By 2020, there will be more adults age 65+ than school age children in Minnesota. Are we prepared for this Silver Tsunami to hit Brainerd? Is our community prepared to absorb this unprecedented shift in our population? Unlike many tsunamis, this Silver Tsunami is arriving with advance warning. We have time to evaluate the areas that affect a community's older population and devise a plan to address issues that may otherwise lead to an unstable, destructive effect in the Brainerd area.
The goal of Brainerd for a Lifetime is to identify where the Brainerd community is falling short and what must occur to affect change in each of the areas. The Brainerd for a Lifetime steering committee has identified four major community-wide assessment areas:
- Access to Health Care Opportunities/Care Giving
- Safety & Security
- Transportation & Walkability
Assessment teams of 6-8 individuals will formulate a method to address the assessment areas that the committee has identified. These Discovery Teams, comprised of community members with current understandings and interests in each area, work together to develop specific recommendations for each area. Assessments may require extensive research and contact with key businesses or organizations in the community.
Brainerd for a Lifetime is a unique opportunity for this community to take action and prepare for the Silver Tsunami. The Central Minnesota Council on Aging selected Brainerd as the pilot city for the community-wide assessment program. A grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation was awarded to the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, helping to make this community assessment and evaluation possible.