BAXTER —A record attendance was on hand for the 2012 Minnesota TRIAD Conference, which brings together law enforcement, community groups and senior citizens from throughout Minnesota to share and learn in a collaborative effort to enhance senior safety.
Nineteen TRIAD members and law enforcement representatives from Cass County attended the conference.
The conference started with greetings from emcees Mike Koecheler and Peg Boots and a welcome from Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl. The Best Practices session, the foundation of the TRIAD conferences, was held next. This session allows TRIAD groups to share what projects and events they are doing in their county to promote senior safety.
Some projects various counties are doing include: National Night Out, parades, medical information programs, safe traveling cards, Taste of Italy and presentations (frauds and scams, citizens police academies, safe driving and more).
The Best Practices session was facilitated by law enforcement and members from Aitkin, Cass and Carlton counties. This was followed by a presentation by Kelly Felton of the Working Together Coalition and four local high school students involved in Teens Leading the Way. Information was learned on drug abuse issues, including “Hidden in Plain Sight,” and 40 developmental assets, which shows ways youth may be encouraged and supported. There was music, an antique car show and a bonfire with s’mores.
The following day Dahl welcomed the group again and spoke about the importance of TRIAD in communities. Dr. Thomas Wittkop, Essentia Health, spoke regarding memory care issues and Alzheimer’s. “Eat a Rainbow a Day” was presented by Teresa M. Farrell of Essentia Health and was about proper diet and nutrition. Nicole Pexsa and Mike Steichen of Essentia Health showed TRIAD members what exercises they can do to improve bone health and reduce the risk of falls.
Lisa Bowen, Alexandria attorney, offered advice on how to “Plan for the Future” and the legal steps for the future. David Deuth, Iowa funeral director offered an informative session on “What you didn’t know you didn’t know about Funeral Planning.” The afternoon ended with a self defense for seniors presentation by Dahl, where the session stressed “never give up” when pursuing what you want and protecting yourself.