Caregiver's Corner

328 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731


Northwoods Partners News

The latest news from NP

Classes and Groups Cancelled

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Thank You Spiritwood “Forget Me Not” Foundation for your generous donation to Northwoods Partners Memory Care Programs.

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Caregiving Fact Sheet

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5 Tips to Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's can start formulating in your brain as early as your 30s. Follow these tips to change your lifestyle for better brain health.

Most people think of Alzheimer's as an old person's disease, but doctors say it can actually start formulating in your brain as early as your 30s. While that might be a scary thought, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make now that experts believe could impact your risk of developing the disease.

"One out of three cases of Alzheimer's may be preventable if that person does everything right," explained Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell & New York-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.

1. Exercise regularly, at a high intensity.

Exercise can protect against Alzheimer's because it not only increases blood flow to the brain, but it loosens up that amyloid plaque, the bad sticky stuff that gets caught up and gunked up in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease.

Any exercise helps, but experts recommend getting at least three hours of rigorous activity a week. Ideally, that would be two cardio workouts and one strength-training session.

2. Get at least 7.5 hours of quality sleep every night.

When you sleep, the brain can clean out the damaging amyloid plaques.

Turn off the electronics, no bright lights from the screens, no texting, no emails. Have a quiet, dark room. And clear your mind.

3. Eat right and eat less.

Avoid sugar and processed foods, and consider switching to a Mediterranean diet. The brain shrinks as you age, but a study published in The Journal of Neurology found people in their mid-70s who consumed a Mediterranean diet (more fruits, veggies, olive oil, and less meat and cheese) lost less brain mass than people who ate a diet more typical of their country. A bigger brain later in life is beneficial and could protect from diseases like Alzheimer's.

Experts say the best brain diet is comprised of foods like leafy greens, whole fruits and vegetables. While you shouldn't obsess over counting calories, try to aim for 2,100 calories a day.

4. Get your blood checked every year.

Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes is a way towards Alzheimer's disease ... Know your blood pressure, know your fasting blood sugar, know what your cholesterol is.

5. Keep your brain challenged.

Your brain wants to be used and wants to learn something new every day.  Participate in lectures, community ed, read books…even visiting web sites and using apps that feature brain exercises have been linked to dramatically lower rates of dementia in seniors.

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You matter

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Wishing you...

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Office Closed for the Holidays - Will reopen Thursday, January 2, 2020

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Dementia Training Opportunity

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Festival of Trees 2019

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Aging Mastery Program starts Tuesday, October 15th

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Healthy Aging Expo

Northwoods Partners will host their 10th Annual Health Aging Expo on Thursday October 10 from 9-3 at Amici’s Event Center (10 W. Pattison Street, Ely).  The Healthy Aging Expo is an event dedicated to Senior Adults’ Healthy Lifestyles, Education and Caregiver Support. 

This years Expo features a wide variety of presentations by area experts, including Dr. Joe Bianco presenting Healthy Approaches to Pain.  Michel Coyle, CEO Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital (EBCH) will address the Future of Aging in Ely. Dr. Crystal Chopp will present “Aging Gracefully Also Includes Taking Care of Your Smile”.  Sheri Cook & Laura Lussier from the Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss will talk about “Technology & Me: Using Technology to Improve Health, Safety & Quality of Life”, Michelle Moore & Autumn Cole “Get Fit! Get Happy!”, and Peter Heffen “Dementia Friendly Living”.  

Doors will open at 9am for vendor table viewing.  Pebble Spa will be offering FREE chair massages from 9-10am.  EBCH will be providing FREE flu shots throughout the day. Speakers will begin at 10am.  Your $5 admission will also cover Lunch.  Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your health & well-being!

Questions? Please contact Lisa Porthan at 365-8019

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Healthy Aging Expo October 10th

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Healthy Aging Expo

Northwoods Partners will be hosting the 10th annual Healthy Aging Expo (formerly Elder Expo Ely) on Thursday, October 10th from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Amici’s Event Center.

This event is dedicated to Senior Adults’ Healthy Lifestyles, Education and Caregiver Support.

Doors open at 9:00 so participants can pick up their punch card and visit over a dozen vendor tables with information and a variety of resources.

The Expo will conclude with completed punch cards being drawn for door prizes.

Speakers will begin at 10 am. Lunch will be served.

Confirmed speakers include:

Michelle Moore, Heavy Metal Sports

Dr. Joe Bianco, Essentia Health

Michael Coyle, Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital

Dr. Crystal Chopp, Ely Family Dental

Peter Heffen, Age Well Arrowhead

Lighthouse for Vision Loss

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Senior Law Discussion

Join Northwoods Partners as we host Kristin Parendo from the Senior Citizens Law Project
Topic: Senior Legal Issues
Tuesday, August 13th
1 pm – 3 pm
Ely Bloomenson Hospital Community Conference Room

Please RSVP to Northwoods Partners @ 218-365-8019

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Get Your Tickets Now

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Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits

How Giving to Others Makes You Healthier and Happier

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you reduce stress, find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. Continue reading to learn more about the many benefits of helping others.

Why volunteer?
Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. Volunteering and helping others can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.  Read on to explore the 3 ways volunteering can make you feel healthier and happier.
Benefit 1: Volunteering connects you to others
One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.
  • Make new friends and contacts:  One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. It strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
  • Increase your social and relationship skills:  While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.
  • Volunteering as a family:  Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you’ll show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help other people and animals and enact change. It’s also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities for your children and family.

Benefit 2: Volunteering is good for your mind and body
Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.
  • Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Volunteering combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against depression.
  • Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
  • Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
  • Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
  • Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Benefit 3: Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.

Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. For instance, if you have a desk job and long to spend time outdoors, you might consider volunteering to help plant a community garden, walk dogs for an animal shelter, or go for a walk with a senior.
Adapted from


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Caregiver Support Groups

More than 65 million people, that’s 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.

Caregiving is a tough and isolating experience.  Caregiver support groups provide an opportunity to connect with others that are in similar situations.  Support group members validate each other’s experiences.  They are a great place to ask for advice, find out about useful resources, and it’s a place to vent your frustrations.  Nobody will judge you, because everyone there is going through many of the same struggles.  It’s a safe place to share feelings and get support.  You are not alone! We encourage you to join us:


Babbitt Support Group

1st Monday of the Month

1 - 2:30 pm

Carefree Living Babbitt


Ely Support Group

4th Monday of the Month

10 - 11:30 am

Ely Hospital  - Conference Room B


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Virtual Dementia Tour

Virtual Dementia Tour by Second Wind Dreams
This is an incredible opportunity to “walk in someone’s shoes” who has dementia. 
The tour is designed to change one’s perception of the disease
by trying to perform simple everyday tasks. 
This is accomplished by having participants wear
specialized gear meant to simulate the feelings caused by dementia. 
This can cause confusion, frustration, understanding and physical limitations
for the participants as they attempt to complete the tour.

Tuesday, October 16th
Ely Hospital Community Conference Room

Two Sessions are being offered
10 am – noon
1 pm – 3 pm

Space is limited – call to reserve your spot

We hope you can join us for this life changing experience.
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Healthy Aging Expo

Northwoods Partners will be hosting the 9th annual Healthy Aging Expo (formerly Elder Expo Ely) on Thursday, September 20th from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Amici’s Event Center. This event is dedicated to Senior Adults’ Healthy Lifestyles, Education and Caregiver Support.

Doors open at 9:00 so participants can pick up their punch card and visit over a dozen vendor tables with information and a variety of resources.  The Expo will conclude with completed punch cards being drawn for door prizes.

At 9:30 our Executive Director, Lisa Porthan, will kick off the Expo with an update on Northwoods Partners and the debut of our new video.  Speakers will begin at 10 am.

Lunch will be served. The cost of the event is $5. You can RSVP by calling the Northwoods Partners office at 365-8019.

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Thank You!

Thank You to 100+ Ely Women Who Care. 

On May 6, 2018 Northwoods Partners was selected as the charity to receive their donations totaling  over $7,000. 

Thank You!

For more information on 100+ Ely Women Who Care visit their web site



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