Lifelong Learning

Register for these programs: by phone (507-664-3700), in person at FiftyNorth, or by clicking on the title of the class

Please pre-register and check-in for all classes no matter your membership levels. It is also important to check-in at the front desk when you arrive for your class.  We use attendance data for grant applications, insurance reimbursement, space planning and determining whether or not to cancel a class.
Scholarships are available to help defray the cost of classes for those who find the cost a financial hardship.


Dementia Friends

Tuesday, July 16
1:00pm to 2:00pm

One in ten people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease. As more and more Minnesotans live with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, the challenges can be overwhelming for them and their families. In our community, we can create a supportive environment for everyone touched by this disease. You don’t need to be a dementia expert or know someone with dementia to become a Dementia Friend.

Dementia Friends is a global movement that is striving to create more dementia friendly communities by changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Developed by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom, Dementia Friends is underway in Minnesota and across the United States.

This one-hour informational session is informal and includes fun activities and interaction. You’ll learn what dementia is, the five key messages about dementia, and tips for communicating with people who have this disease. By helping everyone in a community understand what dementia is and how it affects people, each of us can make a difference.

Instructors:  Melissa Block, MaryAnne Higgins; Dementia Friends Champions for Rice County
Capacity:  24
Cost: Free and open to the public.



Quick and Healthy Cooking for Busy People

Monday, August 5
2:00pm to 4:00pm

Too busy to cook, and sick of eating fast food on the run?  This class will teach you how to prepare a setup of individual foods that can be combined to make quick and healthy meals in 30 minutes or less. The class will give tips on how to cut up fruits and vegetables quickly. You will learn how make healthy and tasty salads, egg bakes and dishes using the ingredients you have already prepped.   Attendees will have an opportunity to taste some of the recipes, and will receive a cookbook, a laminated grocery list of basic ingredients and a healthy portion glass plate created by Gerie Thelen.

Glass artist, Gerie Thelen, started to create glass plates to help herself feel better when eating the restricted diet dictated by her life-long diabetes. Over the years and through other health challenges, she has developed many healthy, taste-good recipes and tricks for quick meal preparation that she would love to share with you.

Instructor:  Gerie Thelen
Capacity:  10
Cost:  $49 nonmbr, $47 mbr, $40 plat-equiv (supplies and materials fee)



Story Quilt: Women of the Plains

Wednesday, August 28
1:00pm to 2:30pm

Jewell Wolk stitched eleven story quilts and after she passed away in 2011, her daughter, Jean Wakely, inherited these quilts and shares the stories they tell.  Women of the Plains is her moist revered and acclaimed quilt. It is a tribute to the women who nutured a culture and softened the hardness of life on the Great Plains of Montana. It is also dedicated to the three young Blackfoot sisters who visited Jewell’s home and shared their stories.  She created the quilt to tell the Native American Blackfoot women’s history and to begin a conversation of understanding

Instructor:  Jean Wakely
Capacity:  30
Cost:  $9 nonmbr, $7 mbr, $0 plat-equiv



CPR and First Aid

Tuesday, September 10
1:00pm to 3:30pm

Students will receive expert training in First Aid and Basic Life Support CPR (adult) including Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). This 2 and half-hour class includes instruction, demonstrations and hands-on activities and culminates in the students earning an American Heart Card. It is appropriate training for Certified Nurse Assistants, healthcare workers, teachers, childcare workers and volunteers. Many health care facilities require this training of their employees.

Instructor: Jon Bolster
Capacity:  6
Cost:  $62 nonmbr, $55 mbr, $0 plat-equiv/instructor



Universal Home Design and HomeFit Solutions

Wednesday, September 25
2:00pm to 4:00pm

Traditionally, many homes were designed for an imaginary “average” person – a healthy, fit, young male of average height. Now, Universal Home Design has become a more popular and practical approach to home building and remodeling.  As we age, many of us find that our current home has features that negatively impact safety and create barriers to everyday living. Universal design creates flexibility of spaces, simplicity to make everyday tasks easier, safety features for changing mobility and individual style and comfort. Whether you are looking at making changes to your current home to enable you to age in place or to purchase a new home, this program will give you an understanding of the options and features of universal design and the AARP HomeFit resource.

Instructor:  Architect and AARP HomeFit presenter, Gene Nicolelli
Capacity:  30
Cost: Free and open to the public.



If you are interested in teaching a Lifelong Learning class or if you have an idea for a new class offering, please contact Chris Ellison at 664-3707

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