Plymouth was named the No. 1 Place to Live nationally in 2008 by Money Magazine, and it continues to rank high among cities of comparable size. One of the variables that makes Plymouth such a great place is its emphasis on the wellbeing of its community members, from the youngest to the oldest. Those 55 and older have a wide range of services and activities to make aging in place a reality. Following are 10 resources guaranteed to make living in Plymouth enjoyable, economical and just plain fun.
The Plymouth Creek Center (14800 34th Ave. N.) is the place for senior activities. From card clubs to garden groups, woodcarvers, writers, walkers and warblers, there is something for everyone year round. The city also plans a variety of local outings and bus trips. The Senior Grapevine, a bimonthly publication, keeps Plymouth residents in the know about existing and upcoming events. From free to fee. Sara Mittelstaedt; 763.509.5282
The vision of Senior Community Services (SCS) is to enhance the independence, involvement, opportunities and quality of life of older adults in our community. Licensed social workers provide professional care coordination, counseling and caregiver support groups. Trained counselors provide group and one-to-one counseling and education on Medicare and health insurance. CareNextion, a web-based caregiver program, provides easy ways for family and friends to schedule tasks and share information. Susan Makela, Senior Outreach Worker; 952.541.1019
H.O.M.E. (Household and Outside Maintenance for the Elderly) offers low-cost help for local seniors. Outdoor services include mowing, yard work, gardening, raking, hauling away yard waster and snow shoveling. Other services include interior and exterior painting, minor repair work, housekeeping services, errands and grocery shopping. Tim Morin; 952.746.4046
The Smokebusters Program provides in-home safety visits by Plymouth firefighters. They will test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, discuss 911 calls and help develop a fire-escape plan. Sara Lynn Cwayna; 763.509.5198
There are a number of options to help seniors get around Plymouth and to nearby communities. Most serve all of Plymouth, and all have one-way or round-trip nominal fares. Read more about IOCP Rides, PRISM Express, Dial-a-Ride, Metro Mobility and Transit Link at plymouthmag.com.
IOCP Rides Program (serving Plymouth residents West of 494) The IOCP RIDES program provides transportation to medical appointments and Adult Basic Education/English Language classes for community residents regardless of income. A partnership with the Family Car initiative, a regional effort of suburban providers, makes used cars available to low-income families. Lynn Vettel; 763.489.7505
PRISM Express (serving Plymouth residents East of 494) 763.529.1252
Metro Mobility 651.602.1111
Transit Link 651.602.5465
A sense of home is essential to everyone’s wellbeing. Finding the right housing for seniors is especially important for mental and emotional health, physical safety and the right amount of care. From independent living to subsidized housing, buildings with few services to the full spectrum of care, there are numerous options right in Plymouth (read more at plymouthmag.com).
Independent Senior Housing
Cornerstone Townhomes and Cooperative 3790 Lawndale Ln. N.; 763.478.4661
Gramercy Park Cooperative Northwest 6195 Northwest Blvd.; 763.551.8832
Gramercy Park Cooperative of Plymouth 104000 45th Ave. N.; 763.531.9424
SummerWood of Plymouth 16205 36th Ave. N.; 763.383.8888
Subsidized Housing (affordable rentals for income-qualified senior, handicapped and disabled people)
Plymouth Towne Square 1550 37th Ave. N.; 763.550.9525
Vicksburg Crossing 3155 Vicksburg Ln. N.; 763.559.1877
Basset Creek Commons 10505 Eighth Ave. N.; 763.543.2457
Assisted Living Housing (a variety of additional services offered such as nursing care, meals, laundry/housekeeping, and transportation)
Cornerstone Assisted Living 3750 Lawndale Ln. N.; 763.550.0333
SummerWood Assisted Living 16205 36th Ave. N.; 763.383.8888
Memory Care Housing (for those with dementia/Alzheimer’s)
Brookdale Clare Bridge Memory Care 15855 22nd St. N.; 763.476.8200
Cornerstone of Plymouth 3750 Lawndale Ln. N.; 763.550.0333
Eating right is essential to maintaining physical and mental health. When shopping is a problem, there are a number of options available to make sure seniors have the food they need at their fingertips. Store to Door serves aging seniors who live independently but are unable to shop for and bring home their groceries. Volunteers phone clients for a grocery order and shop at Cub Foods. Trained, paid and insured delivery personnel deliver groceries. All clients pay for their groceries using a check, a credit/debit card or an EBT card. Meanwhile IOCP’s food shelf is open from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays, 9 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and 4 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Store to Door, 651.642.1892; IOCP food shelf, 1605 County Rd. 101 N., 763.489.7500
Wayzata/Plymouth Meals on Wheels 4990 44th Ave N.; 763.553.7762
Coborns Delivers 763.971.4900
In-home Health Care
From simple companionship to nursing care and therapies, in-home care can help seniors stay home as safely and independently as possible. Fees range from private pay to Medicare and Veteran coverage. The list is extensive in the metro area—here are agencies located in and/or serving Plymouth residents (learn more about each at plymouthmag.com): Touching Hearts at Home, touchinghearts.com; Home Care Solutions, homecaresolutionsmn.com; Lifesprk, agewellhomecare.com; and Sister Kenny Sports and Physical Therapy Center, allinahealth.org.
Companion: Companionship, light housekeeping, laundry, transportation, meal prep, etc.
Touching Hearts at Home 10700 Old County Rd. 15 Ste. 290; 763.544.0401
Home Health Aide: Personal care assistance from certified home health aides.
Home Care Solutions 3390 Annapolis Ln. Ste. A; 763.231.9000
Nursing: RNs help with disease management, wound care, medication set-up and distribution and other health-related issues.
Lifesprk (formerly AgeWell) 952.345.8770; agewellhomecare.com
Therapy: Physical therapists instruct and perform therapies for strength and balance.
Sister Kenny Sports and Physical Therapy Center 2855 Campus Dr. Ste. 450; 763.236.5555
Moving or Downsizing
Making the decision to move is never easy. There are agencies in the area to help—from that first consideration to selling the house and getting settled in a new home. Guiding Way is a full-service transition company providing all aspects of a move from selling the house to arranging estate sales to the actual move (Jane Taylor; 612.799.5292). For planning, coordinating and supervising all aspects of a move, call Gentle Transitions (Diane Bjorkman; 952.944.1028). And for everything from planning and organizing a move to packing and unpacking, try Rose’s Daughters (Kathleen McGonagill; 612.330.3772).
Staying physically and emotionally fit is essential to healthy aging. The city currently has 53 developed parks in its system, totaling more than 1,200 acres. There are five city parks, four special-use facilities, nine playfields and 35 neighborhood and school parks. The department also maintains a 136-mile network of city, state and regional trails that connect most neighborhoods to parks, schools and commercial areas. Read alternative centers for fitness at plymouthmag.com. 763.509.5200
Life Time Fitness 3600 Plymouth Blvd.; 763.509.0909
Snap Fitness 1400 County Rd. 101 N.; 763.280.5335
Snap Fitness 4445 Nathan Ln. N.; 763.280.5208
YogaStudio 3900 Vinewood Ln. N.; 763.557.8626
It’s not easy getting older; here are a few tips that can make it more fun.
A good laugh lowers the levels of stress hormones that can cause high blood pressure and digestive problems while raising the levels of healthy hormones that fight off cancer and other foreign cells. And a good laugh is a cardiac workout. Blood circulates better, the body relaxes and the lungs clear out. Laughing until we cry? What better way to spend time with a friend and improve our health at the same time? Laughter helps us sleep better. It’s good for digestion. It gets our blood moving. Optimistic people tend to live longer and are more fun to be around than pessimists—and they’re happier with their lives. Laughter helps us look for the bright side of life.
Research reveals numerous benefits to pet ownership, including improved mental and physical health, better eating habits, stronger human relationships and even disease detection. As people age, social activities become less frequent. Isolation fosters loneliness and increases depression. A pet can boost self-esteem, provide relaxation, alleviate loneliness and even improve nutrition. (Nursing home studies show that residents eat better when sitting near an aquarium during meals.) What could be better than an enthusiastic, tail-wagging welcome when we come in the door? Or the laughter that comes from watching a cat’s antics? Birds enjoy our company as much as we enjoy theirs. But if you can’t own a pet, spend some time with a friend’s pet. They’ll both appreciate it!
Volunteers are vital to the health of the community. They fill the gap between ideas and service. They make things happen. In big and small ways, volunteering offers a variety of benefits, especially as we age. A strong heart is essential to healthy aging. Most volunteers say they receive far more than they give, making it a win-win situation for everyone. The work of volunteers makes the community stronger, safer and more welcoming, with the added benefit of maintaining, perhaps even improving, the volunteer’s health. Look for opportunities that fit your passion, your time and your energy, then jump in and make a difference. There’s an opportunity out there with your name on it.
STACY’S BIO: Stacy Monson, BSW, is the Community Relations Director for Touching Hearts at Home, a non-medical in-home companion care agency in Plymouth. She speaks and writes on issues related to healthy living and aging, dementia and Alzheimer’s, and caregiving.