The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Minneapolis 2013,

Nokomis Healthy Seniors

Nokomis Healthy Seniors (NHS) began in 1994 as part of a Medicare demonstration project with a goal of keeping seniors safe and healthy in their own homes. Upon completion of the project after 6 years (and subsequent loss of federal funding), the community realized the benefit of the program and sought alternative funding to keep a good idea going. Nokomis Healthy Seniors is part of the Living at Home Network- a unique, statewide non-profit program model that coordinates volunteers and health professionals from the community to help their older neighbors stay in their own homes.

Today NHS serves 590 seniors in the South Minneapolis community through public and private funding and volunteer and paid staff effort.

What new functionality we are looking for

1. Reaching Out to Seniors and Their People.

Our current website is functional and we are grateful for the volunteer who put it together. It has most of the nuts and bolts we need, but not much of the visual interest or intuitive organization of a professional website. Seniors are increasingly internet-savvy, especially the younger senior population and aging boomers. With a redesigned website, we will be able to increase our visibility in our South Minneapolis community to reach out not just to seniors, but also to their friends, neighbors, adult children, and grandchildren (near and far) who look to our website to find support for their own senior parents, friends, and neighbors. We have a lot of activities scheduled, so a better-organized website will highlight what’s going on right now and in the near future. Although we have a newsletter (which is expensive to print so we can only put it out 3 times a year now), we need an appealing and easy-to-use website that can eventually supplant the newsletter as a source of news, information, photos, updates, and contact info. Although it took us a while, we’ve recently started a Facebook page. We want to use Facebook to drive people to our website, and use our website to expand our reach on Facebook.  

2. Reaching Out to Donors and Volunteers.

As we’ve become increasingly crunched on the funding front, our website also needs to appeal to potential donors as well as volunteers. Since we’re a small nonprofit, we’re always on the edge financially since we rely on donations and grant funding. We need a website that appeals to donors and can help solicit donations of money and time. It’s amazing how often we as friends and neighbors live near seniors and we don’t realize how some little things can help so much, so we want a website that appeals to those who want to volunteer their time and services to the seniors in this community.


3. Providing a Hub for Non-NHS Resources.

We also envision a website that acts as a referral hub for services that are beyond the scope of NHS. We want to position ourselves clearly within a whole array of helping organizations for seniors and work with those organizations to reach out to those who need our help.

How the new functionality will help

A new website will allow effective interaction with the seniors of the Nokomis Healthy Seniors services area as well as family (sometimes geographically distant), friends and neighbors of seniors. We know that we currently reach about 10% of the seniors in the NHS service area, and that most of the seniors who are involved in NHS have been referred by friends/family/neighbors—the exact people we want to make sure know about NHS and can easily use the website to both gather information, seek additional help, and get involved. These are the people who also volunteer and donate and they have a very real connection to the people being served by NHS.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

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49 Messages from Supporters

2013-02-07 18:57:42 UTC

Nokomis Healthy Seniors is truely a Great organization. I participate in many activities - exercise, walking the halls, blood pressure on Thursdays and pedicures for my husband and myself. I attend programs and services which are many.

2013-01-30 18:08:43 UTC
Megan Elliasen

Nokomis Healthy Seniors is a small non-profit with a big impact. It offers a wide array of services to help seniors stay in the homes they love, from transportation to medical appointments, weekly nursing clinics, exercise class and social activities that are just as important to health and well being such as lunch and a movie, bingo parties and art groups. With an amazing new website from the nerdery challenge, Nokomis Healthy Seniors could reach even more seniors!

2013-01-30 23:00:56 UTC
Julie Toth

I've volunteered for Nokomis Healthy Seniors for about 7 years, and I've seen the program grow in the breadth of services and number of seniors served. As we've grown, keeping connected to seniors and the family, friends and neighbors who want to support them has become increasingly difficult. A website that's friendly and easy to navigate, and that connects both the seniors and potential volunteers/donors to NHS would very definitely be an asset. So many times I've heard, "What a great service! Everyone should know about this!" or "I couldn't get by without NHS' help" -- I know what we do is valued. I also know there are plenty of seniors yet to be reached, and plenty of folks who would be thrilled to know this kind of service for seniors exists and would support it. A website that brings us into a new era, using technology to help us help others is just what we need!

2013-01-31 15:58:00 UTC
Cathy Bray RN

Nokomis Healthy Seniors is a great organization to work for. Our mission of helping seniors stay in their homes is a valuable asset for our community and state. As people age they often need just a few services to enable them to remain at home. We help them find those services and get them implemented. We also stress the importance of staying physically active and socially connected and offer classes and activities to keep our participants healthy and happy. We continue to grow so now we serve over 590 seniors in the South Minneapolis area. A new website could benefit our organization in so many ways.

2013-01-31 16:25:30 UTC
Martha Marlowe

As a client of Nokomis Healthy Seniors, I'd be lost without it. My favorite day of the week is Thursday, when I can go to Nokomis Healthy Seniors and gather with other seniors, enjoy coffee and treats and check in with the nurse. I am able to have my blood pressure checked every week to make sure it is stable. This Thursday is special because we will stay for a free Lunch and a Movie and really enjoy each others company. If any organization deserves a new website it is Nokomis Healthy Seniors, they can reach even more people with a new website.

2013-01-31 16:28:05 UTC
Lynn Radecki

I've been involved with Nokomis Healthy Seniors since 1998 and have seen what a difference the staff and volunteers have made in the lives of the neighborhood seniors. This organization has a staff and volunteer network dedicated to helping seniors remain in the community where many have lived most of their lives. As a small organization trying to assist more seniors in the area, an updated website would help Nokomis Healthy Seniors reach more seniors, volunteers and donors. What a great opportunity for this organization, the neighborhood, the seniors and their families.

2013-01-31 17:05:21 UTC
Herb Nelson

If it weren't for Nokomis Healthy Seniors (NHS), I would not be writing this. Nineteen years ago I was asked to participate in a new program funded by Medicare to help seniors stay in their homes with a little assistance. This program was Nokomis Healthy Seniors. I had my blood pressure checked by the program nurse, and it was extremely high. I was told to contact my doctor immediately. I went to the doctor at once and was put on medication right away. Because of this I was able to avoid stroke and sudden death. NHS has been checking my blood pressure every week since then to make sure that it is stable. It is recorded in a chart that I can bring to my doctor so that he can monitor it as well. Even my doctor is impressed by how NHS is monitoring my blood pressure. I want to thank the people who worked hard to carry on the program even after that original medicare funding ceased.

2013-01-31 17:11:22 UTC
Gloria Everson

Nokomis Healthy Seniors is a great resource for seniors. We provide referrals every day for services seniors are looking for weather it's something we provide or something other organizations provide. With more people learning to use the internet, the younger seniors being computer savey, and people looking more to computers for resources, it would be very helpful for us to have a website that is easy to access and shows our many services. we see our website becoming more and more of a necessity for us to operate effectively! A good website would also be important for Adult Children who live out of the area to use when looking for information about the area services their parent lives in!

2013-01-31 18:34:09 UTC
Sandra L. Smith

Nokomis Healthy Seniors has been and continues to assist Seniors in many ways but the most important one is that it allows them to stay in their homes and receive the services they need. Nokomis Healthy Seniors keeps looking for ways to ake sure that the seniors are also connected with other seniors by the programs they put on regularly for the benefit of all seniors. I'm very glad to be a part of this group and hope it continues for a lifetime.

2013-01-31 18:45:44 UTC
Rob Baas

Nokomis Healthy Seniors is an absolutely wonderful non-profit organization with a critically important mission - serve the multitude of growing needs of a senior population that continues to increase in size. And, having served on its board for years, I understand the challenges it faces from a funding perspective. It looks to use dollars it receives through grants, funding, fundraisers and donations to build, maintain and enhances services that have a direct impact on seniors lives. There are so many things going on through Nokomis Healthy Seniors! And seniors, children and grandchildren of seniors, neighbors, and others all would greatly appreciate having an enhanced website that helps with communication of events, opportunities to participate/volunteer, how donations can be made, and more. Nokomis Healthy Seniors is such a deserving organization to benefit from the wonderful opportunity being afforded through the Nerdery Challenge!

2013-01-31 19:09:24 UTC
Zan Ceeley

I've been a volunteer for Nokomis Healthy Seniors for three years, and I've been so impressed with this organization. It's such a great and simple idea to connect seniors with those who can give occasional assistance to help our elder neighbors stay where they want to be—in their own homes. I was originally motivated by my mom, who lives in a faraway state, since she is in her 80s and doesn't drive but is fiercely independent and has no intention of moving out of her house. I know what it means for her to get out occasionally, not just to appointments but to see people and be social. And I can see how a better, more appealing NHS website will enhance those connections for seniors as well as for their families, volunteers, and donors who see the value in this wonderful nonprofit organization.

2013-01-31 19:26:21 UTC
Marilyn McConnell

I have been coming NHS for 17 years. I appreciate all the help they have been given me. Everyone is friendly and helpful. This group has helped me to overcome a depression problem. I look forward to coming here every Thursday for the nursing clinic and chance to socialize. I seldom miss a week.

2013-01-31 19:33:32 UTC
Jo Jacobs

Nokomis Healthy Seniors provides so many wonderful opportunities to seniors. The exercise classes, blood pressure clinics, rides to medical appointments all fullfil specific needs. These, PLUS Lunch and a Movie, Valentines and Christmas Bingo parties also offer wonderful, healthy socialization opportunities which would otherwise diminish as we age. We really need to make more people aware of this wonderful organization through a new and improved website.

2013-01-31 19:34:42 UTC
Jim Allenson

I always look forward to our workouts with Becky during exercise class!

2013-01-31 19:35:46 UTC
Arlene Gable

On a cold day I'm willing to come out for exercise class at Nokomis Healthy Seniors because it is such a great experience!

2013-01-31 19:37:07 UTC
Jeanine Mory

Exercise class is a kick! Great music, always something new in the exercises, causing us to exercise both brain and muscles! It's a great organization.

2013-01-31 19:38:19 UTC
Nancy Duncan

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to teach Chair Yoga at NHS once a week. I think it’s a great organization for helping seniors stay as independent as they can be and providing positive, life enhancing activities. As the daughter and sometimes caregiver of elderly parents and through my experience an RN I see a great need for the services that NHS offers. I think an effective website is more and more important as a tool for organizations like NHS to provide access to information about their services and to keep the community informed.

2013-01-31 19:38:27 UTC
Bob Anderson

The staff here are so helpful. I come for the exercise program two days a week and I feel it is a really great benefit to my life!

2013-01-31 20:13:54 UTC

It is an honor to work for an organization that helps so many! I feel the staff is so dedicated to do their mission of helping seniors stay in their homes. We have over a 100 volunteers that help with so many things, from dog walking, to plumbing, to fixing tvs. I beleive that a better website could help us reach more clients, especially the diabetic clients that I work with who need an RN for footcare.

2013-01-31 21:16:53 UTC

I use Nokomis Healthy Seniors for rides to my medical appointments. I don't know what I'd do without them. If they had a website more people could use them.

2013-01-31 21:21:27 UTC

Nokomis healthy seniors was so helpful to me when my parent began to have difficulty managing in there home. NHS set up nursing services so they could remain in their home safely. Thanks again Nokomis Healthy Seniors!!!

2013-01-31 21:27:45 UTC
Edith H.

The Caregiver support group sponsored by the Nokomis Healthy Senior program has been so helpful to me. Because of this group I no longer feel alone as I care for my husband. I think that a new website would help them get their message out to more seniors.

2013-01-31 21:34:58 UTC
Edward Hanson

Nokomis Healthy Seniors has a nurse that provides foot care to seniors. I have been using this service for several years because I cannot cut my own nails any more. The nurse does a very good job!

2013-01-31 21:48:46 UTC
Lois J.

I just started going to the Diabetes Support group sponsored by the NHS program. I find it very helpful. This is a welcomed service. Thanks!!

2013-01-31 22:36:47 UTC
Mark W

Nokomis Healthy Seniors does more than help seniors with their health care needs, they help strengthen the community. When I worked in South Minneapolis their annual clean-a-thon helped all of us "young" professionals realize that the seniors in the neighborhood were the glue that held the community together. NHS gave us an opportunity to serve people who normally wouldn't ask for help, reconnect to an older generation and build connections which may be needed in times of need or distress.

2013-01-31 23:59:31 UTC

I have been a volunteer driver for about 5 yrs. I wish there was a way to accurately relate the words of the people I drive. They are so thankful and happy to have a safe, warm ride to their appointments. This service helps the seniors stay in their homes longer, and to be safe. Nokomis Seniors helps in many ways, the least being the driving. I personally use the Blood Pressure check on Thursdays. It is nice to see the seniors exercising, socializing with coffee and cookies.

2013-02-01 17:19:44 UTC
Janet Myers

I've volunteered with NHS for several years (maybe 10?) and appreciate it both as a service to the community and an activity that helps me grow. I wish every community could be served by such an agency and cadre of volunteers!

As the volunteer who tries to keep the current site up-to-date, I'd like to have one that's easier to maintain and that NHS staff could update without a lot of training or specialty software. It would also be great if we could track how many visitors access the site and what they read.

2013-02-02 00:46:01 UTC
Sandi Finke

As a volunteer in the office and as a participant of some of the programs, I am a younger senior that enjoys the Internet. A new website would make it easier for us to know what is offered at NHS. Plus a great way for adult children to find resources to enable parents to stay in the homes they love.

2013-02-02 01:00:05 UTC
Sandi Finkr

As a volunteer and participant, I am a younger senior that enjoyed researching through the internet. A new website would give me and others a way to keep up to date on what's offered and available at NHS. What a good resource for finding help for elderly parents that want to stay in their home. NHS also offers social gatherings to keep the seniors' minds and bodies active.

2013-02-02 16:46:40 UTC
Jean Bickett

I was part of the original organization that developed this program. I gathered the data and sent it to Medicare. I was extremely disappointed when Medicare dropped its funding, but very proud that the Nokomis Healthy Seniors continued. Over the years I have seen how important this program is to the community (even tho I do not live in the community). After the Medicare funding stopped I found myself keeping up with the activities of this program. I am amazed how this program impacts the community. I have talked with staff, volunteers, and participants and have learned how dedicated all these people are to the community. A new website will help this wonderful program grow. Remember "volunteering (and caring) is the rent we pay on earth".

2013-02-02 19:55:06 UTC
Jean Bickett

This is my second testimonial, but the first one does not show up on this screen, so here I go again. I was involved with the beginning of the Project in 1994. I gathered the data and sent it to Medicare. I was very disappointed when the government stopped their funding for a wonderful concept and program. That did not stop Nokomis staff, volunteers, and participants. The Nokomis community needed this program and were determined to succeed. By working together they have helped each other. I do not live in the area of this program but have kept up with many of the volunteers, participants, and staff. Every year I look forward to the Fall Frolic fundraiser to visit with the friends that I have made over the years. Especially talking baseball with an older gentleman. I am impressed by the dedication of all who are involved with the program . An updated Website would definitely help this program and the Nokomis community to continue. I feel "volunteering (and caring for others) is our rent we pay to be here on earth". Thank you.

2013-02-04 18:43:11 UTC
Becky Beeskow

I have been a staff at Nokomis Healthy Seniors for almost 16 years. I have seen so many changes with the program. The one thing that has stayed the same is the mission of helping seniors to continue living independently in their homes. We have added so many programs, through the years to help seniors in the area achieve that goal. We continue to reach out to more and more seniors each year. Unfortunatetly the funding seems to become more of a challenge. I feel that having a website can help us to reach out to more funders and let people know we are out there. That seniors are a very important asset to society. In the near future, more and more seniors will be using the internet and finding resources on websites. We would like to keep up with the times and be available as possible as time goes on. We would really benefit to having a great new website.

2013-02-05 00:35:24 UTC
Janet R

I have volunteer with the clean-a-thon for the past 4 years. It is a great opportunity for people in the community to help seniors keeping up their homes that they want to stay living in. I've also attended the Fall Frolic and have seen how much the seniors enjoy the chance to socialize with others. An updated website would hopefully help Nokomis Healthy Seniors reach out to more people in need.

2013-02-06 03:05:34 UTC
Debbie Caelwaerts

For the last three years I've been helping with the clean a thon for the Nokomis Healthy Senior program.It is something I look forward to every year now. I have met some very nice people and enjoy it very much, everyone is always so friendly.

2013-02-06 20:39:33 UTC
Lorraine and Marilyn

We come to many of the functions sponsored by the Nokomis Healthy Senior program. This is a great organization with a great staff! The service they provide for south Minneapolis seniors is wonderful. A new website would help them reach more people and provide care to a greater number of seniors.

2013-02-07 02:36:14 UTC
Deanna Olson

The work that NHS does in their community is vital to the population they serve. Seniors who want to be able to remain at home can do so because of the assistance they receive from the volunteers of NHS. Most of those seniors have concerned family members who want to know what services might be available for their loved ones. One of the tools and resources those younger family members utilize most often is a website. NHS could really use your help to create an informative, easy to navigate website that is easy for the group to maintain. Think of the impact this could have! With your help, NHS would be able to reach even more seniors and their families, helping those seniors to be comfortable and well taken care of in their own homes.

2013-02-07 03:32:01 UTC
Gayle Godfrey

Nokomis Healthy Seniors provides hope to everyone involved in the program. For those of us who were there at the beginning, we witnessed a wonderful evolution of a medicare demonstration project turning into a strong, much needed, community organization. So many people have been positively touched by this non-profit program. We need this website to help us communicate and reach more people who can benefit from our organization. Thank you.

2013-02-07 15:04:07 UTC
Kristen Whittenbaugh

I served as the Director of Nokomis Healthy Seniors for over six years and in that time I had the privilege of knowing and working with so many wonderful seniors, volunteers and community members. I watched this program make immeasurable differences in the lives of so many seniors by providing low-cost or free services to help them remain safely and securely in the homes they love. Being a small nonprofit making a huge impact on seniors quality of life, funding was and continues to be extremely tight. Nokomis Healthy Seniors desperately needs a new and better functioning website to reach a larger audience, whether that is a senior in need, a volunteer, a family member or a potential donor. The program weathered the downturn in the economy but funding continues to be very tight. Nokomis Healthy Seniors cannot afford to finance the construction of a new and better functioning website without this challenge. I believe the Nerdery Challenge was created to help programs just like Nokomis Healthy Seniors.

2013-02-07 15:28:30 UTC
Audrey Damhalt

Nokomis Healthy Seniors is a place that gives us oldies but goldies (aka senior citizens) a source of friendship and comraderie. Through the quarterly mailings we are able to hear about the many services and programs that are offered. A website would make it easier for more people to see what activities are happening there.

We are kept very well entertained at lunches and a movie and get togethers by the wonderful staff, personnel and volunteers who always seem to be there to listen, talk and help with all sorts of questions or problems. NHS gives us all a chance of volunteering and having a family and home away from home, and a feeling of worth- which is the downfall of so many elderly if not available.

2013-02-07 16:15:39 UTC
Joan M

Healthy Senior rocks!!! It is one of the be best secrets in south minneapolis for seniors. Healthy Seniors has a heart for the elderly and helping them in any way possible. It is a great conduit to connect those who want to volunteer with those who need a volunteer. Keep up the great work you do!!

2013-02-07 17:16:21 UTC
Sharon Rodi

In my interaction with the NHS seniors, they have shared glimpses of their lives. Some stories are humorous! (On Monday mornings who on the block had managed to hang their laundry on the clothesline first.) These stories are poignant, tinged with wisdom, joy and sadness, giving an insight into how they have dealt with daily tasks, family, and history.

I have stood in the doorway at Nurse Is In and observed the seniors sitting and conversing over coffee and a treat. At a table, a nurse was taking a senior’s blood pressure and pulse while attentively listening to their current health status. If needed, the nurse will encourage or urge a person to call their clinic for further follow up.

The exercise classes and chair yoga are great! Safely strengthening and stretching muscles is important at all ages. Recently I began attending chair yoga. In chair yoga, the yoga positions are done either sitting on a chair or standing near a chair. (The chair can be used to maintain balance.) I find chair yoga relaxing as we are reminded to drop our shoulders and breathe deeply. As muscles are stretched by the various poses, instructions are given to stretch safely such as tightening the abdomen to assist back muscles. Following this week’s class, one of the women shared that her husband, who had been ill for many years, died last week. During her husband’s illness she had been attending the monthly Caregiver Support group. Because of the support she received, she plans to continue coming to the group.

2013-02-07 17:37:14 UTC
Mary Ann Keating

The Nokomis Healthy Seniors exercise class has been perfect for me. Since it's pay as you go, and pay when I'm in town only. The people are all so friendly and welcoming. It was through a flyer distributed at a local parade that I discovered it or I'd never have known. A new website would be a good way to get this information out also!

2013-02-07 18:51:43 UTC
Thelma Hardman

Love Nokomis Healthy Seniors! They have good and helpful speakers. Have learned a lot. Also, getting together with others and socializing is a lot of fun. The treats are great too!

2013-02-07 23:38:38 UTC
Heather Dunlop

NHS as a client and volunteer driven organization is the quintessential neighborhood organization. If every neighborhood had a program such as this, the needs of community members would much more often be met rather than falling through the cracks.
A website for NHS would extend the tendrils of support. For example, I have volunteered for NHS “Spring Clean-a-thon” for multiple years. The individuals whose houses I’ve clean were great people who couldn’t clean their home. The reason I was gung-ho, and will be again for years to come, to clean their houses was these community members could stay in their own home. These individuals are surrounded by comforting memorabilia, their own furniture, and cherished memories. I am proud to help people stay home. I only wish we could reach more people who need the kind of support that NHS can offer. And reach more volunteers to help with projects such as the “Spring Clean-a-thon.” A dynamic website could help with this goal.
With a new web-site, other organizations can look at the successful example of what NHS provides to the community and emulate their projects. Sharing of information in public health is essential, and through the internet that is possible on a whole new scale. Bringing volunteers and community members together to create a safe and welcome neighborhood would be one way the world could be a better place.

2013-02-08 02:44:26 UTC
Mary D

The Internet is a great way to stay connected. It provides information, communication and a sense of community. An updated website for the NHS would turn an already great program into something more. Like an online community, it could reach even more seniors, their families and friends, generate more funding.

2013-02-08 02:55:07 UTC
judy m

i have volunteered ar the fall frolic. it id such fun to watch the seniors having such fun. but mostly i enjoy seeing those that bring the granddjids.watcging them play bingo, the cake walk or enjoying the wonderful fiod a new website would enavle so many more peipke ri be reached

2013-02-08 13:57:34 UTC
Patsy Morphew

I have just recently started volunteering at NHS and am very impressed with how the organization helps seniors. Many of the seniors do not have family nearby and depend on NHS for rides, socialing, and some of their health needs. An updated Website would be very helpful to spread its message to additional volunteers and benefactors who are very much needed and appreciated.

2013-02-08 22:52:22 UTC
Tess L.

I have enjoyed working @ NHS for nearly 6 years. It is a wonderful organization providing rides, foot care, B/P screening, exercise & Yoga programs. An updated website would allow us to reach out to more seniors as well as their family members- especially those living across the country. It would be a great way for seniors to learn about the many activities NHS offers.

2013-02-08 22:55:53 UTC
Liz H

I have volunteered at NHS many times and have seen first hand what a wonderful and vitally important organization this is for the people it serves. A new website would greatly improve this organization as it would allow NHS to reach more people, and it would also help cut costs on printing and postage for mail away communications that could instead be put online.

Our Mission

Where do you turn when you, your parent, or grandparent is self-sufficient and able to live in their own home but still needs some occasional health-related support, a social outlet, and rides to appointments or a bit of raking? Nokomis Healthy Seniors is a community-based and volunteer-driven organization that serves the seniors of South Minneapolis by providing services and resources to help seniors stay in the homes and neighborhoods they love (where they often have lived for 20, 30, 40, 50-plus years!). We accomplish this by offering medical services (blood pressure clinics, foot care, home care), health promotion (exercise classes, health education programs), and social events (Lunch with a Movie, holiday gatherings, and of course Bingo!). As seniors get older, many have to give up driving, so we’re often relied-upon for rides to medical appointments, grocery shopping assistance, and a connection to other community resources that are beyond our scope of our services. We’ve found that even small amounts of assistance can help a person stay happily and independently in their own home, benefiting themselves and their community.