Staples nurse recognized for 20 years of service at Lakewood Health System

After 20 years at Lakewood Health System in Staples, Kerry Weappa received the 2018 Nurse of the Year Award from Care Providers of Minnesota. “I was starstruck,” Kerry said. “It was a great honor.” Kerry’s grandmother had worked as a nursing assistant at Lakewood until she was in her 70s. “I felt comfortable working with…

A Marine looks back: WWII, honoring sacrifice and love at first sight

In 2017, June Fremont was the oldest marine at the Marine Corps 242 Birthday Ball, which celebrates the Marine Corps’s beginnings and its traditions. After her time serving in the Marines from 1943 to 1946, June raised her family in Minnesota and worked at 3M for 43 years in various departments. She officially retired in…

A passion for helping others leads to innovative solutions in senior care

Since an early age Janelle Zimmerman knew it was in her blood to help others. Janelle’s parents both worked in long-term care throughout her childhood; her mom as a social worker and her dad as an administrator/regional director/purchasing director. “I have literally become my mom,” Janelle said with a laugh. “I started volunteering at the…

Scoop on Senior Care: Veteran journalist shares what she’s learned about dementia

Michele Munz is a veteran journalist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who specializes in revealing complicated social issues through the lens of the people who are impacted the most. Last year, Munz published an insightful and emotional series about one woman’s struggle with memory problems and how it highlights the issues of dementia, which is…

How one man changed my view on Alzheimer’s

I started my new role as an Administrator in July 2018 and during the first few weeks, a gentleman that sat across my office intrigued me. Norman Beeson reminded me of my grandfather. He was the type of guy you just wanted to hug and get to know. I often saw him wandering the hallways,…

In some ways, aging means more freedom

Wendy Will reminds people that there’s enjoyment to be discovered when growing older. “Feeling freer to express my opinions is the best part about aging,” says Wendy, a resident of the 700-person community of Lanesboro in southeastern Minnesota. As she has gotten older, Wendy has become more aware of how senior care issues affect Minnesotans…

It’s important to care about what elders face

The best part of aging is retirement, says Jodi Gohmann. Jodi lives in the 1,700-person community of Clearwater. Jodi says she wishes people knew that it’s difficult to give up things like independence with age. Another challenging aspect of getting older for Jodi is sometimes feeling patronized, particularly in the way younger people regard her.…

Seniors appreciate more family time

One benefit of aging is having time to reflect, says Vickie Crompton of Borup, a community of about 100 people in northwest Minnesota. “Reaching that point in life of appreciating everything more is the best part about getting older,” says Vickie. Vickie wishes more people had a better understanding about aging and the importance of…

Recognize the challenges and embrace the positives

Both as a caregiver and as an aging adult, Paula Manthey of St. Paul has been involved with a local outpatient clinic, open to anyone in the community who needs caregiving services. Through a lifetime filled with dedicated service, Paula is aware of the challenges about getting older. “It is challenging to stay active and…

One benefit of aging: having a strong sense of what matters

Velma Ostman says the best part of getting older is having more established priorities. As a senior from Mountain Iron, a town of about 2,800 people on the Iron Range of Minnesota, Velma admits that one challenge of aging is finding well-paying, interesting employment. After all, not everyone retires at 65 or even 75. Velma…

Help seniors face aging with a little bit of understanding

“People need to be more patient and understanding with seniors,” says Susan, a senior from Harmony, a town of about 1,000 people in southern Minnesota. Susan believes it’s important for communities to recognize that many elderly Minnesotans have worked very hard during their lifetime and some do not have help from family. Susan’s favorite part…