When the old elderly nutrition site near the south shore of Lower Red Lake froze up and flooded seven or eight years back, the tribe’s elderly nutrition program moved to the upper floor of the Red Lake Humanities building.
But Elderly Nutrition Director Candy Beaulieu has wanted to expand the role of elderly nutrition by providing more activities. Now, she may have the opportunity to turn the elderly nutrition program into an elderly center.
Elderly Nutrition will be moving into the old Red Lake Casino on the north end of the Humanities Center, a much larger space. “In time,” says Beaulieu, “my hopes are that new activities can take place in the new area, and be open for many types of recreation. I’d like to be open most of the day and sometimes into the evening.”
The space now occupied is used mostly as a nutrition site. “That’s not to say there isn’t a social element to the site”, said Beaulieu. “We arrange for elders to go to basketball games (with money provided from Wisdom Steps), and we also have times for groups to go to the casino.
“My dream is that when we move into the new space at the old casino, we can be more like a senior or elder center,” remarked Beaulieu, “to have more of a social element. We’d like to be open for more hours so elders can come and go as they please…to play cards and games. Maybe we could arrange exercise classes, and other things.”
While Beaulieu is pleased with moving into a much larger space, she is a little concerned for lack of windows or natural light. But Beaulieu does look forward to the new Elder Center having access to the new fitness center that will soon open in an adjacent part of the former casino. “That would be great for elders.”
The current Elderly Nutrition site in the upper Humanities building, has a dining hall with thirteen tables in a quite cordial atmosphere. It open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for drop-in meals. In addition, nutrition staff deliver meals to 81 shut-ins in Red Lake and Little Rock, 66 in Redby, and 30 in Ponemah.
Elderly nutrition employs nine people. At Red Lake there are two cooks, a driver, janitor, secretary and Director Beaulieu. Ponemah has one cook, one driver, and a janitor.