Keeping family close through the aging journey

Bobbi Peterson and her mom, Joan, are walking through the aging journey together. Joan receives care at the Country Meadows of Milaca in a town of about 3,000 people in north central Minnesota. “She’s in assisted living and needs help with her medications,” says Bobbi. Bobbi emphasizes that it’s important for families and communities to…

Local WWII vet thrives among friends, family and fellow service members

Fred Marwig lived through the Great Depression and served in World War II, then raised eight children with his wife. Today, at 93, Fred swims three times a week, drives a motor scooter around the neighborhood, and plays poker, dominoes and cribbage with his friends at SilverCreek on Main in Maple Grove. He also fishes,…

Getting older but not feeling old

Jill Ballard of Randolph Township, a community of about 500 residents in southeast Minnesota, says one of the positives of aging is having the time to more fully embrace life. “Having time to explore new things, volunteer, enjoy my family and teach fifth-grade church school is the best part about getting older,” says Jill. “The…

Simple ways to age more nimbly

People sometimes get a little intimidated by the juxtaposition of the words karate, exercise and older citizens. No need to be worried. Karate or other forms of exercise can be pretty easy once you get the hang of it. For instance, one very popular piece of advice for new students to my class is: “Do…

What growing old in Minnesota means

What does it mean to grow old in Minnesota? We thought this would be a good question to ask during May, which is Older Americans Month. Most likely, if you are a Minnesota senior or know a Minnesota senior, several things come to mind. Having endured many long and frigid winters, Minnesota seniors are resilient.…

Minnesota senior enjoys time with five generations

The aging journey looks different for each senior and every family. For Jeanne Kragt-Barchinger, a senior from Milaca, the best parts of getting older are spending time with family and not having to get up early and work hard all day. “I have 20 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren to love and enjoy,” says…

Helping parents navigate getting older

Sandra Burklund wants decision-makers in our society to know the importance of implementing policies that recognize that we’re all part of the aging population and we’ll all eventually be faced with caregiving needs. “Not all are fortunate to have a family support system to help navigate aging challenges,” says Sandra. Sandra’s parents both receive care…

Walking through the aging journey with mom

Having worked as an administrator at Maple Lawn Senior Care for 26 years in Fulda, Minnesota, Arlan Swanson says it’s interesting to be on the other side of long-term care. When his 90-year-old mother fell and broke her hip, he experienced senior care from the perspective of a patient’s family. Arlan says seeing his mom…

Find a key, open a door

Take a look at the Face Aging Principles which “provide guidance to anyone who wants to help Minnesota face aging.” They can provide a key to successful aging. It makes sense to place guiding principles related to aging in front of our community at this time in Minnesota history – right now, our state’s aging…

Minnesota needs to face aging – here’s how we can do it

The need to face aging is undeniable and unprecedented. Minnesota isn’t ready to support the one million seniors who will soon call our state home. That’s why we must all work together now to ensure our elders will receive the care and services they need as they age. Legislative session begins tomorrow, February 20, and…

Transforming how we age in Minnesota

When we have candid and thoughtful conversations, we can spark the kind of bold and innovative thought we need to transform how we age in Minnesota. Minnesota, like most other states, has a growing senior demographic with a decreasing workforce availability. That tension dictates that we think and act creatively to address the gap between what…