Staying active while living in long-term care communities

When someone transitions to a long-term care setting, there is often a feeling of lost independence or a perception that a person can no longer be active. But in today’s modern senior living centers, there are usually a wide array of programs or activities that help seniors stay physically fit. Not only does staying active…

Salvation Army adult day program promotes independence and empowers seniors

Thirty-seven years ago, the Salvation Army started an adult day program that welcomes anyone living with a physical or neurological condition. The program strives to promote independence and empower each individual to remain in a community setting – an alternative to assisted living centers and in-home care. The daily program has become a cornerstone of…

Scoop on Senior Care: Protecting elderly starts by understanding “self-neglect”

When Paul Singer arrived in Boston in March 2018, the investigative journalist was intrigued by New England’s rapidly aging population and began asking questions. Those questions led to a story featured on the front page of USA TODAY, in which Singer analyzed data to reveal major reporting gaps in elder abuse across the country. Elder…

Supporting the mental health of caregivers, seniors, families

In 1989, Diane Knutson gave birth to her first child. She was living across the street from a skilled nursing/assisted living community at the time and would see the residents go for walks and enjoy the outdoors. “I’d watch them and think, ‘I bet they would really enjoy seeing my baby,’ so I went over…

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…

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,…

Wilder Foundation’s Maureen Kenney on senior care: “Create communities across lifespans”

(Second of two parts) As we continued our conversation with Maureen Kenney, the Aging Services Director of the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, we asked Kenney to speak to the caregiving landscape in Minnesota – what’s working, what further action is needed and how all Minnesotans can better support caregivers. (Responses edited for length.) Q:…

Ten lessons Grandma taught me

For my grandmother’s 90th birthday, I created a little book to celebrate. I called all my cousins and sisters and gathered all the important lessons she taught us. Though she is gone now, there is no doubt that Grandma helped shape who I am today and how I feel about others and the world. Here…

Senior living leader opens up about caregiver workforce challenges

As the Executive Director of Vista Prairie Communities, Rachael Evers sees firsthand the rewards and challenges of caring for seniors. But Evers worries about the growing demand for caregivers who provide the daily support many seniors need to age with dignity and respect. With Minnesota approaching one million residents 65 or older, she’s already seen…