September 22nd is Falls Prevention Awareness Day

September 6th, 2017

Do something to help promote the awareness of Falls Prevention!

The National Council on Aging has many resources to help you be effective in spreading the awareness that falls can be prevented and they are not a normal part of aging.  Check out the link to their Tool Kit below.

For a variety of resources to help promote Falls Prevention Awareness Day, visit:

You can . . .

  • Schedule an event to mark the day – presentation at a senior center, a walk event, an exercise class, a dance, etc.
  • Post a photo sharing what you do to help prevent falls (NCOA has some stock photos to use).
  • Share an informational video (see website above). Or make your own video to share.
  • Share an Infographic (see website above).
  • You can invite individuals to attend a falls prevention exercise class (visit for classes in A Matter of Balance and Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance – offered in MNRAAA’s 27 counties).
  • You can speak to a loved one about falls prevention.
  • You can sign up yourself for a falls prevention workshop.
  • You can sign up to become a Leader/Coach to teach a Falls Prevention workshop (see for training dates).

Let the MNRAAA Program Developers help you.

Betty Christensen…………….. 507.508.5496……………………. [email protected]

Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, and Renville Counties

Jamie Enger-Lanners……….. 507.327.2980……………………. [email protected]

Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood, Pipestone, Murray and Rock Counties

Diana Madsen…………………… 507.327.0841……………………. [email protected]

Brown, Cottonwood, Watonwan, Nobles, Jackson, Martin, and Faribault Counties

Elaine Spain……………………… 507.387.1256 x 106…………… [email protected]

Meeker, McLeod, Sibley, Nicollet, Le Sueur, Blue Earth, and Waseca Counties

Thank you for doing your part to reduce falls, save money, and save lives. We can all reach more when we stand together.


Free resource for Adult Caregivers

March 10th, 2017
Who takes care of YOU when you are busy helping others?

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational program designed to provide you with the tools you need to take care of yourself. Whether you provide care for your family member or friend in your home or at a distance, this class can help you!
You will learn to:

 Reduce stress
 Improve self-confidence
 Better communicate your feelings
 Balance your life
 Increase your ability to make tough decisions
 Locate helpful resources

This class is offered in Arlington, MN in April and May.  See the attached flyer for more information.

Sign up today!


Contact Information:
Barb Alsleben (LSS) – 320.221.3747 or
Sarah Doering (LSS) – 320.221.4513

Offered by Lutheran Social Service of MN and MN River Agency on Aging

Four Ways To Increase Activity (And Not Notice)

June 11th, 2014

Depending on what you do for a living, you might find yourself sitting for a bulk of your day.  Sitting at your desk at your job, sitting while driving to and from work, sitting while watching your kids play in their school baseball game, and sitting while you catch up on your favorite shows from the week.  We sit way more than we think.  Going from a habit of being in a seated position to a full fledged exercise program can seem overwhelming.  So, let’s not get crazy here, but let’s look at a few ways to actually increase your activity.

Before we get started though, let’s not make this about a formal exercise program.  Let’s make it easier than that.  Let’s just make a goal of increasing our activity and not calling it “exercise.”  Here are five ways to increase your activity, and probably not even notice it:

  • Get up!  Basically, don’t sit.  If you are chained to your desk for a bulk of your workday, consider setting an alarm every hour and getting out of your seat for five minutes to walk around.  You know, hit the bathroom, run to the copier, or just simply stand up and organize your desk.  Also, some employers are noticing the benefits of standing workstations, so that may be another option as well.  In those five minutes, you don’t have to go crazy, just don’t sit!  Consider a nice shoulder stretch or two as well.
  • Play!  Get on the floor and play with your kids instead of sitting and watching them play.  Get involved!  Crawl around on the floor and chase them.  Have them chase you.  Make a game of it!  Play actively!
  • Cook and prepare meals!  If you think about it, you move around your kitchen a lot when you cook and prepare your own meals at home.  Chopping veggies and other ingredients takes movement, as does standing over a stove, grabbing things from the fridge, and washing dishes.  Cook and prepare your own meals, and get your family involved, or have them congregate around the kitchen and chat with you while you do it!  You can sit and enjoy the meal when the prep is done!
  • Organize!  Before sitting down to watch your favorite shows each night, consider spending 15 minutes tidying up your house.  Guess what you will be doing those 15 minutes?  You got it, MOVING!  On top of a little extra movement, you also got a cleaner house.  Bonus!

Adding extra movement here and there doesn’t have to be a major deal, it can be something really simple.  Odds are that you don’t even notice that extra movement, but you will notice feeling more involved, and probably will find yourself feeling a little more productive as well.  Bodies are made to move, not be sedentary.  Our bodies will probably thank us for the extra movement!

Can you think of any other ways to increase your activity in a sneaky way?


Playground Workout – A Family Affair!

May 29th, 2014

It’s beautiful outside these days, isn’t it?  Sunshine, fresh air, and the kids are almost out of school.  It is the perfect time of year to take your family to the park in the evenings after dinner.  I know how it goes as a parent, it’s easy to sit on the park bench and read a book or scroll through your smartphone for updates and email checks while your kids play, but try to leave your phone at home!  Use a park date with your family as an opportunity to unplug and re-connect with your loved ones.  Oh yes, and get a family workout in!

Here is a sample park workout for you to try with your entire family!

1) Find an open area of grass and run from one end to the other.  Make it a race.  When you get to the end, stop for a second to catch your breath, and then immediately turn around and either walk or crawl like your favorite animal back to where you started.

2) Find a park bench and step up onto it with your left leg ten times.  Then step up with your right leg ten times.  If the step is a little high for the little kids, have them jump like a frog while you are doing your step-ups.

3) Find a set of monkey bars and do your best to hang from them, or swing across the set.  Help your kids along the way too.  See who can get the farthest.

4) Head back to the open grass and run from one end to the other.  Stop, catch your breath, and walk or bear crawl back to the beginning.

5) Head back to the park bench and complete ten push-ups at an incline on the bench.  Help your kids complete these as well.

6) Take a step away from the bench and complete ten squats and help your kids do the same.

7) Head back to the grass and run one more length and jog or walk back.

Rest!  You have just completed a playground workout circuit!  Start with one round, and build your way up to two or three.

Need some more inspiration?  Here is a very nice guide from Nerd Fitness on building and progressing your playground workouts.



Three Easy Travel Tips For Summer

May 26th, 2014

Summer is here!  Are you taking a vacation?  Many people hit the road and drive up to the cabin for the weekends during summer.  Some hit the road and take a longer vacation and drive to various locations.  Some don’t travel for an official vacation, but log many hours in the car driving kids to various summer activities like baseball games, camp, and other fun things.

Long car rides can be an easy way to snack on a lot of unhealthy things in the name of boredom.  The catch 22 to this though, is that it’s not always fun feeling icky and sluggish while on a long car ride.  Eating and snacking too much sometimes can make you feel a little wonky, and with a few hours left of your car ride, this isn’t anyone’s favorite thing.  Also, being stuck in the car can make you feel stiff and achy, and that doesn’t feel great either.

So, with that in mind, here are three easy tips to get you to your destination feeling great and ditching the icky:

  • Hydrate!  It’s easy to forget about water and drink soda, juice, Gatorade, or any other convenience beverage instead when traveling.  Let’s skip those and drink good old H20.  Pack yourself your favorite water bottle and refill along the way.  Bonus points if your bottle is reusable and able to keep your water supply cold.  If drinking water bores you, add a few lemon, orange, or cucumber slices to your bottle.
  • Eat well!  Even with a few people in your vehicle, you can probably manage to pack a small cooler to keep some healthy eats readily available when hunger strikes.  Some easy things to pack might be a few sticks of string cheese, a few hard boiled eggs, grapes, strawberries, and even a few handfuls of baby carrots.  Now that we have protein and produce addressed, let’s toss in a few handfuls of mixed nuts for a dose of healthy fat as well.
  • Move!  Long car rides can make you feel “crunchy” when you are stuck in the same position for hours on end.  Make a point to get out of the car every two hours or so and move around.  Get out of the vehicle, stretch your legs and just walk for a bit.  Moving around also wakes you up a little bit, so when you get back to driving, you will feel more alert and refreshed and ready to tackle another hundred miles or so.

These are three easy tips, right?  Give them a try on one of your long trips this summer, and see if they don’t help you out.