Photo caption: Wise Elders celebrating The Day of the Family at Centro Tyrone Guzman.

Photo caption: Wise Elders celebrating The Day of the Family at Centro Tyrone Guzman.

Elders play an important role in our community, transmitting their life’s wisdom and the Latino culture to younger members. Centro Tyrone Guzman has the longest-standing program for Latino seniors in Minnesota.

Photo caption: Wise Elders’ participant drawing in an art workshop.

Photo caption: Wise Elders’ participant drawing in an art workshop.

The Wise Elders Program serves a critical, under-addressed need in our community for culturally and linguistically responsive services to support the holistic health and independent living of individual Latino seniors.

Seniors who are 60 years or older, come to Centro Tyrone Guzman once or twice each week. They engage in a wide variety of day-long recreational, health and educational activities.  Guest speakers provide information about nutrition, health or legal issues.  Seniors also tend to their garden and help children in Siembra Montessori.

ACT on Alzheimer’s

Research shows that Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than whites. The risks faced by Latino elders are further complicated by the fact that many do not regularly access health care services.

A volunteer-driven, statewide collaboration, ACT on Alzheimer’s is preparing Minnesota for the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Currently, 88,000 Minnesotans age 65+ live with Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is growing.

Centro Tyrone Guzman leads the Latino Collaborative for ACT on Alzheimer’s, engaging seniors and community members who work directly or care for Latino seniors to understand dementia, recognize alert signals, and offer expertise to support elders and their loved ones.

A Community-Wide Approach
Centro Tyrone Guzman employs several strategies with its ACT on Alzheimer’s work:

  • Lowering the risk of chronic diseases and boosting overall health and well-being through regular exercise, healthy diet, smoking cessation and treatment for depression

  • Workshops with teens in the Raíces program to increase their understanding of Alzheimer’s and engage them in activities with older adults

  • Workshops (in Spanish and English) for community leaders and staff to increase their knowledge of working with people with Alzheimer’s

  • Partnerships with TPT and Univision to create videos on Alzheimer’s and dementia

  • Partnership with Teatro del Pueblo to create a play for the Spanish-speaking community about the warning signs of Alzheimer’s

“Warning signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia are often misunderstood as symptoms of normal aging in the Latino community, and if a diagnosis is given, there is little understanding of what steps the elder and family members should take. We can help by providing educational workshops and creating a safe environment where they can have an open conversation and share their experiences.”
— Sandra Reyes, Wise Elders Coordinator


  • 94% of participants in Wise Elders report improved health and physical fitness.

  • 95% report a reduced sense of isolation and loneliness


Yoli Chambers
Adult & Aging Programs Administrator