Category Archives: Future of Aging

Next Free Webcast – What Were We Thinking: Past, Present and Future of Aging Policy and Practices 1971-2021-2071 – August 18th at noon

Earn 1 hr. CEU, pre-approved for Social Workers by BOSW; self-submit other disciplines.
MGS is an approved Continuing Education Resource by the MN Board of Nursing.
(The CEU is free for MGS members; $15 for non-members.)

By: Todd Stump, MSW, Aging and Adult Services, MN DHS and LaRhae Knatterud, MAPA, Aging Transformation, MN DHS

Click here to register now!

In fifty years, when members of Generation Z are living with the impact of governmental and societal decisions concerning older adults, this question will arise:  What were we thinking?

Imagine it is the year 2071, fifty years from now.  Gerontology students are reading about how older adults were described and cared for in 1971:  As a homogenous group of people needing care and unable to advocate for themselves.  Relegated to living in substandard conditions in nursing facilities, medicated to manage mental health challenges and ignorant of technology.

Come back to 2021 where these same students observe continuing age segregation, inaccessible community design, housing shortages, end-of-life care challenges, a lack of diversity in terms of individualized care and an ongoing emphasis on acute care over prevention, health, and wellness.

There is an opportunity today to identify, discuss and prioritize answers to the issues that impact aging in MN now and during the past fifty years. Why not identify the answers right now?

With help from your answers to a brief survey linked below, LaRhae Knatterud and Todd Stump of the Minnesota Department of Services will examine these ideas.


  1. Identify the ways older adults were treated by government agencies and in the broader society in 1971, highlighting those considered outmoded today.
  2. Examine the current treatment of older adults, focusing on specific challenges and shortcomings considering today’s demographic, political and economic realities.
  3. Identify current trends in how older adults are viewed across society. Discuss action to be taken to optimize mental and physical health so attitudes and policies can be different in 2071.


Todd Stump, MSW, Aging and Adult Services, MN Department of Human Services

Todd serves as a Data Analyst, Mapmaker, and Survey Technician for the Gaps Analysis and the Age & Disabilities Odyssey for the Aging and Adult Services Division within the Minnesota Department of Human Services.



LaRhae Knatterud, MAPA, Own Your Future,  MN Department of Human Services

LaRhae serves as Director of Aging Transformation for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, leading staff of Minnesota’s Own Your Future campaign, an initiative to urge Minnesotans to plan for their long-term care. She also serves as Chief staff for Aging 2030, a project to prepare the state for a permanent shift in the age of the population.

Past Free Webcast – Caregiving Research 2020: Eye-Opening National and Minnesota Findings and Trends – October 15 at noon

By: Gabriela Prudencio, M.A., M.B.A., Hunt Research Director, National Alliance for Caregiving; Elizabeth Lightfoot, PhD, Professor and PhD Program Director, School of Social Work, UMN

Earn 1.25 hr. CEU, pre-approved for Social Workers by BOSW; self-submit other disciplines.
MGS is listed as a Continuing Education Resource by the MN Board of Nursing.
(The CEU is free for MGS members; $15 for non-members.)

Click here to register now!

Handout – Caregiving Research Part 1 – Prudencio 10.15.20

Handout – Caregiving Research Part 2 – Lightfoot 10.15.20

This two-part presentation will report findings from both national and Minnesota research.

Part 1: Caregiving in the US 2020: A closer look at the experiences of caregivers today

Family and friends comprise the most basic unit of any society. As the country continues to age, the need to support caregivers as the cornerstone of society will only become more important. Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 presents a portrait of unpaid family caregivers today. The presentation will provide a brief summary of the prevalence of caregiving, demographic characteristics, intensity and duration of care, the well-being of caregivers, the financial impact of family caregiving on caregivers themselves, and the degree to which technology supports caregivers today.


  1. After attending this session, participants will better understand the many experiences of family caregivers today, including some of the financial challenges that they face
  2. After attending this session, participants will have an idea of some of the private and public products and services that would benefit caregivers

Part 2: COVID 19 Challenges to Caregiving and Caregivers in Minnesota

Family caregivers, whether providing care to their family members in their home, in the community or in long-term care facilities, have experienced enormous changes during COVID-19. The second part of this webinar will describe preliminary findings from an ongoing Minnesota-based study of family caregiving during the global pandemic. Some themes that will be discussed include the concerns of family caregivers during the pandemic, barriers caregivers face in providing care during COVID-19 and strategies for overcoming these barriers, caregiver’s perceptions about care provided to their loved ones during the pandemic, and thoughts of caregivers regarding the changing safety restrictions.


  1. Participants will understand the changes family caregivers have had to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Participants will understand creative strategies for overcoming COVID-19 related barriers to family caregiving.
  3. Participants will be aware of the conflicting viewpoints caregivers hold regarding safety restrictions related to COVID-19


Gabriela Prudencio, M.A., M.B.A., Hunt Research Director, National Alliance for Caregiving

At NAC, Gabriela manages a comprehensive research strategy to support policies and initiatives for unpaid family caregivers across the aging, healthcare, disability, and long-term care sectors.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Gabriela spent over a decade at the forefront of various research initiatives focused on improving the well-being of individuals around the globe. On a national level, at the AARP Foundation and at the Economic Policy Institute, Gabriela worked on numerous research studies that informed programs and policies to improve income, food, housing, and job security for vulnerable Americans. Internationally, Gabriela has led numerous studies on selected agricultural sub-sectors in Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Southern and Eastern Africa.

Gabriela became passionate about caregiving when she had the privilege to provide secondary care to her grandparents. This experience greatly enriched her life. Gabriela holds an MBA from Georgetown University, an MA in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University, and a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.


Elizabeth Lightfoot, PhD, Professor and PhD Program Director, School of Social Work, UMN

Elizabeth Lightfoot is Professor and PhD Program Director at the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work. Her main research interests are disability policy and services, and the intersection of disability with child welfare, aging, abuse, and health. Her latest research project focuses on financial abuse of people with disabilities, and she is increasingly interested in studying fraud targeted at vulnerable populations. Dr. Lightfoot is also leading a group of scholars at the University of Minnesota studying the changes in family caregiving of those providing care to their older family members and adult family members with disabilities. She has also set up new support and advocacy groups for people who have family members living in long-term care facilities during this time of quarantine isolation in both Minnesota and the Seattle area, and is a long-distance caregiver for her mom.