A New Yorker finds her calling as a caregiver in Minnesota

Former New Yorker Diane Schmidt found her true home and calling when she visited Minnesota. Schmidt was born and raised in the city that never sleeps, but her life changed in 1988 when she decided to follow her parents and sister to Woodbury. “New York was wonderful in so many ways,” Schmidt said. “But if…

Caregivers need to feel valued and supported, too

During her 45 years in the healthcare industry, Barbara (Barb) Starch has worked in a variety of roles — from orthopedic nurse to clinical coordinator. Starch lived on a farm in northeastern South Dakota before moving to Montevideo when she was 13. Two years later, Starch got her first paying job in caregiving at a…

Minnesota is swimming in the deep sea of the caregiver shortage

Growing up in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, Margo Paplow often visited the local nursing homes where her mother worked as a nurse.   As far back as she can remember, Paplow knew she wanted to work in medicine, so when she turned 15, she began to work with her mom at the nursing home…

Caregiver gives long-term care finances a personal side

Diana Flores describes herself as “a different type of caregiver.” Her goal is to see Minnesota seniors gain a better understanding of their financial needs during their Golden Years and find a way to achieve them. As the Business Office Manager at Volunteers of America’s Maplewood Care Center, she helps incoming seniors and their families…

Parkinson’s changed my life; an unexpected journey in caregiving

Heidi Weinberg started her caregiving career in a rather untraditional and unexpected way. As a professional in public administration and non-profit work, she never expected to work with seniors until she switched careers to personal training a little over six years ago. Weinberg is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin,…

Caring for a senior loved one is the most important opportunity you could have

Missy Jenner of Grand Rapids was inspired by her strong relationship with her grandparents to become a professional senior caregiver –  a career that would span more than 40 years. Missy remembers her grandmother’s perseverance and dedication to fighting cancer and becoming a great cook regardless of her circumstances. “My grandma had her right arm…

First in Minnesota: High school gerontology course changes perspectives on aging

About 18 months ago, Julie Mundahl, a family and consumer sciences (FACS) teacher at Buffalo High School, had a meeting with a group of local business leaders to discuss career development for her students. One of the topics was the rising demand for professional caregivers in Buffalo and across Minnesota. By 2025, one million Minnesotans…

Minnesota senior, nurse and family caregiver reflects on her career

Shoreview resident Judy Anderson has seen the world of senior care through various perspectives. As a professional nurse, she regularly cared for seniors during her 36-year career. As a daughter, she helped care for her mother during her last years until she passed at the age of 100. And now, at the age of 70,…

At 95, Minnesota artist proves “creative people do not retire”

One of the most influential Minnesota artists of the 20th century, Bettye Olson, has always known that art would be an essential part of her life. “I’m 95. I’ve been around and alert — and I’m still painting,” says Olson. “I never retired and never will retire either. Creative people do not retire.” Being a…

Passing on wisdom: aging expert shares insight after 35-year career

As the executive director at the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging for the past 25 years, Linda Giersdorf has experienced the rapidly growing aging population in Minnesota first hand while working with organizations to provide solutions to help our seniors age with the proper resources, support and care. Last month, Giersdorf retired after working…

Helen Miller’s daughter-in-law carries Helen’s lessons forward

Helen Miller, a beloved Face Aging MN advocate and blogger, was passionate about living an active and happy life as she got older. Though Helen passed away in June, her legacy and lessons continue to inspire her friends and family, including her daughter-in-law, Kristi Danielson. She remembers Helen as the front desk secretary at her…