St. Anthony Park Area Seniors is launching a study with a Wilder Foundation research team to find out what prospective clients may want from the organization.
St. Anthony Park Area Seniors (SAPAS) began as the St. Anthony Park Block Nurse Program in 1981 with the aim of helping seniors stay in their homes. But health care services have changed and many of the nursing and home-health pieces of the program have been taken over by other medical and social organizations. Now, the group is looking for new ways to serve the community with social and support services. SAPAS plans to ask baby boomers and beyond what they would like to see offered during a series of focus group meetings that will meet in May and June. The focus groups will be led by SAPAS board members. There will be eight groups: four for north St. Anthony Park residents and one each for Lauderdale-Falcon Heights, south St. Anthony Park, area businesses and key informants such as St. Anthony Park Library staff. SAPAS still offers services for seniors, including exercise classes, rides to health care appointments, Meals on Wheels and many social activities. (A complete listing may be found at sapaseniors.org) But SAPAS board chair Mary Beck said there are other possibilities that have not been explored, such as yoga classes, book groups, travel opportunities and neighborhood locations for university classes. People may want help negotiating the Medicare maze, finding caregiving or caregiver respite services, or dealing with the transition from full-time work to retirement. The possibilities are endless, Beck said. SAPAS will present results at a neighborhood forum on Sept. 16. Anyone interested in being part of the focus groups should call Beck at 651-644-2816.