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The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is involved in several efforts at this year’s Minnesota State Fair, which begins Thursday, Aug. 22, and runs through Sept. 2. The Minnesota Board on Aging promotes the Senior LinkAge Line® and www.MinnesotaHelp.info® and DHS services and initiatives at its booth in the Education Building.
This year the booth will highlight the Share Minnesota campaign, an initiative of Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon that connects seniors to volunteer opportunities when they call the Senior LinkAge Line. This is part of the One Stop Shop for Seniors, which also helps seniors and their families with government service-related questions. Materials about the Telephone Equipment Distribution program also will be available at the booth.
Materials, surveys and information for the Own Your Future campaign and DHS information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) information also will be at the booth. “Own Your Future” is an initiative launched in 2012 by the Dayton-Prettner Solon administration assisted by DHS. Its purpose is to urge Minnesotans to plan for the care they will need as they grow older, including how to pay for that care. Fairgoers will be asked to complete a survey on what planning they have done so far and how they plan to pay for their retirement and future care needs. A new planning guide that includes key information about creating a long-term care plan will be distributed to fairgoers. It will also be on the Own Your Future website and available for downloading. It includes worksheets and space for individuals to make notes about their plan, as well as checklists for people of different ages to complete a plan.
The Disability Linkage Line, an information, referral and assistance service, and DB101, an online tool with information on health coverage, benefits and employment, will have materials and do demonstra-tions at the Minnesota State Council on Disability's booth in the Education Building. They will continue to provide employment posters and other disability and employment materials at the MSCOD booth.
DHS also is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to hand out Parent Aware information to fairgoers at MDE’s booth in the Education Building. Parent Aware is the centerpiece of a broad initiative to improve the quality of early care and education programs in Minnesota by helping parents in Minnesota find providers focused on high quality early learning, by providing one- to four-star ratings of these programs; and offering coaching, incentives and technical assistance to help programs reach higher ratings.