Congratulations, nursing assistant graduates!

The International Institute of Minnesota, which provides education and training for New Americans, celebrates new graduates from its Nursing Assistant Training Program every quarter. With a blend of English Language Learner (ELL) support, content review and instruction, the course prepares students for careers in long-term care. Before taking the state exam, nursing assistant students must…

Surviving breast cancer—twice

The first time the doctor told me I had breast cancer, I remember not wanting to tell my husband. We had married as widowers, and his first wife and other family members had died of cancer. One of my aunts had also died of breast cancer. But since they caught the cancer early, during a…

Local institute connects New Americans to long-term care careers

“Virtually all of our students end up working in long-term care. It’s what they want to do,” says Michael Donahue, Associate Director at the International Institute of Minnesota. “The cultures of most societies represented in New American populations so esteem elders. They tell us it would be like taking care of a grandparent.” As one…

Spend quality time with elderly loved ones

Spending quality time with residents is very rewarding, and some of my favorite experiences have happened when I accompanied residents to the county fair. The fair gets residents to think back to memories from their own lives, whether it’s something they raised in the garden or something they entered in a sewing contest. One gentleman…

The Great Minnesota Get-Together starts today

That’s right, that harbinger of the end of summer, the Minnesota State Fair is now underway! It’s been a Minnesota institution for more than 150 years, but it’s apparently aging well. Attendance records have been set several times in the past few years. This year, there are some new attractions at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.…