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Senior conference promotes tech exploration

Jill Corbin of Home Instead Senior Care and Doris Larkin, president of Socially Active Seniors stand with Lu Cotton, this years recipient of the Salute to Senior Service Award. Cotton was honored at the 15th annual Community Partners conference last week. Submitted photo.

From Kirsten Cruikshank

Director, Community Partners

On Tuesday, May 13, Jan O’Donnell, vice-chair of the Community Partners board of directors, welcomed 70 participants to the 15th annual Community Partners conference. This year’s theme was “Senior Health and Technology.”

Community Partners chose this topic to help people learn about tools that will make life easier. Participants enjoyed a luncheon, workshops and an information fair.

“We know two things,” O’Donnell told the crowd, “first, technology is all around us whether we like it or not, and second, we are all getting older! We might as well become informed consumers in this changing world.”

During the luncheon, Jill Corbin from Home Instead Senior Care, presented Lu Cotton with the Salute to Senior Service award for her many hours of service to seniors through Community Partners and Socially Active Seniors. Later a video was presented about how the organization and other partners are helping seniors learn about technology and using the internet. The video, produced by ProVideo of Duluth and funded by the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, is available on the Community Partners website,

Patty Rowray of Lake Connections was the keynote speaker, sharing information about Lake Connections services. She also shared fun online ideas and opportunities to help people of all ages “get connected, stay connected and live connected.”

Workshops were presented by Cheryl Blue of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services; Randy Rusnak of Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss; Leah Davidson, Healthsense; Rachel Gischia and Katie Klessig, Lakeview Hospital; and Jan Ringer and Mary Aijala, Senior Surf Day volunteers.

Twenty-four vendors shared information about senior services, and Ecumen, Lake View Hospital and clinic, Lake Superior School District Community Education, and the Blandin Broadband Communities program sponsored the event which was held at Superior Shores.

The journey of exploring how technology can help people in the community is just beginning. There’s so much to learn.

For more information about resources shared at conference, contact Community Partners at 218-834-8024.