Every Vote Counts

Welcome to the Summer Edition of MNRAAA news. I hope you will enjoy reading about recent “happenings” at MNRAAA as well as upcoming opportunities and events.

A significant opportunity will be voting in the upcoming elections. 2018 will be the first election in Minnesota since 1978 that both U.S. Senate seats and the governorship will be on the ballot in the same year. In addition to the Senate seats, Governor and Lt. Governor, Minnesotans will be voting for their member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Attorney General, State Representative, and Judicial offices. Some Minnesotans will also be voting for their local county officers, city officers, school board members, township officers, et al.

There are several significant dates before we reach General Election Day:


  • Vote early by mail or in person from June 29 – August 13
  • Register in advance by July 24 to save time on Primary Election Day


  • Vote early by mail or in person from September 21 – November 5
  • Register in advance by October 16 to save time on Election Day

To learn about how you can vote early by mail or in person, or who qualifies to have an agent pick up their ballot; how to track your absentee ballot; how to view a sample ballot; where to vote on election day; and a multitude of other election-related information go to the Secretary of State’s website at sos.state.mn.us and click on “Elections and Voting”. If you are unable to access the website, you can call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433 for additional information.

To quote the Dalai Lama “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”. Every vote counts!

Warm Regards,


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Medicare is Changing in Minnesota

Medicare Cost Plans, a type of Medicare plan very popularMedicare is Changing in Minnesota in Minnesota, will be ending on December 31, 2018 for many, but not all Medicare beneficiaries. This will affect Medicare coverage for many people on Medicare across the state.

Cost Plans are ending, because a law passed by Congress requires the plans to end in most counties in Minnesota in 2019. This law requires that Medicare Cost Plans end in counties that have at least two other coverage choices (known as Medicare Advantage) that meet enrollment requirements.

If you are impacted by the Cost Plan changes, you will receive notices from Medicare and your Cost Plan in September. Read and keep every piece of mail you receive from Medicare and your plan. The notices you receive will provide you with important information about the changes.

If the Cost Plan changes affect you, you will need to take action to make sure you have the coverage you need on January 1, 2019.

It is important to know that you have options!

There will be plenty of time to learn about your plan choices and to make the best decision for you.

You can connect with experts to help you weigh your options by calling 1-800-Medicare, or Minnesota’s Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433.

So, relax and enjoy your summer, because you do not need to do anything about your Medicare plan now. But, keep an eye out for mail from your plan and Medicare in the fall, so you can make a decision that is right for you.

Visit the Senior LinkAge Line’s website at: seniorlinkageline.com

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Falls Prevention Day: September 22

Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ fall every year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls are costly – in dollars and in quality of life. However, falling is not an inevitable part of aging.

Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among older adults can be reduced substantially.

The 11th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day will be observed on September 22, 2018 – the first day of fall.

The annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day raises awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. National, state, and local partners collaborate to educate others about the impact of falls, share fall prevention strategies, and advocate for the expansion of evidence-based community fall prevention programs.

Programs such as A Matter of Balance, Tai Ji Quan – Moving for Better Balance, Stepping On and Stay Active and Independent for Life are available throughout Minnesota.

To learn more about evidence-based falls prevention programs in your area, visit yourjuniper.org/Programs.

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Workplace Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Millions of adults live with one or more chronic health conditions. A chronic health condition is an on-going health problem or disease such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis or other long-term problem. Workplace Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (wCDSMP) builds participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health condition.

MNRAAA can now train wCDSMP leaders. This program is an adaptation of the six-week Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and contains similar content, but is rearranged into one-hour segments for the workplace.

Sessions are led by two trained wCDSMP leaders at a hosting workplace. Participants are employees of the hosting workplace who are also dealing with a chronic health condition.
Curriculum includes the following:

  • Techniques to help balance work and home life
  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Appropriate use of medications
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals
  • Nutrition
  • Decision-making
  • How to evaluate new treatments

Participants make weekly action plans, share experiences and help each other solve problems they encounter in creating and carrying out their self-management program.

To learn more, contact Lynn Buckley at 507.387.1256 x114 or lbuckley@mnraaa.org.

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