By Arnold Rose
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Many increased their friendly visits to persons in nursing homes as well as in private homes. More transportation was made available to those needing it. A picnic for the aged was held in Aitkin County; because of its success it was thereafter planned as an annual event. Christmas parties were held in several communities in Benton and Sherburne counties, resulting in the organization of clubs. The activities of the senior citizens' clubs have been varied: a birdhouse contest between the men and the women, planting a tree on Arbor Day in honor of the older people of the community but dedicated to the youth, picnics with several clubs uniting, Christmas caroling by the older people, safety-education programs, more visiting by older persons themselves, participation in community charity drives.
In the past two decades the numbers in the age groups from seventy on and especially between seventy-five and eighty-five have been increasing at a faster rate than the sixty-five through sixty-nine group. 5 per cent, and the eighty-five and over group increased 25 per cent. The trend in Minnesota has not been so spectacular as this national trend, but nevertheless there has been a marked difference in the rate of growth of the 40 An Inventory of Our Older Residents number of Minnesota residents past seventy-five and that of those sixty-five through seventy-four.
Over a thousand persons aided in the work without compensation, and at least four thousand others took part in the programs in some other way. If the monetary value of all the volunteer work and contributions in kind were counted, Minnesota's preparations for the White House Conference would have cost at least ten times the $15,000 made available by the federal government. The Council on Aging, under the chairmanship first of Mrs. Althea Atwater and then of Mrs. Walter W. Walker, devoted an increasing part of its time to considering reports of the Planning Committee and its sub-committees, and it set up a special sub-committee to nominate the Minnesota delegates to the White House Conference.