Since the debut of our caregiver story map, we have been overwhelmed with responses that reveal how deeply personal caregiving is for Minnesotans.
Perhaps Gordon, who follows Face Aging MN on Facebook, said it best: “There are angels living with us here on earth, known as caregivers…we are privileged to have them in our midst.”
As Minnesota’s senior population booms, the need for professional caregivers is growing faster than demand for workers in any other sector. Caregivers deserve increased support to make their calling a successful and stable career, including competitive salaries and benefits, scholarships and loan forgiveness programs.
After all, professional caregivers are the ones who help ensure older adults can age well and with respect. Here are some of the powerful testimonies about caregivers we have received:
- Kathy: “As a long term caregiver I felt like I was walking into a treasure chest when I went to the care center. I found residents who told me their secrets to their favorite recipes, gardening, hobbies of all kinds. I was given wisdom that shaped life decisions…they were humorous, sincere and shared their grief and joy that life brings.”
- Sandra: “I felt the calling to nursing 46 years ago. I loved every moment of caring for others. I became more compassionate and caring. Cried whenever a patient died.”
- Luann: “It was a true partnership. It was, I believe, a calling. It’s not a job everyone can do.”
- Becky: “I’ve been a caregiver and learned of people’s inherent worth.”
- Linda: “I worked as a caregiver for over 35 years. I love doing what I do. It makes my day go a little bit better knowing I helped people who could not help themselves. I’ve really learned a lot from them also. And I hope I get the same care that I gave in return. Much love to all.”
- Myrna: “That’s why I live in Minnesota.”
- Janell: “I became a nurse in my forties to put to active use my deep compassion. The people I’ve met and come to know along the way have each left their own indelible mark on my heart, from the youngest child to the elders, those in hospice, etc. Caregiver to my 92-year-old Dad, now, also…and what a privilege that has been. To those giving, and to those receiving, many blessings on you all. Life is so much sweeter when we take the time to really listen and respond.”
- Mary: “Nurses (caregivers) [are] angels here on earth. God bless all of you. Because of you we have a future. Being disabled is a challenge but I thank the Lord for all of you.”
- Betty: “We live in a wonderful nation that cares for the elderly and disabled! Caregivers are a chosen profession.”
- Loretta: “Thank you for all the caregivers for their wonderful compassionate work.”
We encourage you to visit our caregiver story map to learn about the journeys of caregivers in your own region of Minnesota. And don’t forget to share their journeys with others. Let’s spread the word about how caregivers do so much to provide essential support for our seniors.
Anna Paulson is a regulator contributor to Face Aging MN. If you want to reach her or have any questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have your own story to share? We’d love to hear from you.