Winona Senior Advocacy


Our mission is to help older citizens remain independent in their homes.


  • Director: Laura Hoberg
  • Senior Advocate: Lori Paulson
  • Senior Advocate: Marite’ Olmstead


The Senior Advocacy Program offers information, referral and assistance to all individuals in Winona County age 60 and over who live independently in our community.

This is a free and confidential service.

No one will be refused access to the service because of race, religion, color, sex, economic status or disability.

The Senior Advocacy Program will make every attempt to provide adequate staff and/or equipment to ensure program accessibility to disabled individuals.


The Senior Advocacy Program provides:

  • Educational Programs
    • Basics of Medicare
    • Medicare Updates
    • Dementia Friends Training
  • Home Visits
    • An advocate can visit your home if you have mobility difficulties or limited access to transportation
  • Information and Referral to local programs and services
  • Medicare Assistance
    • What coverage is best for you
    • Help for individuals new to Medicare
    • Plan changes from year to year
  • Supportive Services in:
    • Housing
    • Application for Benefits
      • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
      • Winona County Human Services application for services
      • Medicare Savings Program
      • Medical Assistance
      • Energy Assistance
        • Assists with heat and electric costs
      • Property Tax and Rent Rebates
      • And more
    • Advance Directive for Health Care Preparation
    • Notary Services
    • Health Insurance Counseling
      • Medicare Parts A & B
      • Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
      • Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)
      • Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
    • Money Management

The Senior Advocates also assist individuals with:

  • Free cell phone or telephone discount
  • Housing Applications
  • Prescription assistance programs

The Senior Advocates make connections with other services available in our community:

  • Companionship
  • In-home health and chore services
  • Legal services
    • Power of Attorney 
    • Advance Directives
    • Housing Issues
  • Nutrition services
    • Congregate dining 
    • Home Delivered Meals
  • Transportation options

Support Programs

  • Dementia Friendly Community (DCF) Creating a safe and supportive community for persons with memory loss, their care partners and families through programs including:
    • Weekly Memory Cafe’s
      • A stigma-free social gathering for people living with memory loss, their care partners, and people who support people living with memory loss
      • In-person and over Zoom
    • The Forget Me Notes Chorus
      • A real choral experience for people living with memory loss, their care partners, and people who support people living with memory loss
    • Dementia Friends Informational Sessions
      • A global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Dementia Friends help to create a safe environment and supportive community for all.
  • Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH), is a program for people who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia at home. The program makes it possible for people to live in their own homes longer, addressing problems related to caregiver health that often force people to move their loved ones to long term care facilities. If the caregiver is better able to manage the challenges of caregiving, the person he or she cares for will benefit as well.

Friendships Forever

Since 2014, the Friendships Forever program has helped mobilize older, homebound adults in the Winona community stay connected with programs and peers at the Friendship Center. Through the use of volunteers and Zoom technology, individuals can participate in activities right from their home. To learn more, sign up, or volunteer, contact the Friendship Center at 507-454-5212.