Latest Blog Post

Read the latest article written by EPPIA members, published in the Eden Prairie News.

Ready, Set, Sell Your Home!

As winter is upon us it is exciting and a bit overwhelming to think of getting your house ready for the spring real estate market. We often think “How will I ever get there from here?”

With the right help and frame of mind, you will be ready to sell and looking forward to a new home; one that will better suit your lifestyle and needs. You will want to present your home in the best possible light to get the highest price and sell in the least amount of time. In order to not get overwhelmed as you prepare, it is best to work in steps.

Choose a Professional Real Estate Agent Early On. You may wish to interview a few to find the right one to partner with. They come with multiple levels of services.

Tip Alert: Choose a Realtor that will not only list your house, but one that will partner with you to bring resources and ideas on how to easily work through all of the steps.

Identify and Make Repairs. A good Realtor can look at your home and tell you what repairs would make a difference in sale price and which ones aren’t worth spending money on. They can make suggestions and help you find the right help if you need it. They have access to reputable and cost- effective painters, plumbers, electricians, cleaners, movers and even people that will help you with your yard.

Remove Clutter and Depersonalize. Buyers want to envision living in your home with their belongings. Remove knickknacks, photos, extra furniture and personal items. This makes the rooms look bigger and more inviting to buyers. Pay special attention to organizing closets and storage areas. Your Realtor will give you staging and furniture placement advice to help present your house at its best.

Tip Alert: Mark and identify items in each room into three categories: Move, Sell or Donate. Your realtor can help you with recommendations on ways to work with items in all three categories or help you find a moving specialist that can work with you “hands on” in this process if needed.

Make Front Door/Porch Look Inviting. This is the first thing buyers see and money spent in this area has the highest return on the price of your home. If needed replace or have the front door painted and add a new welcome mat.

Make Everything Shine. From light fixtures and floors to everything in between, make every surface shine. Scrub every inch of kitchens and bathrooms.

Improve the Landscape, Exterior and Clean Windows. As the weather warms, look to the outside of your home to make sure your yard is at its best. Trim bushes, clean the flower beds and lay down new mulch where needed.

Find Necessary Paperwork. Locate and gather prior disclosures, inspections and paperwork from when you bought your house. Make a list of all of the improvements that you have made and things that you love about your home and neighborhood for prospective buyers to see.

Tip Alert: As you progress through these steps, always count the things each day that you have accomplished more than the things that you still need to do. It will keep you in the right frame of mind and help you to not get overwhelmed in the process.

When you finish you can confidently know that your home will show in the very best light. The Realtor you have partnered with will list your home on MLS, and sell it for the best possible price and you will happily move on to your next home.

Peggy Melbye, Realtor - Coldwell Banker Burnet

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at

What Do Seniors Want?

What do seniors want? Not surprisingly, there are probably as many answers to that question as there are types of people. But even though there is no magic answer, there are a number of ideas that can help you find the right gift for that special senior in your life.
First, a few guiding principles that should help point you in the right direction:

  • Know your senior: What is their living situation (e.g. do they live independently, are they in assisted living or memory care?) Do they have any health issues to consider such as diabetes, impaired vision or hearing, mobility issues, etc.?

  • Know their needs: Many older adults have been frugal all of their lives and may have worn out items that are often used. Linens such as bath towels, sheets and blankets, dish towels, etc. are good items to update and replace. Do they need anything new for the kitchen like utensils, pans, a coffee pot or a toaster? Other gifts that might be appreciated can be mundane things as socks, underwear, robes, slippers, and pajamas as well. A new shirt, sweater or piece of jewelry can help your loved one spruce up for the holidays and make them feel special.

  • Know their likes: Do they have a favorite color, fragrance, author, music, etc. Do they have a hobby, use a computer, play a sport, like puzzles and games, go to movies, eat out, etc.? Gift cards to restaurants movie theaters, or stores where they tend to shop can also be welcome gifts and are especially good for the senior “who has everything.”

Many people are hesitant to tell you what they really want, so it is important to be observant and a little creative to come up with a gift that will be useful and meaningful. This is true at any age! It can be a little harder coming up with ideas for seniors, as many of them seem to have everything and if they want something many just go out and buy it. I’ve asked some of the seniors I know what they would recommend as gifts for seniors and here are a few of their ideas:

  • Time with my children and/or grandchildren. One at a time, so we can spend some quality time together.
  • An experience. This could be lots of things, depending on your budget such as tickets to a play or concert, sporting event, fishing outing, weekend getaway, etc.
  • Gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters, favorite stores, beauty salon, massage, etc.
  • A “certificate” to help with household chores and repairs.
  • A “certificate” to shop for and prepare a special dinner for your special senior.
  • Things that are consumable such as candy, fragrances, body lotion, special soaps, food items, a good bottle of wine, and chocolates to get your ideas started!
  • Books, magazine and/or newspaper subscriptions.
  • A calendar with family photos, framed photos of children, grandchildren, etc.

The thing is that when you start thinking about it, there are really a lot of good ideas you can come up with for your special senior. And I would suggest that this system can also work for seniors who need to buy gifts for their families and friends. So, if you are like me and haven’t finished your shopping yet, there is still time for coming up with great gifts for the special people in our life!

Holly Hansen, Senior Partner
Brilliant Moves –

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at

Changing Seasons = Changing Routines

Just when you were indulging in fruits and vegetables fresh from the gardens your thoughts begin to lean towards comfort foods, stews and soups.

Just when you built a routine of walking around the lake, block or apartment building your thoughts wander towards fireplaces, hot chocolate and a good book.

Just when you finally fit into those favorite blue shorts your thoughts turn to towards big sweaters and comfortable baggy pants.

But do we have to give up those healthy habits we formed during the summer just because it is getting cold outside? Uh oh, be alert my dear friends. History has told us that when we begin to toss out the awareness we gained of what we are eating, wearing and how we are moving that body in the summer months, we begin to change our minds towards cover up, comfort, and hibernating bear-like behavior.

Be purposeful as you make changes to accommodate fall weather. Fall is a great time to go through recipes and organize an exchange. Following nutritional suggestions of low fat and low salt meals browse your favorites to come up with five you would like to share with others. You can see the importance of growing your group! Everyone brings five recipes and before you know it you have a healthy recipe book with some of your favorites and some new ones to try!
TIP ALERT: Keep frozen veggies in your freezer to add to those soups to boost the nutrition and give your soups a little more volume. If you don’t care for so many veggies in your soups and stews you can always puree them for the benefits.

Moving that body might seem a little more complicated in the cooler months but that is the best time to grab a buddy and go for a walk. Many people don’t do well in the summer heat so encourage someone to take up your habit in the brisk fall air or indoors at a mall. Look in the paper or local offerings and try out a new strength training class. Research shows that strength training keeps depression away! What about that yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates class you have always thought sounded interesting? This is a great transition time to give it a whirl.
TIP ALERT: Create your own human checkerboard or chess game-think while you move.

If you are looking for new ways to get out and discover your community this fall set up a sightseeing adventure to the zoo, Fort Snelling, discovering of neighboring parks for an investigative walk. Organize a leaf find, bird watch or fall flowers around the park.

Keep in mind that working out and watching how you change your daily intake does matter through the changing of the seasons. After all we are not bears, so planning on pulling up those comfy pants and pulling that forgiving sweater over our head does not help our blood pressure, heart rate or overall health.

While the seasons change our focus on our wellness should not. Go ahead and enjoy the temperature change, arrival of fall colors and yes, a change in what we wear. But stay ever mindful of how you take care of your body, after all it is the only one you get. I wish you the very best of the third season of the year!

Terri Mattson
Beginning Today Lifestyle Wellness

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at

Don’t Just Downsize – RIGHT SIZE!

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the term “Downsizing.” What this can mean to a lot of older adults is a sad parting with things they have used and loved for many years, and as a result, downsizing can have a negative connotation. Instead of just experiencing loss as you clear out your home of many years in preparation to move to something smaller, think about “Rightsizing” instead.

So what is Rightsizing and how is it different from Downsizing? Rightsizing is a shift in perspective from Downsizing and puts the focus on what you need in your new home rather than what you are leaving behind in your old home. In other words, it looks forward rather than only backward. It is an approach that can help bring joy and anticipation to change rather than only feeling a sense of loss. Some basic concepts of Rightsizing are noted below:

• Focus on the furniture that will work in your new home: consider size and function.
• Use furniture and artwork in new ways and/or different rooms.
• Buy something new for your new home such as a kitchen or dining table that is smaller in scale better suited to your new space.
• Perk up an old lamp with a new lampshade.
• Add some color to you bathroom and/or bedroom with new towels, shower curtain and/or a new bedspread.
• Make a scrapbook of family photos that you don’t have space to hang.
• Edit your kitchen – how many sets of china, glassware, silverware, pans, etc. do you really need? Keep the things you use and love the most.
• Have a bunch of mismatched glasses or dishes that have seen better days? Get something new and treat yourself.
• Keep clothes and shoes in good condition that fit you, that you like, and that you wear.

While Rightsizing can involve buying a few new things, this does not have to be expensive. Let your family and friends know what you would like. Buy things on sale. Check out consignment stores, thrift stores, antique stores, yard sales, etc. Rightsizing might sound like it is the opposite of downsizing, but it is not. It does include letting go of old things that you have accumulated over your lifetime. Thank these belongings for the pleasure and service they have given you, and let them go on to be of use to someone else. This could be a family member, a friend, or a complete stranger who gets something of yours through your charitable donation. This is truly a wonderful and satisfying way to help people who need things that you no longer need or use.

Another aspect of Rightsizing is that it can be used to organize your home. Kitchens, bathrooms and closets are the areas to focus on here. There are a number of containers, trays, shelf extenders, bins, etc. that can help organize and maximize the usefulness of a variety of spaces in your new home. Repurpose an old basket a bin, a piece of plastic ware. Maybe something you used in the office would work well in a kitchen or bathroom for organizing miscellaneous items. Think about old things in a new way. Check out the variety of styles and sizes of silverware, utensil and other containers that are available. A final note to say about Rightsizing is that it can bring some fun, creativity, and joy into a moving process that is otherwise stressful.

Holly Hansen, Partner
Brilliant Moves
612-605-7303 -

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at

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