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…

Aging doesn’t always go as planned

The best part of aging for Judy Reher, a senior from Richfield, Minnesota, is not having to use an alarm clock. Judy and her husband have both battled cancer in the six years since they retired. “I used to think it was just ‘mind over matter’ and ‘you’re only as old as you feel.’ I…

Don’t let stereotypes write the narrative of elders

Aging brings joy to many seniors in different ways. For Mari Jenson of Little Canada, the ability to spend time with her grandchildren is the best part about getting older. Though Mari has not needed care or services herself, she recognizes that age means some day-to-day activities change as she grows older. Getting exercise and…

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…

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…

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…

Life after Alzheimer’s: Six things my husband taught me

After my husband Bob’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, our lives changed forever. He never stopped teaching me and reminding me why I loved him. Here are six things I learned on the journey through Alzheimer’s with Bob: Bob taught me patience. I tried to never raise my voice at him and answer every question, even if it…

World War II veteran Dick Heyne recalls his distinguished service and a life well-lived

Richard “Dick” Heyne is a part of Minnesota’s Greatest Generation. A decorated veteran of World War II, Heyne served heroically as a B-24 Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner with the United States 11th Air Corps, 404th Bomb Group. In honor of Veteran’s Day 2018, Face Aging MN would like to recognize Top Gunner Richard…

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…

Planting seeds of wisdom into younger generations

Life is a journey filled with learning and reflection, and for Carole Perkins, planting seeds of wisdom into younger generations is the best part about getting older. “Investing in each other’s lives has helped me age well,” says Carole, who lives in Le Roy, a town of about 1,000 people in southeast Minnesota. Aging is…