Generations - Spring 2023

Page 1

For a vibrant, ageless lifestyle

Fun ways for seniors to stay active

Perks of Yoga

Pickleball a sport for everyone

8 tips 1 Base your meals on higher fiber starchy carbohydrates for eating healthy & staying fit 4 Cut down on saturated fat and sugar Do not get thirsty 2 Eat lots of fruit and vegetables Do not skip breakfast 8 320-763-3446 • Corner of 3rd & Nokomis, Alexandria Only store in town that is LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED. OPEN 6 AM - 10 PM, 7 DAYS A WEEK! Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish 3 Get active and be a healthy weight 6 7 Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults 5

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Winter 2023• GENERATIONS | 3

HEALTH: Brain-boostingbenefitsofwordgames.Page8





for a vibrant, ageless lifestyle


Page 19

Activities at the Douglas County Senior Center 6 Yoga helps with strength, balance, flexibility and more 8 Brain-boosting benefits of word games 10 Pickleball equipment minimal, rules easy to understand 16 For seniors, nutrient dense foods, protein are important 20 Douglas County Senior Center is there for you 21 Fun ways for seniors to stay active 22 Habits that affect cognitive health EDUCATION
Senior College: A health club for the mind FINANCE 12 Alexandria detective provides fraud & scam tips 18 Leaving behind a legacy RESOURCES
Douglas County Senior Services
Douglas County meal resources
Resources for Minnesotans
ways to give back
HOW SENIORS can approach exercise Page 14


Senior Shared Meal Time

Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. in the Alexandria Senior Center Dining Room. Cost is $4 for those ages 60 and older, and $8 for those younger than 60. Pay at time of dining by cash or check. Call Meals on Wheels by Wednesday at (320) 762-4280 to reserve your meal.

Yoga with Sarah

Sarah Roers is an Alexandria native with 16 years of experience as a yoga instructor.

Wednesday mornings, 10:30-11:30 am., February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 15, 22, 29. Cost is $6 per session for Alexandria Senior Center members and $7 per session for non-members. Classes are held in the Alexandria Senior Center meeting room at 414 Hawthorne Street. Call (320) 762-2087 to register.

Tech help with AAHS

Students from Alexandria Area High School will be at the Alexandria Senior Center to

troubleshoot questions regarding cell phones, iPads and other electronic devices. You may bring your device, but it is not required. Tuesdays, February 7 and 21, and Monday, February 27, 12:15-1:15 p.m. at the Alex Senior Center. Sign up by February 6, 20 and 26 by calling the front desk at (320) 762-2087 or stop by the front desk. Cost is $1 for senior center members and $2 for non-members.

Senior center book club

The Alexandria Senior Center book club meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the Alex Senior Center. Cal (320) 762-2087 for more information or to sign up.

Cards and games

The Alexandria Senior Center offers several activities and card games throughout the week. Here is a listing of the current events:

Billiards, 9 a.m., Monday-Friday

Big Band, 12:30 p.m., Monday practices


• A - 11 a.m. Tuesday

• B and C - 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday

• D - 1 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month

• F - 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of the month

• Duplicate bridge - 6 p.m.


• Cribbage - 12 noon Friday

• Hand & Foot - 1 p.m.

Tuesday and Friday

• MahJong - 12:30 p.m.


• Mexican train - 9 a.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month

• Mission quilters - 9 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month

• North Door Jam - 6 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month

• Pinochle - 9:30 a.m.


• Scrabble - 1 p.m. Thursday

• VIPs - 1:30 p.m. 3rd Thursday of the month

• Whist A, B & C - 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday

Contact the senior center for more information.

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A yoga instructor for more than 15 years, Sarah Roers said her recommendation for getting started is to just do it. Showing up, she said, is sometimes the hardest part.

Roers, an Alexandria native, teaches yoga around the area, including at the Alexandria Senior Center. She will be teaching in February and March on Wednesday mornings. The classes are open to members and non-members. For more information about the specifics, such as dates, time and cost, contact the Senior Center at 320-762-2087.

A former employee of Tastefully Simple, Sarah got her start with teaching group fitness classes after the business built a fitness studio.

“We had a really great yoga instructor but she moved away and so I gave it a

try,” said Roers. “It was the most natural thing for me.”

She had regularly taught other fitness classes, like bootcamp, step class and dance, but with yoga, something was different.

“I did it and it flowed. I just clicked with it,” Roers said.

Soon after Roers discovered yoga, she said she was struggling with sleeping. When she would wake up in the middle of the night, she would pop in a yoga video from one of her inspirations, Beth Shaw, and follow along. Even if she didn’t get much sleep, she said doing yoga would help her feel rested and more relaxed, and it was a way to get out of her head, or calm her mind.

There are many different types of yoga, said Roers, but the base is the same when it comes to matching breath with movement. And depending on what group

she is teaching, she said there are always modifications, as well as advanced moves.

In her opinion, there are many benefits to yoga, but the top benefits include:

► Strength

► Balance

► Flexibility/mobility

► Improved mental health

6 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023
Participants practice yoga at Nordic Trails Golf Course under the instruction of Sarah Roers, who owns her own studio, Focus Fitness Yoga Studio. Contributed photos / Aliah Marie Photography Sarah Roers, certified yoga instructor, teaches yoga in the gardens at Legacy of the Lakes Museum in July 2021.

For seniors specifically, she said, bone strength is also a result of strength training, which is included in the practicing of yoga.

As people age, Roers said, balance is so important because people lose some of their balance naturally, which then increases the chances of falling.

As for practicing flexibility and mobility, she said it helps to keep people moving with less pain.

“Focusing on connecting breath to movement and mind

to body, along with intentional practice of releasing thoughts results in improved mental health,” said Roers. “Along with the natural endorphin release that moving your body creates. When your body and mind feel better, your mental state will naturally follow suit. Not to mention, in my experience, I have seen some very amazing friendships made at classes. And making connections or friends and being around like-minded and positive people will no doubt boost a mental state!”

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Above: Sarah Roers is a certified yoga instructor who teaches classes at the Alexandria Senior Center, as well as through her own studio, Focus Fitness Yoga Studio. Right: Sarah Roers of Alexandria practices yoga while vacationing in Fort Myers, Florida in March 2020.

Brain-boosting benefits of WORD GAMES

Metro Creative Connection

Word games continue to be popular pastimes and provide a great opportunity to engage in lighthearted competition among family and friends.

Wordle is perhaps the most popular word game in recent years. Created by software engineer and former Reddit employee Josh Wardle and launched in October 2021, Wordle was devised as a way to pass the time during the pandemic lockdown. It was purchased by The New York Times Company in 2022. Today, it is played by millions of people.

For those who are looking for something even newer, Knotwords, a word game created by Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger, is available on iOS, Android and Steam. It’s a mix between a

word scramble, crossword puzzle and sudoku.

There are scores of other word games for people to try. In addition to their entertainment value, these games may provide some benefits that surprise even the most devoted wordsmiths.

Build your vocabulary: Word games enrich vocabulary and may introduce people to new words. They also may help reinforce spelling skills.

Improve focus: Nowadays people are pulled in many directions and are expected to multitask more than ever. Word games in large part require focusing exclusively on the task at hand and employing strategy.

Stimulate the brain: Word games require critical thinking skills that could stimulate the brain. Word games train the

brain in a way that’s similar to how physical activity trains the body.

Improve memory: According to WebMD, word games may help seniors avoid memory loss and possibly delay the onset of dementia. But seniors are not the only ones to benefit. Word games may improve short-term memory and the cognitive abilities of people of all ages.

Boosts feel-good substances: When a person is happy, the body releases endorphins,

which are feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters. Healthline indicates an “endorphin rush” often occurs after engaging in a fun activity. Endorphins are released by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Playing word games may release endorphins, which can improve mood, boost self-esteem and reduce pain and discomfort.

These are just a handful of the many positive ways word games can affect the mind and body.

8 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023

Senior college: A health club for the mind

Alexandria Technical and Community College is home to a vibrant lecture series where scholars from across the state and beyond share their expertise on a range of topics. Individual sessions delve into history, economics, religion, political science, international affairs, science and more, each providing fascinating insights and context relevant to our world today.

ATCC established Senior College in 2006 in response to community interest in informative and challenging college learning without the pressures of tests, grades or degrees. Designed for adults 50+, Senior College is open to adults of any age. Participants range from age 45-99.

Three “seasons” of programming include Fall and Spring

lecture series and a January short course. All lectures are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15-4:45 p.m. – typically in the auditorium of the ATCC Information and Technology Center. Now, from the safety and comfort of home, Senior College is convening via Zoom. Once registered, participants receive a link and “click” to join. Virtual lectures also allow friends and family in distant locations to join in.

Senior College has hosted some of Minnesota’s best college professors. From the University of Minnesota, our flagship university, we have featured cutting edge research and initiatives underway to develop solutions that affect our lives, including Dr. Michael Osterholm on infectious disease and Mark Seeley on climate change in our own backyard. Professors also come from University of Minnesota Morris, University of Minnesota Duluth, College

of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, St. Thomas University, St. Olaf College, Carleton College, Hamline University, Macalester College, Augsburg College, and the Alexandria Technical and Community College.

The program showcases the excellent teaching and scholarship in Minnesota’s treasured colleges and universities – schools that have launched many of our residents, teachers and leaders. It is an exhilarating experience to be in the presence of public intellectuals who demonstrate a care for and attention to learning and dispel the myth of the “ivory tower.”

Fondly known as a Health Club for the Mind – lectures at Senior College leave us inspired to think, read and talk with each other. It demonstrates learning is exciting, challenging, relevant - and it never ends.

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PICKLEBALL Equipment minimal, rules easy to understand

Pickleball. What is it? Where can I play? And what kind of equipment do I need?

Lynn Jenc, Alexandria Community Education director, and Fritz Bukowski, Community Education coordinator, answer those questions and more about America’s fastest growing sport.

First off, did you know pickleball was created when some kids who were vacationing together complained about being bored? The year was 1965. According to the Recreation Management website, which was shared by Jenc, a net was lowered on an existing badminton court, ping pong paddles and wiffle balls were brought out and that was it, the game came to life.

The equipment is minimal and the rules are easy to understand, according to Recreation Management.

Bukowski said all that is needed to play is a paddle, which can cost anywhere between $20 and $200. He said the average person pays between $30 and $60. Pickleball balls are $3 to $5. Bukowski said there are outdoor balls with smaller holes and indoor balls with larger holes.

Other than that, a person just needs tennis shoes, workout attire and a court to play in that has lines and a net.

In the Alexandria lakes area, those wishing to learn how to play can take classes. Bukowski said Community Education offers beginner clinics every month at Discovery Middle School. Racquets/paddles and balls are provided and no experience is necessary.

“Class size is 12 participants and it fills up fast,” he said, noting that it is fun to sign up with a friend.

For more information on classes, either call Community Ed at 320-762-3310 or go online at

If you already know how to play but want to know where in the area you can play, Bukowski said there are several places, including the following:

► Discovery Middle School inside courts

► Discovery Middle School outside courts (four of the tennis courts are painted for pickleball)

► Alexandria Area YMCA

► Blind Squirrel Pickleball Club (This is in the northeast corner of the Aagard Fabrication Center, which is also known as the former Kmart building.)

► Alexandria City Park (There are eight outdoor courts.)

10 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023

The outdoor courts are free to play on, while the cost to play on the indoor courts varies.

Jenc said there are many benefits to playing pickleball, but one benefit she highlighted is that it is a great aerobic workout without the strain and stress on muscles and joints.

“Equally important, is the social/emotional aspects of meeting new people, gaining confidence in skills, providing a sense of purpose and the pure joy of laughing with others,” Jenc said. “And you can have a conversion while you play. Many of our pickleball players have gained friendships that extend beyond the game.”

Jenc said anyone can learn the game and become proficient very quickly. She said the

great thing about the game is that people don’t have to be big athletes.

“You don’t have to move much to hit the ball, especially

if you play doubles,” she said. “Plus, it’s a small court.”

locally, Community Education is researching options to encourage and offer play and leagues for multigenerational play.

Winter 2023• GENERATIONS | 11 Monday-Friday 9:00am - 3:30pm • 320-762-2087 • 414 Hawthorne St • Check out our handmade gift items • Play cards, games & pool with friends • Enjoy music, exercise classes & more • Rewarding volunteer opportunities • Discover your artistic flare at the Lorsung Art Studio It is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years!
a Member has benefits
Jenc also noted that with the popularity of pickleball increasing nationally and WHATDOYOU WANTYOURLEGACY TOBE? (320)257-9736 Planforthefutureofyourlovedonesandthecauses youcareabout. ContacttheAlexandriaAreaCommunity Foundationtoday!

Alexandria detective provides FRAUD, SCAM TIPS

Scam alerts are, unfortunately, not something new. If you visit the Federal Trade Commission website for consumer advice, there are many articles related to scams. Some of the topics include how to spot, avoid and report weather-related scams, avoiding scams when you travel, nanny and caregiver scams, gift card scams, tax rebate scams and imposter scams that target veterans, just to name a few.

Locally, if you have questions about scams, you can reach out to the Alexandria Police Department 320-763-6631 or the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office 320-762-8151.

Two detectives from the Alexandria Police Department – Josh Whiting and Darcie Zirbes – can be contacted for presentations related to scams or for questions.

“We give presentations to many different groups of people and organizations regarding scams and frauds,” said Det. Zirbes.

She can be reached by calling 320-759-3720 and Whiting can be reached at 320-759-3721.

Zirbes provided several scam and fraud tips, including the following:

► You CANNOT win a contest, lottery, sweepstake, etc. that you didn’t enter.

► Do not pay to collect a prize or send someone money out of your “winnings.”

► Agencies are not going to ask you to pay for something by purchasing gift cards and sending them to the person contacting you.

► Do not agree to receive or send money or packages for people you do not know or haven’t met in person.

► Do not open a bank account or cryptocurrency account at someone else’s direction.

► Do not send money to an online friend or love interest, even if they send money to you first.

► No one should tell you not to trust your bank or the police.

► Be vigilant about websites you click on. Some scammers

will change just a letter or two in order to trick people.

► Be vigilant about email addresses or any email you open as well because scammers will change something in the email address to make it look legitimate as well.

► The Social Security Administration will never call you to confirm any information. They will contact you by mail.

► The Internal Revenue Service will always contact you by mail before calling you about unpaid taxes. Also, they will not threaten to have police arrest you for not paying a bill.

► Tech support companies will not reach out to you by phone or email to fix an issue you haven’t called the company about already.

“If you have any questions or do not know if something is real, call law enforcement to ask for help,” said Zirbes.

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 long-term 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 Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors, otherwise known as the NAPS program, is a supplemental food program for seniors that is free to all who qualify.

Staff is also available to go to different organizations and offer presentations on a number of topics of

interest to the senior population.


Call 320-762-3047 or visit www.douglascountymn. gov/senior-citizens-health for information on senior health resources.


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.

12 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023
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How seniors can approach EXERCISE

Metro Creative Connection

Exercise is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. By making exercise part of their day-to-day routines, people of all ages, including men and women over the age of 55, can greatly improve their overall health.

The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that seniors should aspire to be as active as possible. Exercise is a great way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine and has been linked to reduced risk for diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Though adults with chronic illnesses may be hesitant to exercise, the AAFP notes that it’s possible for men and women who have been diagnosed with such conditions to exercise safely. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that regular physical activity is one of the most important things seniors can do for their health and can potentially prevent many health problems associated with aging.

Frequency of exercise

Seniors, particularly those who have not exercised much in the past, may not

know how much exercise they need to reap the full rewards of physical activity. Though it’s best to discuss exercise with a physician prior to beginning a new regimen, various public health agencies advise seniors to get at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise each week. Brisk walking is one example of moderate aerobic exercise. Seniors who want to sweat a little more when exercising can replace moderate aerobic exercise with one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as jogging, each week.

Is strength training safe for seniors?

The CDC advises seniors to incorporate muscle-strengthening activities into their weekly fitness routines twice per week. Lifting weights, working with resistance bands, heavy gardening, and even some forms of yoga, qualify as muscle-strengthening activities. Exercises that use your body weight for resistance, such as sit-ups and push-ups, also

can help build strength. Always speak with a physician before beginning a muscle-strengthening exercise regimen and, if possible, work with a personal trainer, especially if you’re a novice.

When to stop a workout

It’s imperative that seniors recognize when to stop working out. Exercising more than is recommended by your doctor can increase the risk of illness or injury. In addition, stop exercising if any of the following symptoms appear:

► Dizziness or shortness of breath

► Chest pain or pressure

► Swollen joints

► Nausea

► Tightness in muscles or joints

► Pain anywhere in the body

► Throbbing or burning sensations

Exercise can help seniors stay healthy and feel more energetic throughout the day. Before beginning a new regimen, seniors should discuss physical activity with their physicians.

14 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023

HelpProtectOlderAdults In YourCommunity


the Medicare program approximately $60 billion dollars a result of er

Each year theMedicareprogram loses approximately$60 billiondollars as aresultoferrors,fraud andabuse.


It affects thosewho dependonMedicareand Medical Assistance by diminishingthe qualityofthe treatment they receive.Itaffectscaregiversbydecreasingthe fundingavailable forimportant programs.And it affects ever yone whopaystaxes by wastingbillions of tax dollars.

Youcanhelpbybecoming avolunteerto helpthepeopleinyourarea!

CallHelenwiththeSeniorLinkAgeLine® at (800)333-2433tolearnmore.


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For seniors, nutrient dense foods, protein ARE IMPORTANT

As we age, our nutrition needs change with us. For seniors, those nutritional needs will focus on getting in the most nutrient dense foods and protein with meals.

The caloric needs decrease as we age, and the focus for our nutrition turns to the quality of foods not quantity. This can be accomplished by focusing on whole grains with meals, trying to have a fruit or vegetable on your plate and having a protein item with every meal.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) expresses that seniors should be “consuming enough protein to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass that occurs naturally with age. Monitoring protein intake is especially important as older adults’

transition through this life stage.”

These tips will help you reach your protein goals with nutrient dense foods.

► Try adding beans to ground meat for a bump in fiber and added protein to tacos, soups or hot dishes.

► Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a protein packed dip.

► Use low fat milk in place of water in oatmeal or in soups.

► Try using a nut butter on toast, waffles, pancakes and fruit for an increase in protein.

When you are making meals at home, there are many ways to ease preparation. Here are some tips on ways to cut down on meal prep while still getting the nutrients you need:

► Shop for frozen, pre-cut vegetables for an easy stir-fry and a way to add extra vegetables to soups or casseroles. Remember to look for unseasoned frozen vegetables to reduce your sodium intake.

► When you are looking for canned fruit, look for the fruit in 100% fruit juice or water. If you are only able to find the fruit in heavy syrup, try rinsing the fruit with water in a colander to remove the residual sugars.

► Whole grain crackers are a great way to get B vitamins, iron and other antioxidants into your diet. Pair those with low-fat cheese or peanut butter for a filling snack.

► Canned beans and vegetables can make meal prep a breeze. Try looking for canned goods that are low-sodium or sodium free. Remember to always compare brands for the lowest option.

If making meals at home has become more difficult, there are a wide variety of meal delivery services that can provide well-balanced meals to help you achieve your nutrition goals. There are a handful of resources for seniors in Douglas County.

Meals on Wheels, Mom’s Meal, Homestyle Direct and many other services can provide easy, prepared meals that will help you reach your nutrition goals.

16 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023
Brooke Mess, Registered Dietitian Alomere Health

Douglas County meal resources

Brooke Mess, registered dietitian with Food and Nutrition Services at Alomere Health will often hand out the following information to seniors who are patients at Alomere Health in Alexandria if they are looking for resources for meals.

She said many patients use Meals on Wheels, Homestyle Direct or Mom’s Meals, which she said are all great programs that provide frozen meals to an individual’s home. And she said, they are commonly able to get this covered by insurance, depending on insurance plan and age.

The list comes from the Douglas County Senior Office, 320-762-3047.

Douglas County Food Shelf


1405 Lake St, Alexandria Douglas County University of Minnesota Extension Service


Offers nutrition counseling and teaching free of charge to individuals and groups. Will take individuals shopping to learn/relearn: how to budget, store food properly and prepare it.

Elden’s Grocery Delivery


Call between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to place an order or email Elden’s to order. Delivery is in the afternoon. Pay by credit card, check, or cash.

Farmers to Families Food Box Program


2702 Hwy 29, Alexandria

Distribution is 2nd Wednesday monthly, starting at noon. Not based on income level or age.

Home Delivered Meals

320-762-4280 or 1-877-677-3319

Nutrition Services, Inc.

Nutritionally balanced hot meal delivered to the home.

Homestyle Direct


Website: www.

Meals are prepared with fresh ingredients, then immediately flash-frozen, which prevents moisture loss in the food when it thaws. To request a menu, information, or place an order, call or order online 24/7. Menus are updated seasonally.

Meals on Wheels


Located at the Alexandria Senior Center, 414 Hawthorne Street, Alexandria Go to the Meals on Wheels America website and enter your zip code to find one nearest to you.

Mom’s Meals



Choose from more than 45 meals that are nutritionally balanced. Each meal is made from scratch, vacuumpacked and delivered to your door by UPS or FedEx in an insulated container.

Nutrition Assistance Programs for Seniors (NAPS)

320-762-3047 (Douglas County Senior Coordinator) Those who qualify will receive a free box of food each month. Pick-up is on the 2nd Thursday of each month, from noon to 2 p.m. Must be 60 years or older and meet income guidelines. Apply online or receive application assistance from Dinara Dykema, call 320-762-3047.

United Way – Douglas County Mobile Food Drop


1910 Co. Rd 82 SE, Alexandria

Registration begins at 9 a.m.

Distribution of food begins at 11 a.m. Register to receive a number that coordinates with a spot in line. Takes place once a month at New Life Christian Church. No income guidelines or requirements. Scheduled food drop is the last Thursday of the month.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Makes 12


½ pound ground sausage (pork or turkey)

12 eggs

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped bell pepper (any color)

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions (before you begin, wash your hands)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a muffin tin that has 12 spaces.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in sausage; cook and stir sausage until crumbled, evenly brown, and no longer pink. About 10 to 15 minutes. Drain meat.

3. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in onion, bell pepper, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in sausage and cheddar cheese.

4. Spoon egg mixture into muffin tins. About 1/3 cup per muffin cup.

5. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Muffins will be ready when a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili Recipe

Recipe courtesy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Makes 8 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1½ pounds ground turkey

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 14½-ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes with chilies

1 15-ounce can pizza sauce


► Want lower cholesterol? Use half egg whites or an egg substitute.

► Adding more vegetables to your egg muffins is a great way to increase fiber, vitamins and minerals to your daily intake. Try mushrooms, spinach or tomatoes for more variety.

► For more spice, add crushed red chili pepper flakes, jalapenos or a dash of chili powder.

► Make a couple of large batches to keep in the freezer for an easy breakfast.

1 10.75-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato soup

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions (before you begin, wash your hands)

1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes until golden brown.

3. Add turkey, cook until broken up and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer turkey mixture to a slow-cooker.

4. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours.

Winter 2023• GENERATIONS | 17
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Leaving behind a LEGACY

If you wanted to donate money, to leave behind a legacy, do you know where to start? Here’s a hint: The Alexandria Area Community Foundation.

According to its executive director, A.J. Koewler, the Alexandria Area Community Foundation exists to connect donors to causes they care about.

“We are here to discuss your goals and create a plan, whether it’s making a donation or creating a fund,” she said. “If you would like to start donating, set up a fund or create a legacy, please reach out to the Alexandria Area Community Foundation. We are here to help reach your philanthropic goals and create a plan with you.”

Through proper planning, the legacy of love and care that you leave for your family and

friends can be encouraging and even inspiring, said Koewler.

She provided information about one method that not only could benefit the causes you care most about both now and in the future, but also help to simplify annual and lifetime charitable giving.

Koewler also provided four steps to a good estate plan:

Write down what is important. The first step in the estate planning process is to gather information about yourself, your loved ones and the property that you own. You can use this planning guide to collect that information so that you leave the right assets to the right people in the right way.

Speak with an attorney. Talk to a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who can prepare the necessary legal documents, such as a will, trust or medical directive.

Understand your plan. A good plan will promptly transfer your property to beneficiaries you select. Property can be transferred by a will or trust, a deed or beneficiary designation. You should review your plan with your attorney so that

It’s called a donor advised fund. With a donor advised fund, you can make gifts to charity during your lifetime and when you pass away, your children can carry on your legacy of giving.

Here are some benefits of a donor advised fund:

► Establish a flexible vehicle for annual charitable giving

► Benefit from a more taxand cost-efficient alternative to a private foundation

► Receive an estate tax deduction and savings from your gift

► Obtain a charitable income tax deduction in the year of your gift

How a donor advised fund works

There are four steps to making a donor advised fund work.

Estate plans

1. You make an initial, irrevocable gift of cash or stock to fund a DAF at CommunityGiving or one of its partner foundations.

2. The assets in your DAF grow tax-free.

3. You make annual recommendations on gifts to be made from your DAF.

4. When you pass away, your children may recommend charitable gifts from your DAF.

More on donor advised funds

A donor advised fund has several advantages when compared to a private foundation. The start-up time and cost are minimal and gifts are generally deductible at fair market value. A donor advised fund is also not subject to the distribution requirements and certain excise taxes faced by private foundations.

you understand it and are confident it reflects your priorities. Sign your documents. Your plan is not effective until you sign your estate documents. Some

states require that you sign your documents in the presence of one or more witnesses or a notary. Your attorney understands these requirements and can help you with this part of the process.

18 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023
A.J. Koewler, Executive Director Alexandria Area Community Foundation

INNOVATIVE ways to give back

The Alexandria Area Community Foundation helps donors connect to causes they care about. Since 1992, the foundation had been providing innovative ways for area residents and businesses to give back to their community.

Also, as a valued partner of CommunityGiving, the Alexandria Area Community Foundation provides grants for capital campaigns, programs and other projects that improve the quality of life in the Alexandria area, according to its website.

A.J. Koewler, executive director for the Alexandria Area Community Foundation, said there are several different types of funds people can choose from when they decide to donate.

She provided information about setting up a fund from the foundation’s website.

To create a fund, donors can use a variety of assets – from appreciated stock to real estate to cash – to make gifts. They may give to any of the existing specialty funds or create their own named fund.

There are nearly as many different funds at CommunityGiving as there are donors, since each fund may be customized to meet a particular charitable goal. Donors may

choose from the following general types of funds when making a gift to the Alexandria Area Community Foundation:

► A fund designed to endow one or more specific charities is a designated fund. If a charity changes its mission or type of services, or goes out of business, CommunityGiving directs grants to a similar organization. In this way, the donor supports the organizations he or she chooses, but ensures that the gift will remain relevant over time.

► A donor advised fund allows you to participate directly in the grantmaking process by making recommendations for grants to specific organizations from the fund. A donor advisor also may work closely with the staff of CommunityGiving to select grant recipients.

► If you wish to establish a fund for a specified, broad purpose, a field of interest fund is the appropriate choice. Donors with particular issues of concern (children’s services, the environment, or improving access to health care by the poor, for example) may focus their giving by setting up this type of fund. CommunityGiving then makes grants to meet current needs in the specified field.

► A donor may establish a scholarship fund to honor a loved one or simply as a way to assist young people with their education.

► Agency funds are established by nonprofit agencies that appreciate a community foundation’s fund management expertise. Some funds are permanent endowments, while others serve as a type of reserve fund for the charities. CommunityGiving currently holds agency funds for a variety of organizations including schools, churches, and a wide range of non-profit agencies.

► A corporate advised fund allows a company to create a charitable fund from which the company may recommend distributions for charitable purposes. We work with companies of all sizes to make their charitable giving more efficient.

► The unrestricted fund is one of the most flexible ways to give, since it may be used for any purpose approved by the CommunityGiving’s Board of Directors. This fund allows the CommunityGiving and its partners to identify community needs and award grants designed to address those needs.

For more information, visit

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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 together to enjoy cards, meals, special events and fellowship. While much has changed in the Alexandria Lakes region since 1984, the mission of the Alexandria Senior Center has not wavered.

The Alexandria Senior Center has grown its membership to an amazing 840 members. Members 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 one day 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

Resources for Minnesotans


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 1-800-882-6262

Senior LinkAge Line: 1-800-333-2433


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


P.O. Box 64970

St. Paul, MN 55164-0970

651-201-4201 or 1-800-369-7994


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



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


TTY: 866-653-4261


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 1-800-657-3591


Senior LinkAge Line is the Minnesota Board on Aging’s statewide information and assistance service.


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.

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.



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


The Minnesota Department of Commerce has authority to regulate certain health insurance companies and thirdparty 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 1-800-657-3602

20 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023

Fun ways for seniors to STAY ACTIVE

Metro Creative Connection

Physical activity is an important component of overall health. Health experts advise that exercise can increase lean body mass, prevent conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, improve balance, and positively affect mental health/cognition. Exercise also can foster socialization with others, helping people overcome boredom and isolation.

As individuals get older, they may not be able to participate in all of the activities they enjoyed as youths, but that doesn’t mean older adults must resign themselves to sedentary lifestyles. There are plenty of entertaining ways to remain physically active that can accommodate any limitations a person may have. Explore these methods for staying active.

Explore senior center offerings

Community senior centers often fill calendars with a vast array of activities, some of which can include physical activities. Hikes, walking tours, dances, and other activities all serve as entertaining ways to get out and about while meeting some fitness goals.

Garden or do yard work

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotions says adults should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Raking leaves, mowing the lawn, digging in flower beds, trimming bushes and other outdoor tasks could help a person meet this quota in a way that doesn’t seem like exercise at all.

Play games with grandchildren

Little kids may inspire older adults to be more active, as it can be difficult to keep up with those youngsters. Take infants or toddlers for walks or push them in strollers. Attach a child seat or towing carriage to a bicycle and ride around the neighborhood. Play games that require movement, such as hide-and-seek or Marco Polo in the pool. If it’s snowing, have a snowball fight or make a snowman in the yard.

Take up a new hobby

Find hobbies that incorporate physical activity. Per-

haps learning to salsa dance or taking Zumba would be fun. Pickleball has caught on across the nation. The sport is a mix of tennis, racquetball and badminton that caters to all ages. Joining a bowling team

is another way to get active and meet new people. Physical activity is important at any age. Seniors can explore fun ways to stay in shape and be active to reap all the benefits of exercise.

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Habits that affect COGNITIVE HEALTH

Metro Creative Connection

Various changes to appearance and health are associated with aging. Issues such as diminished vision, waning muscle strength and gray hairs are among the more common and noticeable side effects of aging. Cognitive decline is another symptom often associated with aging.

Certain lifestyle choices can protect against cognitive decline and dementia. While there is no surefire way to prevent dementia, here are some good habits for maintaining cognitive function well into your golden years.

Exercise frequently

Harvard Health reports that exercise, in addition to the many other benefits it provides, may help improve cognitive function in people who have already experienced memory issues. Exercise may be particularly advantageous to people who carry the APOE4 gene variant, which makes people more susceptible to Alz-

heimers. Speak with a doctor about how much exercise is needed and what is safe for your age.

Enjoy video games

Playing a favorite video game may improve long-term cognitive function.

Researchers at Cambridge Brain Sciences found study participants who played non-cognitive-training video games were associated with better performance in several cognitive domains, but only for younger (age 18 to 64) participants. Cognitive training games, on the other hand, were not associated with any cognitive improvement.

Stay socially engaged

According to a study published in the journal Experimental Aging Research, seniors who have high levels of social engagement also have better cognitive function. Getting together with friends, participating in a club, attending religious studies, and any other activity that gets

you out with other people can help with cognitive function.

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a diverse array of healthy foods is beneficial. Nutritious diets can help reduce the risk for illnesses that may affect cognitive ability. Eating well also helps keep the brain healthy. A Mediterranean diet appears to lower the risk or slow the progression of dementia in people who have the condition.

Get help for sleep disorders

Lack of sleep can affect memory and learning. By getting help for sleep disorders, you may reduce your risk for cognitive issues.

While it is not possible to prevent or cure cognitive conditions like dementia with lifestyle changes, certain behaviors can lower the risk of developing these illnesses or reduce their severity.

22 | GENERATIONS • Winter 2023
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