The privilege of impacting lives in senior care

Sharon St. Mary, Executive Director for Metro Minnesota with the Good Samaritan Society, found herself in a position not so unique to many career caregivers. When she wasn’t working in the field she loves, she was using her professional skills to care for her aging parents.

“The fact of the matter is, we will all age,” says Sharon. “It’s certainly preferable to the alternative. Senior care should matter very much to all of us because it’s deeply personal. It’s our grandparents, our parents, it’s us.”

Sharon was born to caregivers and says it was a natural progression for her to also feel called to work in senior care.

Sharon St. Mary

“Both my mother and grandmother were nurses and I worked for a small-town doctor as a youth. Even in childhood, I was the self-appointed champion of the underdog,” says Sharon.

Even though Sharon’s vocation was realized at a very young age and came naturally to her, she wishes more people would realize that each of us are likely to be faced with life-impacting decisions brought on by aging. Those experiences could include caring for an elderly parent, spouse, neighbor or friend.

Sharon says, “I wish more people understood, and demonstrated, a belief in the value of all human lives – not just when you are a baby, or when you are in your prime, but also when you become old.”

Despite the challenges she faced juggling her career and personal life as a caregiver, Sharon believes that being able to witness the profound effect that one human being can have on the life of another is a real privilege. “My staff work incredibly hard to bring value to our seniors so that they enjoy being alive, and I wish more people understood that,” Sharon says.

Sharon notes that she goes to work every day with the intention to help people and that working in senior care isn’t for the glory or the money. “We do this work because we are called to it.”

Are you walking the aging journey with a senior loved one? Answer five questions to share your story and possibly be featured on the Face Aging MN blog! –

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