Award-winning Minnesota senior says volunteering saved her

When it came time for nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Senior Award, Judy Peterson of Grand Rapids was an obvious choice. Judy visits patients with Itasca Hospice; she oversees the receptionist volunteers at Itasca County Tax Aide, which assisted more than 1,000 clients during the 2017 season; she directs ElderCircle’s free grocery shopping and delivery…

Preparing for the future: an accountant’s perspective on aging

When Ron Woltjer of Little Falls was in his 20s, he was a high school teacher. When he switched careers and became an accountant 32 years ago, he picked up 300 of his former students as clients. Now, the young kids who were once his students are grandparents. “I’ve aged, but my clients have aged…

New initiative aims to transform the landscape for Minnesota’s home health caregivers

An innovative approach to one of the foremost issues facing Americans is unfolding – and it involves three organizations right here in Minnesota. With 60,000 Minnesotans turning 65 this year and every year through 2030, the demand for professional senior caregivers is vast and growing. That’s why Minnesota-based organizations Benedictine Health System, Knute Nelson and…

High school partnership spreads awareness of caregiving careers

One of Griffin Myslivecek’s most rewarding moments as a senior caregiver happened when he went for a bike ride with a resident. For much of his life, this resident was an avid cyclist who had ridden coast to coast, recalled Griffin, who works as Executive Director of All Saints Senior Living in Shakopee. The resident…

Giving and receiving make for a full heart every day

“I started working in a nursing home when I was 16 years old,” says Karen Kunz, Staffing Specialist at Grand Village in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. “It felt like a calling.” As a staffing specialist, Karen ensures that her staff has what they need to provide the best care to residents. An essential quality of her…