Coming to common ground on caring for seniors

When you’re a professional caregiver, you get to know the families of residents fairly well sometimes. With some of our residents, I feel like an extended part of their family. In return, they are my family. We’re there to help support each other. That’s all part of it—you have to care. You have to care about seniors and appreciate them. This is the belief behind my perspective as a professional senior caregiver.

Whether you’re a senior, a family member of a senior, a professional caregiver like me or a policymaker, we all have different perspectives but we can still come to common ground on how to do the best job we can in caring for our seniors.

Everybody has an opinion, and everybody needs to be heard. We have to be open and honest with each other. We have to be creative and work together. We all have to be part of the conversation to make sure we are prepared to provide seniors with the care and services they need as they grow older.

The goal is helping all Minnesota seniors age as well as they can and it’s going to take creativity and new ideas to do this. The number of seniors in Minnesota is growing leaps and bounds, faster than any other population right now. Will we have enough professionals to care for today’s and tomorrow’s seniors? What can we do to help keep more seniors living as independently as possible for as long as possible? What else do we need to consider?  We have to plan ahead. I know it’s not easy. It can be challenging to find time, but we have to make the time.

I’ve worked in long-term care for a long time. Sometimes seniors look to me to help make a change for them. That’s why I have to step up to the plate. We need people who are willing to step up to the plate and say, “hey, I want to help better the lives of seniors in our state.” It’s up to all of us.

Mike Maday is a Care Manager at Lakeview Methodist Healthcare Center in Fairmont, Minnesota.

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