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

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
LaRhae Knatterud, MAPA, Aging Transformation, MN DHS

Additional Panelists:
Megan Dayton, MN Demographer’s office

John Selstad, formerly of Aging and Adult Services

Handout–What Were We Thinking 8.18.21

Handout supplement–Megan Dayton’s slides 8.18.21

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.