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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:

Aging in Place: City of North Saint Paul Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Aging Resilient Communities Project.

Benham, Chiara and Kjersite Witzen.

Prepared by students in GERO 5105: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Aging (Instructor: Lisa Edstrom, fall 2013) as part of the 2013-2014 Resilient Communities Project partnership with the City of North St. Paul.

Aging in place can be defined as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. Aging in place is more than just housing, it encompasses all services and social relationships required to help individuals remain in their community. Some of the reasons older adults leave their communities as they age include: their health needs are changing and they require more skilled nursing care, the services they need are not offered in their community, and caregivers are experiencing excessive strain and burnout.

To determine the needs of older residents of North St. Paul a discussion group event was conducted with community members. Thirteen community members participated in this event. Participants discussed three open-ended questions about North St. Paul. The main concerns of the residents were identified. The students conducted a literature review using both the key themes and their perspective disciplines to formulate aging in place recommendations to the City of North Saint Paul. These recommendations include: (1) Transportation. Community members need to be able to drive safely. When they are no longer able to drive safely, there needs to be transportation services available that meet the needs of residents. Residents do not feel the current bus system and Metro Transit are meeting their needs. One potential solution to this problem is a volunteer driver program. (2) Volunteer/Chore service. Community members expressed a desire to have volunteers available to help them with small chores, such as moving furniture, mowing lawns, shoveling sidewalks, etc. Additionally, residents expressed a need for handymen who can help them make changes to their homes that will allow them to live in them safely, with risk of falling. (3) Opportunities for Community Engagement. Community members described a desire for more opportunities for community engagement, such as learning and community activities. They want a variety of activities that are fun, educational, and low cost. Community engagement will help older community members maintain their physical and cognitive functioning, enabling them to remain healthier and in their homes and communities longer. These actions also promote the maintenance of cognitive functioning, which is another key part of aging in place.

The city of North Saint Paul should take a comprehensive and collaborative stance on developing programs and policies designed to allow its community members to remain living in their community as they continue to age. Suggestions and resources are offered here to assist the city of North Saint Paul in developing its own aging in place policies and initiatives.

Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Resilient Communities Project.
This project was supported by the Resilient Communities Project (RCP), a program at the University of Minnesota that convenes the wide-ranging expertise of U of M faculty and students to address strategic local projects that advance community resilience and sustainability. RCP is supported by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Institute on the Environment.
31 pp.
Online availability
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