Who We Are
The Vital Aging Network's mission is to promote self-determination, civic engagement, and personal growth for people as they age, through education, leadership development, and opportunities for connection. VAN is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Our vision is that people 50+ involved with the Vital Aging Network will be engaged and contributing throughout their lives. (Click on the flyer to download pdf.)
What We Do
VAN provides information and opportunities for dialogue on our website, in our e-Bulletin, and at monthly VAN Forums. VAN’s Evolve: Re-igniting Self & Community program prepares people 50+ to be civic leaders in their communities.
2015 was an exciting and productive year with strong outcomes. Here are a few highlights:
- Twenty-one individuals completed Evolve courses in Roseville and Bloomington. Participants worked on community projects ranging from exploring the possibility of bringing a YMCA to Bloomington, developing green space at the senior center to working with AARP to create a video to help people defrauded by online dating.
- Age-Friendly Greater Des Moines launched an Evolve class in October 2015 and by all reports are off to a good start.
- Our Wellness 50+ pilot communities—Alexandria, Hamline Midway, Oakdale and Phillips—have done exception work as they continue to grow and deepen their impact.
- During 2015, our Aging with Gusto Task Force added members and focused its attention on creating greater opportunities for participating in these essential discussions about aging. We partnered with Hamline Midway Elders, the YMCA, Episcopal Homes and others.
- In partnership with Lynn Englund and with funding from Ecumen, we offered our Re-defining Home workshop twice during 2015 to sold out audiences and positive feedback.
- Use of the VAN website was up 26% in 2015 over the previous year.
2016 offers exciting new possibilities for the VAN network.
Community Leadership After 50
One of VAN's primary focuses is civic engagement for people 50+. In partnership with Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), VAN produced the following video. The video explores the importance of civic engagement in creating sustainable communities. People 50+ have an opportunity to lead the way.
The Vital Aging Network is organized around these core principles:
- Everyone has the capacity for self-determination, civic engagement, and personal growth no matter his or her level of ability.
- People 50+ have the power to positively affect the quality of their own lives and have the potential to be catalytic leaders in their communities and in society.
- People need access to information and other people to help them live to their full capacity.
- Partnering with other organizations with shared values and missions helps each organization be more effective.
- Individuals, organizations, and communities benefit when older adults are engaged as contributing members of society.
- Everyone is responsible for addressing and resolving inequities that affect older adults in our society.
For additional information, email Mark Skeie, executive director.