A Series of Interest to Seniors


Conversations that Matter

Co-sponsored by the CVEC, the Northfield Senior Center is presenting a series intended to help people think about, and plan for, their own death.   This is a topic many would rather avoid until a health crisis forces decisions to be made.   Attending this series will help individuals identify what is important to them, what their resources are, and how to effectively communicate their end-of-life wishes.   The series may also be helpful to spouses or adult children as they anticipate the death of a family member.   The hope for the whole series is that it will engage people in significant conversation with each other, and eventually with their loved ones.  In addition we will be offering concrete tools, eg. on writing of wills, advance-care directives, etc.

There will be four sessions, all on Wednesdays, 10 – 11:30am, each with a different focus:

March 6, Introduction; Definitions of death (ethical, legal, spiritual, financial considerations)

March 20, Changes in the Medical Field; Options for hospice and palliative care

April 3, Spirituality and Family Concerns

April 17, Resources (who to talk to; health care directives; wills; finances)

Each of the four sessions will include one of the video programs developed by Bill Moyers for PBS (we’ve borrowed its title, “Conversations That Matter”), with guided discussion following the videos.   Local experts who work in related fields will participate as presenters and panelists.  Experts include: Karen Gervais, visiting St. Olaf professor of Philosophy specializing in ethics;  Mary Carlson, nurse practitioner specializing in family practice; Susan Lohmann, Director of Social Services, Northfield Hospital & Clinics;  Kathy Blomquist, Director of Home Care & Hospice, Northfield Hospital & Clinics;  Catherine Kelley, Hospice Social Worker, Northfield Hospital & Clinics; Mary Carlsen, St. Olaf professor of Social Work; Jackie Dorsey, lawyer, Hvistendahl, Moersch, Dorsey & Hahn, P.A.; and Judd Lohmann, Senior investment manager, Carlson Capital Management.

There is a $20 fee for the series, and registration is required.  Register through the Senior Center, 507-664-3700, or on-line, www.northfieldseniorcenter.org (through the “Sign-Ups+” button).