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From the May 2020 Newsletter

Let's Stay Connected!

Thank you for being part of our TTN community! As we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, our primary concern remains the health of our members. Every decision we’ve made has been to support the safety and well-being of our community while staying committed to our mission to connect women during times of transition.

We continue to plan in-person events and gatherings for summer and fall so we are poised to resume our traditional methods of connecting when health conditions permit. Additionally, since our TTN population is considered high risk the Chapter Leadership is making some changes to how we deliver our programs and group meetings to honor social distancing and expand program delivery options for the future. We will keep you advised as the local health conditions evolve and further impact our planning.
  • Large group development programs and social gatherings:
    • Spring large group development programs are currently postponed through May:
      • NOTE April 30 Spring Quarterly Program Active Aging with Joy Loverde is rescheduled on October 29. April 30 registrations have been transferred to the October 29 event unless a registrant requests a refund.
    • Spring social gatherings are either postponed or offered virtually:
      • Get Connected gatherings are being scheduled on Zoom:
        • Cinco de Mayo Get Connected is May 5 at 5:00 PM.
    • Summer and Fall large group development programs and social gatherings will be case by case as health conditions require/permit. Stay tuned as plans may change.
      • June 27 Women Weaving Words. This event will be focused on women’s stories and hosted in a member’s garden
      • August Picnic in a City Park
      • September 26 Women in Transition Workshop
      • October 29 Active Aging Program with national author and speaker Joy Loverde
      • Winter or Spring Quarterly Program on Resilience with presenter Kathy Marshall, U of M Center for Spirituality and Healing
    • If you are currently registered for an event and wish to cancel, please do so at least 24 hours ahead. A refund will be processed, or you can donate the fee to TTN as some of you have already done.
  • Special Interest Group and Transition Peer Group Meetings:
    • Many SIGs and TPGs have made a resilient transition to Zoom meetings during this time of social distancing. Thanks to the goodwill, creativity, and hard work of group leaders!
    • The Chapter Zoom videoconferencing subscription is available for all SIG and TPG meetings. Check with Cyndy or Jill if you want to set up/need assistance with a TTN Zoom meeting.
    • As health conditions change, TPGs and SIGs should decide as a group their preferred method of meeting.
  • New: Chapter Caring Collaborative Program:
    • Informal Small Group Discussions are offered on May 20 & 21 via Zoom
    • Future programs on health-related topics are being explored
    • Piloting more Caring Collaborative functions is under consideration when circumstances permit.
  • Virtual Programs and Events sponsored by National TTN and 13 other TTN Chapters:
    • MSP TTN members are eligible to attend, at the member rate, any programs sponsored by National TTN.
    •  MSP TTN members may attend, at the member rate, any programs sponsored by another TTN Chapter and designated as ‘open.’
    • Recent program topics include: Friendship, Finding Purpose, Mindfulness, Resilience, Reframing Aging, Science of Well-Being, How Seniors are Saving the World, How to Create Meaningful Connections and more.

We are a self-directed, nationally and locally supported chapter that promotes enlightening programs, communications and connections that inspire our members and grow our membership. Like you during these unprecedented times, we are improvising. We are exploring ways to make the most of new opportunities and methods to grow and support our community of women in innovative ways.
We are an all-volunteer chapter and are continuously looking for women with a desire to engage in meaningful ways – we match your interests with our chapter needs. We invite you to create the Special Interest Group or Transition Peer Group you are interested in, collaborate on programs you want to see developed/offered and contribute your ideas for new ways to connect. Collectively, through our curiosity, wisdom, and talents we can create light for our community during these unfortunate times.

From the April 2020 Newsletter

First, we hope you are all taking good care of yourself and your loved ones. Whether you are a long-term member or new to The Transition Network you are navigating through unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic is requiring major transitions in how we live our lives. This is the type of changing life situation that leads individuals to seek new connections, resources and opportunities and it is the mission of TTN to provide opportunities to connect women during times of transition. Connecting has become more difficult as we attempt to distance ourselves from others to protect ourselves and “flatten the curve” to moderate the impact on our health care systems.
Our Chapter Steering Committee wants to share how we are operating under the circumstances while remaining committed to our mission: 

  • Large group programs and social gatherings are cancelled/postponed thru the end of April:

    • March 14 Get Connected was cancelled

    • March 21 Discover Paris is postponed to an undetermined date

    • April 30 Spring Quarterly Program Active Aging is postponed to October 29

  •  ZOOM videoconferencing is now a Chapter resource and a new method for connecting:

    • All SIG/TPG leads can arrange meetings via ZOOM. Transition Peer Groups and Special Interest Groups should decide as a group, at least a week before the meeting, whether the group should continue to meet, find an alternative meeting method, or go on hiatus until things settle down

    • Our Steering Committee meetings are currently conducted via ZOOM.

    • Our Exploring the Caring Collaborative Committee is considering hosting Discussion Groups via ZOOM.

  • Members can connect with and support each other by signing into your account on the TTN website. You will be able to find other member email addresses by clicking on the Member Directory link. You can contact them initially via email and decide together if you want to connect via email, phone, or any other technology.

  • National TTN will be hosting webinars to teach members how to sign up and use SKYPE as a way to stay connected not only with TTN contacts but with family and others in our lives.

  • Other tools that may be useful to stay connected with family and friends include:  Google Hangouts, Facebook, video calls, Facetime, Free Conference Call, etc.

  • We continue to plan great events for the upcoming year with adjustments as needed:

  • June 27 Women Weaving Words. This event will be focused on women’s stories and hosted in a member’s garden

  • August Picnic in a City Park

  • September 26 Women in Transition Workshop

  • October 29 Active Aging Program with national author and speaker Joy Loverde

  • Quarterly Program on Resilience with presenter Kathy Marshall, U of M Center for Spirituality and Healing.

We recognize that our chapter strength comes from our members and the breadth and depth of your collective wisdom. We welcome any ideas or suggestions from you especially for expanding our repertoire of methods for staying connected during these challenging times. Let us know your thoughts and Stay well! 

From the February 2020 Newsletter

What is a Caring Collaborative?
That is the question seven members of our Minneapolis/St. Paul TTN Chapter have been exploring since September 2019.
The Caring Collaborative originated over a decade ago in the New York City Chapter of The Transition Network. Drawing from the chapter membership of TTN, the NYC Caring Collaborative developed a network of women to help one another with rides to doctor/medical procedure/day surgery appointments or when short-term illness or disability strikes.
Most members of The Transition Network cherish their independence and capacity to navigate successfully through the stages of a long life. However, most of us have witnessed someone who has experienced an unexpected accident or health issue that requires temporary limitations to their capacity to operate independently.   
Barbara Stahura, 65, a longtime heath care executive and prior chair of New York City’s Caring Collaborative, calls this “help insurance.” It is unpaid, informal, but essential. “You need to plan for it before you need it,” she said and belonging to a group of this kind is one way to accomplish that. 
Hearing tidbits about Caring Collaboratives in other TTN Chapters piqued the interest of Tracey Baker, Nancy Bargsten, bj Christy, Julie Efta, Kathleen Peterson, Karen West and Jill Goski to explore together whether a Caring Collaborative should be considered in MSP. By the end of December, we had interviewed representatives from New York City, San Francisco, and Long Island, three of the four TTN Chapters that have experience with Caring Collaboratives. We hope to interview a representative from the fourth chapter, Philadelphia, soon.  
While there are some common elements and themes across these three chapters, there are also differences. The Caring Collaborative has three core elements - all confidential: 

  • an information exchange, which members use to share information about medical conditions and medical providers; 
  • a service corps of women who volunteer to provide hands-on assistance to other members; and
  • groups that meet to talk about health topics or participate in health education programs.
Each Caring Collaborative adopts the program elements appropriate for their community. Our committee task in the new year is to explore the repertoire of resources available locally and determine where there may be gaps that may be filled by developing a Caring Collaborative locally.
In January we met with Honoring Choices to learn about their programs and services. Additional organizations and resources we plan to consider include
  • Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging/Senior Linkage Line,
  • American Bar Association Commission on Aging,
  • Minnesota Elder Justice Center,
  • Citizens League,
  • Bush Foundation, and
  • Solos Taking Charge Meetup Group

Our intent is to gather more information from our members and share information at our April 30 program on Active Aging with Joy Loverde.  Stay tuned!
To read an article about the Caring Collaborative:

From the January 2020 Newsletter

2019 has been a remarkable year for our Minneapolis/St. Paul TTN community. We became the 14th official chapter of TTN in June.  Over 70 women, including TTN Executive Director Susan Collins, attended our “Celebrate TTN” event in May. Our membership reached 90 members this Fall and shows all indications of continued growth. And, as a result of the diverse interests and leadership of our talented members, our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Transition Peer Groups (TPGs) have multiplied significantly.
We are appreciative of our members, participants in our events and programs, and those who have TTN on their radar screen for possible future involvement. With our exceptional community of women our 2020 vision is for continued opportunities to connect, discover, and create impact through TTN. Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!