Upcoming wave of aging Minnesotans will need better-coordinated, smarter supports, panel says

By Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost


While seniors in Minnesotans enjoy a comparatively good health-care system, it is expensive, fragmented and complicated, panelists said during an event designed to explore how Minnesota can better care for its aging population. And it reflects doctors, patients’ and families’ inclination to take all possible measures at the very end of life, spending enormous sums of money when death is likely near.

The panel discussion, entitled “Preparing for the ‘Silver Tsunami,’ ” drew more than 120 people to the Northrop’s Best Buy Theater on the University of Minnesota campus.

The panelists, five leaders from various sectors in the state’s health and aging-services community, tackled where the Minnesota health-care system stands now in comparison to other states — and what should be done to prepare for the approaching retirement of the baby-boom generation. Mary Jo George of AARP, state Sen. Tony Lourey, Gayle Kvenvold of LeadingAge Minnesota, Dawn Simonson of Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging and Dr. Thomas Klemond of Park Nicollet Health Services also put forward ideas to educate consumers in navigating the system, to encourage an affordable model of person-centered care and to advance relationships between doctors and families.

Continue reading at MinnPost

Ibrahim Hirsi reports on immigrant communities, social issues, marginalized groups and people who work on making a difference in the lives of others. A graduate from the University of Minnesota, he interned for Newsday and has written for multiple publications in Minnesota.

Follow Ibrahim Hirsi on Twitter: @IHirsi.

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