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Holiday season is good time to discuss aging with loved ones

Minnesota's senior population is doubling as baby boomers reach retirement age, and that means many families have a growing number of older relatives. When families gather for the holidays, it can be a time in which changes in older relatives are noticed and concerns about their health and well-being are raised.

Here are some signs that may indicate a caring conversation is needed:

• Trouble with balance when walking, getting up from a chair or using stairs.

• Weight loss or gain.

• Decrease in attention to personal hygiene.

• Recent injuries such as cuts, bruises or burns.

• Forgetfulness and losing things.

• Neglect of housekeeping.

• Piles of unopened mail, newspapers or bills.

• Old and expired food.

• Late notices for utility or other bills.

• Car dents or scratches.

• Overuse or underuse of medications.

If people witness these warning signs and need help knowing what to do, they are urged to call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433. Representatives offer assistance in evaluating the situation and share information about local resources that could help.

Face Aging MN is a campaign aimed at raising awareness about the unprecedented growth in Minnesota's senior population and how it affects all of us. At least 60,000 Minnesotans are turning 65 every year from now through 2030.

In the new Face Aging MN video series, a Minnesota senior, her daughter and a professional caregiver share three things they have learned about aging. These videos are aimed at prompting conversations among Minnesotans about how families, their communities and our state will face aging now and in the decades to come.

See the videos and find more information about how Minnesota can face aging at FaceAgingMN.org.

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