55Plus Program


The Retreat 55Plus Program immerses you in a vibrant and welcoming community of peers who understand what it is like to be getting sober in the second half of adult life, and are motivated to change and grow.

Entering into recovery from addiction can bring an entirely new sense of purpose and meaning to life. Our program provides you with 12 step tools, guidance, and the peer support you need to build a rewarding new life.  

The Retreat’s time-tested approach has helped thousands of individuals establish a solid foundation of recovery, grounded in the spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. We introduce people who are motivated for change to those who are living recovery at the highest level. By creating a supportive, integrated community, our Day Program; promotes emotional and spiritual growth for adults 55 and up; Creates a bridge to the recovery community and to other resources; Provides a supportive context for addressing major life issues; Employs a holistic, age-specific approach that removes barriers and establishes social connectedness.

The 55Plus Recovery Community at The Retreat is enhanced by our Elder AA meetings on site Tuesdays (8 and 10 am), Thursdays (10 am), Fridays (10 am), Sundays (10 am). Come check them out! 

 During Your 8 Weeks You Will:

  • Explore the 12 Step Principles and Practices as the spiritual foundation for recovery.
  • Gain insight into issues related to life transitions, such as grief and loss, retirement, isolation, physical health challenges, and other major life stresses that impact recovery.
  • Learn about aging and recovery/emotional, physical and spiritual wellness as we mature. 
  • Experience daily speakers, homework and curriculum tailored to the maturing adult. 
  • Participate in the collective wisdom and mutual support of Twelve Step recovery. 

How It Works:

  • Non-Residential: 8 weeks (Monday and Wednesday) 9 am - 3 pm.
  • Residential: 4 weeks attend while in residential, 4 weeks post residential stay 
  • Big Book Alumni Community Participation free for life! (Mondays and Wednesdays 9-10:30 am)  


  • $1,900 Non-residential (8 weeks, includes lunch)
  • $950 Residential (Residential cost $5,400 + 950)

Elder AA Meetings at The Retreat:

  • Elders 12 & 12 Study – Tuesdays 8:00am
  • Elders 12 & 12 Study – Tuesdays 10:00am
  • Elders Big Book Study – Thursdays 10:00am
  • Elders Big Book Stories – Fridays 10:00am
  • Sunday Topic AA Meeting- Sundays 10:00am




Medical News Today: Binge drinking affects 1 in 10 older adults in the US



Dede Armstrong, LADC, MSW, MA

Dede received a Master’s in Science from Columbia University in Social Work with honors in 1989 and in 2016 completed a Masters in Addiction Counseling from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Counseling. Dede’s work experience includes social work positions at The Wilder Foundation and Catholic Charities and has proudly spent 20 plus years raising her four children, one of whom had a disability. Through this experience Dede became an advocate for disabled children, actively volunteering in civic and community organizations.

For the three years Dede has worked as the Coordinator of the 55 Plus Program at The Retreat. Dede’s passion for recovery is equaled by her passion for serving the needs of the growing epidemic of addicted elders in our country. Dede is a champion and advocate for ageing and addiction and has presented on this topic at venues including St. Thomas Graduate School of Social Work and Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Counseling. Dede was a founder and leader of the Addiction Recovery Team at St. Joan of Arc, and a past ambassador of Mental Health Connect. She is currently a board member of Mental Health Connect in SW Minneapolis. Dede has been in recovery from alcohol addiction for over 18 years and is 58 years old.