise outdoors. Exercising outside provides the best of both worlds for many people, providing a chance to get WARM UP FIRST. Never forget to warm up before engaging in your workout. This allows your muscles and joints to adapt slowly to exercise and reduce injury risks.

TRACK STEPS. Using a fitness tracker to help you hit your goals each day. ADD STRENGTH TRAINING. Cardio is important, but so is

healthy all while enjoying the great outdoors. When exercising outdoors, choose areas that are not remote and where others can see you and offer help if you suffer an injury or have an accident. Boardwalks, public parks and outdoor gyms are safer places to work out than wooded areas or other places well off the beaten path.  Stay hydrated. The National Institute on Aging notes that many people lose strength training, which can help improve balance and build bone density. TRY YOGA. Not only does yoga improve your fitness gently, it can also help you sleep better, lose weight and elevate your mood. MAKE IT FUN. Find an activity that you enjoy and you’re more likely to stay with your program.

their sense of thirst as they age. But just because you aren’t thirsty does not mean you don’t need water, especially while exercising. Water regulates body temperature and lubricates the joints, thereby decreasing your risk of injury during exercise. Exercising after 50 can help people live healthy well into retirement. But caution must be exercised when aging men and women return to exercise after a long break. WALK, WALK, WALK. Walking is the perfect exercise for older adults since it’s low impact and has a low risk of injury. TAI CHI. This gentle workout is perfect for any age and can help increase flexibility and balance. FOCUS ON FORM. Good form is crucial to your workout and can help prevent exercise injuries.

ST. WI L L I A M’ S O U T PAT I EN T T H E R A P Y C LI N I C · · · ·

Physical Therapy Occupational Therapy Speech-Language Pathology Student Athlete Sports Screens

Conveniently located locally in St William's Living Center. For any questions regarding this new service, you may call 218-338-1014. We welcome referrals from physicians, discharge planners, social workers, family members, and case managers. For more information, to request an on-site evaluation of your patient, or to arrange a tour of our facility, please contact our therapy department at 218-338-1014.

8 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021

Our residents agree...

Life looks great from here.



715 Victor St, Alexandria • 320-759-2132 VistaPrairie.org • facebook.com/windmillponds

In-Home Repair Program - a program of West Central Minnesota Communities Action, INC.

Project Goal This service is intended to make minor modifications of living space to prevent injury, promote safety and health of older persons, to assist them in remaining independent in their homes.

Modifications included (not limited to)


The service will be targeted for the frail/elderly individuals over age 60 that would be unable to remain living independently in their own homes without some modifications. For more information or to get an application, call 800-492-4805, Or 218-685-4486, Email: lynnetteg@wcmca.org or bethanyk@wcmca.org Website: www.wcmca.org

. Installation of grab bars . Shower chairs or raised toilet seats . Faucet and door levers . Wheelchair ramps . Smoke detectors . Medical alert devices . Minor plumbing or electrical

Need Help With Your Heating and Electrical Cost? Please contact our agency for more information on how to apply! 1-800-492-4805 Option 1, or visit our website www.WCMCA.org


Contact West Central Minnesota Communities Action to request an application!

• Grants range from $300 up to $1,600. • Eligibility based on past 3 months income. • Average grant of about $580.

Alexandria Senior Center is there for you A wide variety of services and social activities are available for those 50 and older Did you know if you are over 50 years old, you are qualified to utilize the many services of the Alexandria Senior Center? Located at 414 Hawthorne St. in historic Downtown Alexandria, the center welcomes all. There is the Lorsung Art Studio, a variety of meeting rooms that anyone can rent, and a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen. There are activities and entertainment on a regular basis and there are also programs sponsored by AARP that utilize the Alexandria Senior Center space. In today’s world, the term “senior” has a totally different

meaning than it did 40 years ago. If you were a “senior” 40 years ago, you were likely in your early 60s. Due to advances in medicine and improved health care knowledge, the average life expectancy is far greater than it was in 1977. According to www.data360. org, average life expectancy in the United States for men and women today is 82 years. In 1977, the average life expectancy was 77 years. Today, more and more Americans are living well into their 90s or even hitting 100. The Alexandria Senior Center was created in 1984 as a nonprofit organization. Then, and now, it is a local spot where seniors come togeth! er to enjoy cards, meals, t i s i V Come ned Our special events and fellowpe ship. While much has We’ve Oonce again. changed in the AlexDoors , 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. andria Lakes region y a id r since 1984, the mis-F to y es Monda nter striv eople e C sion of the Alexanr io n ria Se g for p l, Alexand hy, active livin a dria Senior Center n o ti a l, educ healt has not wavered. suppor t providing socia tional by forma The Alexandria Seover 50 al and in nutrition services nior Center has grown its membership to an amazing 840 members. Mem-

Music returns to the Center Weekly concerts and monthly dances, curtailed because of the pandemic, have returned to the Alexandria Senior Center, although precautions are still in play at this time. Weekly concerts and monthly dances had been a staple for the senior center until COVID shot everything down. Seating will be at limited capacity due to COVID restrictions, and all staff and visitors must wear masks,

wash their hands and follow social distancing. The Center reopened its doors on Feb. 1 and is slowly increasing the number of activities, programs and services it offers with limited capacity. Safety protocols are in place and will be communicated to all prior to entering and posted throughout the building. For more information, call 320-762-2087.

10 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021

FOR MORE INFORMATION on services and programs available at the Alexandria Senior Center, or to become a member, stop by 414 Hawthorne St. or call

(320) 762-2087 bers currently receive many benefits, including a monthly newsletter, and reduced fees for meals, classes and facility room rentals. At the Senior Center, members have access to free internet and wi-fi, and some qualify for annual free income tax preparation. Nutrition Services Incorporated provides onsite lunches five days a week for seniors, and also provides the Meals on Wheels service for those unable to come to the center for lunch. The Alexandria Senior

Center also has an extensive lending library and offers free computer and cell phone assistance for those seniors wishing to learn more about the digital world. There are many opportunities for entertainment and fun at the Alexandria Senior Center every month. From live music, card game groups and bingo to pool enthusiasts and birthday parties, there is truly something for everyone at the center.


CARDS & GAMES Currently, there are three Bridge groups playing Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, one group of Hand & Foot on Fridays and Whist on Wednesday mornings. Cribbage and MahJong are beginning in June. FUN BINGO There is FUN BINGO every Monday at 1 p.m.

BILLIARDS Monday through Friday 9 a.m. LORSUNG ART STUDIO The Lorsung Art Studio is open to the public for classes and studio time. Classes are available for adults and, where noted, youth. ​ Some of the recent classes include rock cutting, rock shaping and polishing, metalsmithing, assemblage, jewelry making as well as other types of art.

5 home

ways to make your new apartment feel like

While there are many benefits to down­ sizing, it can be hard to transition from living in a house to residing in a retirement community. Here are five tips to help make your new apartment feel like home.

plants, artwork and ot­her decorative pie­ces. Use an essential oil diffuser or plug-in air freshener to imbue your new home with a scent you love.



Prioritize comfort. A home should be some­where you can relax and put your feet up, so don’t skimp on comfortable seating, luxu­rious linens and soft blankets. Also, create a space where you can read, paint or do other activities you enjoy.



Personalize the space. Even if your apartment co­ mes fully furnished, you can still make it your own with accent pillows,

Finally, remember to give yourself time to adjust to the space and keep an open mind about this new chapter in your life.

Fill it with memories. Hang a variety of family photos, display souvenirs from your travels and use your own furniture to create a sense of familiarity.


Join the community. Ra­­ ther than stay cooped up all day, participate in some of the activities and outings offered at your re­­si­dence. This will help make your apartment feel like a welcome sanctuary after a lively day. Continue to host. If you like to entertain, be sure to invite family and friends over to visit. Even if you don’t have a full kitchen, all you need is an electric kettle to serve tea and a well-stocked candy dish to please the grandkids.

First in the Region to Utilize Mako® Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology for Joint Replacement Mako robotic-arm assisted technology enables our surgeons at Alomere Health to provide total knee replacement, total hip replacement, or partial knee replacement patients with a personalized surgical experience based on his or her specific diagnosis and anatomy.

Benefits include: • Implants designed for natural, normal movement • Less pain and quicker recovery than traditional joint replacements • Personalized surgical plans based on your anatomy for longer-lasting joints • Reduced risk of complications

Our Mako Specialists: Eric W. Nelson, M.D. Siegfried (Sig) Feierabend, M.D. Emily J.M. Monroe, M.D. Aaron J. Balgaard, M.D.

Dennis P. Weigel, M.D. Paul A. Dale, M.D.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call 800.762.1177. HeartlandOrthopedics.com

Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 11

Make sure to use

SAFE GARDENING PRACTICES Many people take up gardening after they retire, and with good reason. In addition to being an enjoyable hobby, it provides a number of physical and mental health benefits. Here are a few tips to help you safely garden.

Warm up before you get started by stretching your neck, back, shoulders and other muscles. Adopt a comfortable posture. Keep your back straight, work within arm’s reach and use knee pads.  Alternate between tasks to avoid tendinitis and other injuries caused by repetitive movements.

Use the right tools. Move around dirt and cumbersome equipment in a wheelbarrow. Make sure to keep a water bottle nearby so you remember to stay hydrated. Take breaks whenever you feel tired. On hot summer days, sit in the shade or retreat to an air-conditioned space. Handle pesticides with care and follow the directions. Or, better yet, learn how to control pests without using these dangerous products. Avoid gardening between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is strongest. Wear a light-colored, long-sleeve shirt and pants and a breathable, wide-brimmed hat. Apply sunscreen to any exposed skin, and wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays. Keep the rows of your garden clear and put tools away when you’re done with them to avoid tripping and falling. Opt for telescopic gardening tools rather than using a stepladder. Only climb a ladder if someone else holds it steady.

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We would love to take care of your friends and family!


Can eating berries improve your


Berries are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and several other nutrients. But did you know they may also support memory function? Here’s a look at how berries can give your brain a boost.

THE ROLE OF POLYPHENOLS For years, researchers around the world have been exploring whether the consumption of certain fruits can help prevent memory loss and other types of cognitive decline associated with aging. Several studies indicate that polyphenols, a micronutrient found in plant-based foods such as blueberries and grapes, might be the key. While more research is needed, it seems that polyphenols may improve long-term memory

function and help delay agerelated cognitive decline.

WHICH FRUITS TO FAVOR In addition to being present in blueberries and grapes, polyphenols can be found in black currants, elderberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries and more. To reap the benefits of berries, enjoy them fresh, frozen or dried. Eat them as a snack, add them to a meal or drink them in a smoothie. Alternatively, you can opt to take a berry extract supplement, but be sure to consult your doctor beforehand. To learn more about the health benefits of berries and other foods, book an appointment with a dietitian in your area.

ALEXANDRIA AREA PICK-YOUR-OWN BERRIES AND FARMERS MARKETS A perfect way to add more berries to your diet is to head for one of the pick-your-own berry farms in the area including: BERRY RIDGE FARM, 1301 Firemans Lodge Rd SW. Located 2 miles west of Alexandria, (320) 763-6893. For your convenience, call ahead for crop availability and directions. Call for hours. COUNTRY BLOSSOM FARM, LLC, 1951 Englund Rd SW, Alexandria, (320) 334-1620. Pick your own strawberries Jun-mid July. Call for dates & times.

If you’re not able to or would rather not pick your own produce, why not head for one of the area farmers markets and browse through their wide selections? ALEXANDRIA FARMERS MARKET, Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon; Thursdays 3 to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays 9 a.m. to noon. Big Ole Central Park, Alexandria HOLMES CITY FARMERS MARKET AND COMMUNITY BREAKFAST, Saturdays 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Breakfast through 10:30 a.m., Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot, Holmes City POPE COUNTY FARMERS MARKET, parking lot south of the Pope County Museum on State Hwy 104 near the totem pole. Tuesdays 4-6 p.m.; Saturdays 8:30-11:30 a.m. HOFFMAN FARMERS MARKET, Wednesdays 5-6:45 p.m. in the city park. Evening meal also served.

We have the Club Car you need! New or Used Golf Cars on the course or at home!



605 Hawthorne Str., Alexandria • Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm • Sat 9am-Noon • AlexGolfCars.com

Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 13

Make your move less stressful If you’re downsizing from a house to a condo or moving into a seniors’ residence, you may be worried about making the change. Here are a few tips to ensure your move is a positive one. FIND THE RIGHT HOME Take the time to select a place that provides you with everything you need and want. Consider the area you want to live in and whether you require an extra bedroom for when family comes to visit. Knowing that you’ll be comfortable in your new home can help alleviate your concerns about moving. ASK FOR HELP Moving can be physically demanding and emotionally draining. In particular, it

may be difficult to get rid of belongings and say goodbye to a home filled with memories. Consider asking friends and family members to lend a hand and provide moral support during your move. There are also a variety of professionals you can reach out to such as housing counselors and social workers. GET ORGANIZED Make a list of tasks that need to get done before your move and start completing them as soon as possible. This way, you’ll spread out the workload and avoid having to do too many things at the same time. What’s more, being organized is a great way to maintain a sense of control over your move and alleviate your worries.

Therapy Service • Short-term inpatient rehabilitation following surgery at Club Galeon of Osakis • Outpatient therapy for recovery from replacements or injuries • Pre-surgical strength training at Club Galeon • Aegis Geriatric Enhanced Modalities (GEM) pain management • Freedom Through Functionality (FTF) strength & balance • Warm water exercise pool and hot tub 320.859.2142


410 West Main Street, Osakis

www.billmarks.com Billmarks Lakes Area Insurance

320.763.9022 913 Broadway Alexandria


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512 Main St S Suite #2 • Sauk Centre

14 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021


Don’t forget to make time to unwind. Moving-related stress can be managed by meditating, doing yoga, listening to music, going for walks or whatever else helps you to relax.

509 Broadway

Downtown Alexandria



Scandinavian Style

Resources for Minnesotans MINNESOTA BOARD ON AGING The Minnesota Board on Aging is an organization with authority to assist older Minnesotans. Minnesota Board on Aging Department of Human Services P.O. Box 64976 St. Paul, MN 55164-0976 (651) 431-2500 or (800) 882-6262 Senior LinkAge Line: (800) 333-2433 www.mnaging.net MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH The Minnesota Department of Health is the state agency with the authority to license hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health care agencies in Minnesota. Office of Health Facility Complaints P.O. Box 64970 St. Paul, MN 55164-0970 (651) 201-4201 or (800) 369-7994 www.health.state.mn.us

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION The Social Security Administration is the federal agency that has the authority to administer Social Security benefits. Social Security Administration Office of Public Inquiries 1100 West High Rise 6401 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21235 (800) 772-1213 www.ssa.gov FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal agency that has authority to take action against deceptive, fraudulent and unfair business practices in the marketplace. Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20580 (877) 382-4357 TTY: (866) 653-4261 www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

MINNESOTA OMBUDSMAN FOR LONG-TERM CARE The Office of the Minnesota Ombudsman for Long-Term Care has authority to investigate complaints concerning nursing home, home care services, hospitals and other long-term care facilities related to the health, safety, welfare, rights and government benefits of people. Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building 540 Cedar Street St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 431-2555 or (800) 657-3591 www.mnaging.net SENIOR LINKAGE LINE Senior Linkage Line is the Minnesota Board on Aging’s statewide information and assistance service. Senior Linkage Line at (800) 333-2433.

CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the federal agency with the authority to run Medicare. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21244 www.cms.gov MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE The Minnesota Department of Commerce has authority to regulate certain health insurance companies and third-party administrators, as well as financial advisors and securities, including companies that issue securities, securities brokers, and securities agents. Minnesota Department of Commerce 85 7th Place East, Suite 280 St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 539-1500 or (800) 657-3602 www.mn.gov/commerce

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We’re offering 3 months free monitoring with the purchase of a new security system. Protect your home and loved ones from fire, intruders, carbon monoxide, and other threats for less than you’d think.

Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 15

STAYING SAFE as you begin traveling again As more countries begin opening their borders after more than a year, it’s time to look forward to some summer travel. Despite the lifting of many travel restrictions, you may still have some safety concerns about vacationing. Here are a few tips to make your travels easier.

KNOW THE RESTRICTIONS Wherever you are planning to travel, make sure to check on any restrictions that country or region might have, and be prepared to prove that you have been vaccinated if required.

TravelBans.org has regularly updated restrictions from many countries posted on their site, making it a good source of information for your travel plans. If you aren’t vaccinated, be sure to check on your destination to make sure you aren’t required to have vaccinations. Most countries are still requiring proof of a negative test, and some may still require quarantine once you arrive. TAKE PRECAUTIONS If it’s within your budget, consider upgrading your flight to business class or even first class to limit your exposure to Covid.

If you aren’t able to upgrade, you can still travel safely by wearing a mask (or two) and changing them out frequently. It’s also smart to keep your air vent open to help with circulation and to use hand sanitizer frequently during the flight as well as after. Don’t forget to sanitize after using handrails, elevator buttons or shuttle grab bars.

WHY NOT CAMP? If you aren’t comfortable with indoor accommodations, you can certainly try camping. There are plenty of options to give you a chance to spend time in the great outdoors. TRAVEL INSURANCE IS IMPORTANT Even as countries begin to open up again, there is always the potential that things might change quickly. Purchasing travel insurance can be expensive, especially for insurance that allows for cancellations for any reason, but it may give you some peace of mind. Along with Covid-19, there are many

health issues that could arise and having insurance means you won’t lose out on all the costs you’ve paid in advance. CAR RENTAL INSTEAD OF BUSES Renting and traveling by car when possible also cuts down on the crowds you would encounter on full flights or tightly packed buses. If you decide to use public transportation, check to see what their social distancing guidelines are in advance. MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE WHENEVER POSSIBLE If you are able, avoid big crowds whenever possible to cut your chances of getting ill. Outdoor activities, such as national parks and beaches, and off-peak sightseeing cut your risk of exposure to any illness. After a year-long hiatus from vacationing, this summer can be chance to get out and enjoy yourself. Just make sure to to stay safe and healthy.

Dana D. Hetland, Director 101 Nokomis St. W. • PO Box 340 • Osakis, MN 56360

(320) 859-2118

“Showing kindness & helpful compassion to families in the Lakes area for over 35 years.” 16 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021


hetlandfh@midwestinfo.com • www.royhetland.com

GET OUTDOORS! From gardening and golfing to cycling and playing tennis, there’s no shortage of ways to be active outdoors in summer.

Spending time in nature has benefits for your mind and body. Here are four outdoor activities that can help you make the most of sunny days.


HIKING. Depending on where you live, you can explore trails that wind through forests, wetlands or wide-open meadows. Just make sure the terrain and length of the trail correspond to your capabilities. Confirm if it’s a one-way or round trip before you start.


PICNICKING. Whether you choose to dine in a park or at the beach, this activity allows you to make the most of nice weather and enjoy a delicious meal in good company. Put together an assortment of salads and sandwiches or get takeout from a local restaurant.


CAMPING. Are you getting too old to sleep on the hard ground? With an RV, you can escape to the great outdoors without leaving behind the com-

forts of home. Spend your days fishing, hiking or sitting on the beach, and relax by the fire in the evening.


BIRDWATCHING. It’s easy to take up birding, as it requires very little equipment and can be done almost anywhere. All you need is patience and a keen eye. To make the most of your next excursion, determine where the best birdwatching spots are in your area.

UPSCALE 1, 2 & 3 BEDROOM APARTMENT HOMES The Legacy & Bridgewater Estates have Several Great Amenities.

• Theatre • Community Rooms • Elevator • On-site Management • Fitness Center • Tuck Under & Detached Garage • Beautiful Nature Views • Business Center



701 34th Avenue East, Alexandria


720 22nd Avenue East, Alexandria Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 17

Help Protect Older Adults In Your Community Become a health care fraud prevention advocate! Each year the Medicare program loses approximately $60 billion dollars as a result of erer rors, fraud and abuse. These losses affect all Americans. It affects those who depend on Medicare and Medical Assistance by diminishing the quality of the treatment they receive. It affects caregivers by decreasing the funding available for important programs. And it affects everyone who pays taxes by wasting billions of tax dollars. You can help by becoming a volunteer to help the people in your area! Call Kim with the Senior LinkAge Line® at (800) 333-2433 to learn more.

Other ways you can volunteer: • • •

Helping give presentations to older adults in your community Helping older Minnesotans complete applications and forms Providing office support and data entry help for staff at Dancing Sky AAA

NORTHWEST regional development commission


Dancing Sky AAA is a Program of the Northwest Regional Development Commission

18 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021


Fun ways to reconnect with grandchildren this summer It may have been a long time since you’ve been able to spend time with your grandchildren, and now that school is done for the summer, here’s your chance. Here’s a list of fun ways you can reconnect with those little loved ones in your life: GO FISHING. Fishing is the perfect way to get outdoors, especially in the Alexandria lakes area where the fish are plentiful. You can teach them how to bait their hook, cast their line, then sit and chat with them while you wait for the fish to bite.

and watching them blow bubbles or chasing them down is sure to bring laughter. FEED THE DUCKS. Head to Alexandria’s Noonan Park where ducks are plentiful and spend time feeding them. A great way to pass some time. SKIP ROCKS. With the abundance of water in the lakes area, there’s never a shortage of rocks, so take some time to teach your grandchildren how to skip rocks.

HAVE A PICNIC. Picnicking is a fun way to get outdoors and the area has an abundance BLOW BUBBLES. Such a of parks to choose from. Your grandchildrenFont can help you 3.5” 2.5” | Maximum Size: fun and easyxway to spend pack the meal. If you’ d rather some time together outside,

not venture out and about, picnic in your backyard. VISIT A PARK. Speaking of Alexandria’s parks, any one of them would be a great place for an outdoor adventure. You can spend your time hiking, making use of the playground equipment or just running around exploring. HEAD FOR THE WATER. Take advantage of Alexandria’s lakes and give paddle boating, canoeing or row boating a try. GO SWIMMING. The lakes are also good for spending time on the water, whether it’s splashing in the shallows or floating 30 pt on a rubber raft to cool off.

PLANT A GARDEN. Kids of all ages love to play in the dirt, so here’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Not only do you get time with grandkids, but you can teach them how to care for plants as well as where food comes from. HEAD FOR AN AMUSEMENT PARK. Mini-golf is a great way to spend an afternoon with your grandchildren. GO ON A NATURE WALK. There are plenty of great places in Douglas County to hike. You could even create a scavenger hunt full of nature items to find along your way.

Financial changes at yoursolutions bank? Let's Finding fortalk.

your financial needs Scott Larson, AAMS® Financial Advisor

320-759-1174 323 Broadway Street Alexandria, MN 56308 www.edwardjones.com

Ruth Molloy A Ruth


Justine Whitman, AAMS®

FinancialAAMS® Advisor Scott W Larson, Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

320-759-3080 Financial Advisor .

320-762-8536 316 N Nokomis Street 1111 Broadway Street 316 N Nokomis St Alexandria, MN 56308 Alexandria, MN 56308 Street www.edwardjones.com www.edwardjones.com Alexandria, MN 56308-5115

323 Broadway Alexandria, MN 56308 320-759-1174 320-759-3080 Randy www.edwardjones.com Witt Cody Rieland Financial Advisor

320-219-7963 2633 Jefferson St Ste 702A Alexandria, MN 56308 www.edwardjones.com

Financial Advisor

320-762-2337 117 6th Avenue East edwardjones.com Alexandria, MN 56308 www.edwardjones.com

Member SIPC Member SIPC Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 19

Help protect your family’s


Financial Advisors

You might contribute to your IRA for decades to help pay for your retirement. But if you don’t need all the money, you may want to leave what’s left to your children or grandchildren. However, if you want to ensure they get the most from this inheritance, you’ll need to do some planning. Here’s a little background: Up until a couple of years ago, when you left the proceeds of your IRA to your beneficiaries, they could choose to “stretch” required withdrawals over a long period, based on their life expectancies. These required withdrawals were generally taxable, so this “stretch IRA” allowed your beneficiaries to greatly reduce the annual taxes due, while benefiting from longer tax-deferred growth potential. And the younger the beneficiary, the longer the life expectancy and the lower the withdrawals, so this technique would have been especially valuable for your grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. Changes in laws affecting retirement accounts have significantly limited the stretch IRA strategy. Now, most non-

spouse beneficiaries must withdraw all assets from the IRA within 10 years of the IRA owner’s death. The beneficiary generally does not have to take out any money during that 10-year period, but at the end of it, the entire balance must be withdrawn – and that could result in a pretty big tax bill. The stretch IRA strategy can still be used for surviving spouses, beneficiaries who are no more than 10 years younger than the deceased IRA owner, and beneficiaries who are chronically ill or disabled. Minor children of the original account owner are also eligible for a stretch IRA – but only until they reach the age of majority, at which time the 10-year rule applies. So, if you want to leave your IRA to family members who don’t meet any of the above exceptions, what can you do? One possibility is a Roth IRA conversion. You could convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA over your lifetime, so your heirs would receive the Roth IRA. They would still be required to withdraw the assets within 10 years, but unlike with a traditional IRA, Roth IRA withdrawals are generally tax-free. These conversions are taxable, so

withdrawals to pay for some or all of the insurance pre-

you’ll want to consult your tax professional in addition to your financial advisor, to determine if this strategy can help you achieve your legacy goals. Another option is to purchase life insurance, which can provide a specific dollar amount to your heirs or be used to help cover additional taxes. This may be especially advantageous if you are 72 or older, in good health, and taking withdrawals – technically called required minimum distributions – from your retirement accounts, such as your traditional IRA and your 401(k). If you don’t really need the money, you can use these

premiums. Life insurance can’t replace an IRA as a means to save for retirement, though, so you should consult with your financial advisor to make sure you are working toward all your goals. In any case, if you have a sizable IRA or you don’t need the funds that you’re required to take from your retirement accounts, you may want to start thinking about what you want to do with the money. The more thorough your legacy planning, the better your chances of meeting your legacy goals.


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20 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021


senior@rea-alp.com • alexandriaseniorcenter.com

414 Hawthorne St., Alexandria, MN 56308

Douglas County Senior Services Douglas County Senior Services provides advocacy, information, assistance, program development and coordination of services to the over-55 population of Douglas County. The program provides outreach on many topics including advance directives, scams/frauds, identity theft, resources and housing information, matter of balance classes, chronic disease self management classes and information on advance care planning. The office also provides health insurance counseling on Medicare part A, B, C and D along with Medical Assistance information, and longterm care insurance assistance. It has an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group and a general caregiver support group, and works in conjunction with both the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Alexandria Police Department on TRIAD, a group dedicated to the education of seniors of Douglas County in regards to fraud, scams and other crimes against the seniors.  The NAPS (Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors) is a supplemental food program for seniors that is free to all who qualify. Staff is available to come to your organization and offer presentations on a number of topics of interest to the senior population. FOR MORE INFORMATION Call (320) 762-3047 or visit www.co.douglas. mn.us/dc/senior-resource-health.aspx for information on senior health resources or www.co. douglas.mn.us/dc/senior-housing-health.aspx for senior housing information. WHERE WE ARE LOCATED 806 Fillmore St., Suite 1195 Alexandria, MN (320) 762-3047 Located in the lower level of the Douglas County Service Center at the south end of the hallway by the Douglas County Library.

Summer 2021 • GENERATIONS | 21

GOING GREY the natural way Gray hair is a natural side effect of aging. The rate at which hair will turn to gray differs based on genetics and other factors. Some people may go gray seemingly overnight, while others may gray at the temples first before the rest of their hair gradually changes color. Aging women often wonder if they should cover up their gray hair or embrace the silver. Going gray is no longer something that has women running to their stylists at the sight of the first gray strand. Some actually opt for silver even before their own gray sets in. According to a 2017 survey of hair trends by L’Oréal Professional, 28 percent of women embraced or considered opting for silver hair. The trend has continued to gain steam. Celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis and Helen Mirren were some of the first to embrace their grays. Younger celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Pink and Lady Gaga have opted for silver tresses to make a statement. But there are still many women who prefer to transition gradually or avoid the harsh chemicals in some hair products. The National Cancer Institute states

that more than 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic in animals. There are many natural ingredients that can add tint to hair to make gray less visible. Coffee, for example, can cover grays and add dimension to dark tresses. Chamomile tea is recommended for blonds to add natural highlights and perhaps camouflage their grays. Calendula, marigold, rosehips, and hibiscus can deepen red shades or add some subtle red

Foot fashion

highlights. Henna also is a popular natural method to add a red-orange color to hair. Creating highlights to offset gray hair can work as well. Spraying lemon juice on hair and sitting in the sun can produce lightening effects. Many women are seeking natural options to look their best. Embracing grays or creating subtle tints with natural ingredients can help women feel confident and beautiful.

Fashion over 50:

The summer’s best shoes

how to look and feel your best

As you get back to a more social life, it’s time to look for some shoes that are a little more upscale from your slippers. Here are a few of the best fashionable looks for women 50 and older, according to Lois Joy Johnson from AARP.

CUSHIONED BALLET FLAT These make your legs appear slim and your feet classy. Select shoes made of soft leather and have cushioned insoles. Also, make sure they don’t have slippery soles.

When it comes to feeling confident and beautiful, the clothes you wear can make a big difference. Here are two tips to help you create flattering outfits that you’ll be eager to show off.

BLOCK-HEEL DRESS SANDALS Selecting block heels will help your balance and hold your feet.

WEDGE PLATFORM SANDALS Avoid the high and flat platforms. Even a lower wedge with a curved-sole can be flattering.

FLAT LEATHER SLIDES Single strap slides elevate your look while still being comfortable, especially in black or brown.

BLACK ESPADRILLES Always a classic, espadrilles are the perfect summer shoe.

22 | GENERATIONS • Summer 2021

EMBRACE COLOR Shades of gray might feel like a safe bet, but color is more fun. Opt for bright and bold shades — think turquoise, burnt orange or periwinkle — that complement your complexion and give you a youthful glow. If you’re not ready to go all-in with a magenta dress, start by adding pops of color with your accessories and a classic red lip.

INDULGE IN QUALITY ITEMS Swap out synthetics in favor of luxurious fabrics like silk, cashmere and soft cotton. Not only will this elevate your everyday look, but quality items tend to feel great against your skin and can boost your confidence. Additionally, take the time to find pieces that complement your figure, and don’t hesitate to have items tailored to your measurements. A perfect fit can make the difference between sloppy and sophisticated. For personalized advice, consult the stylists at boutiques in your area.

Getting You Back to

What Matters Most Your recovery is our priority.

Every day with us is another day closer to home. If you are in need of short-term rehabilitation following an injury, illness or surgical procedure, take charge of your recovery and choose Bethany on the Lake. Our professional, compassionate team is here to help you get stronger, healthy and back to living the life you love. • 100% short-stay customer satisfaction rating

• First-rate, modern amenities • Outpatient therapy options

• State-of-the-art therapy center • Pre-planning program • Private rooms & bathrooms

Have a surgery scheduled? Call our admissions coordinator to start pre-planning your rehabilition stay.

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