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…

An important update on what Medicare changes mean for Minnesotans

The Medicare enrollment period for 2019 coverage has been marked by confusion and angst for many beneficiaries in Minnesota and across the country as a new federal allow is eliminating Cost plans, leaving consumers to choose between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. More than 300,000 Minnesotans are affected by the changes. State officials are…

Why I started an Alzheimer’s support group – and never left

I became trained as an Alzheimer’s support group facilitator while I was still the caregiver for my late husband. For me to cope with the Alzheimer’s caregiving journey, I needed to educate myself, understand the disease and connect with others. Understanding the facts, potential issues and strategies kept me sane from the horrible emotion of…

Passing on wisdom: aging expert shares insight after 35-year career

As the executive director at the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging for the past 25 years, Linda Giersdorf has experienced the rapidly growing aging population in Minnesota first hand while working with organizations to provide solutions to help our seniors age with the proper resources, support and care. Last month, Giersdorf retired after working…

Giving mom the best care

The aging journey with senior loved ones is unforgettable. Julie Kasidowski, a native of Winona, Minnesota, is walking through aging with her mother. It was important to Julie to find the best care for her mom. For her, the biggest challenge was understanding the health care options for her mother, including questions and concerns about…

New Minnesota law empowers financial advisers to report fraud against seniors

As of August 1, 2018, the “Safe Senior Act” goes into effect in Minnesota. The “Safe Senior Act” allows broker-dealers and investment advisers to report possible financial exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults to the Minnesota Department of Commerce or the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center. This bipartisan legislation proposed by the Minnesota Commerce Department…

Affordable housing: a common challenge for our seniors

Cottage Grove resident Lorie Costello is walking the aging journey with her mother. Through the aging journey, Lorie has realized how valuable and important quality time is and treasures every moment she has with her mom. The most difficult part of the aging journey with her mom is finding affordable housing. “She makes too much…

Providing solutions for senior care in rural Minnesota

“Serving the senior population has been a passion of mine for years,” says Julia Conroy, owner of Julia’s Place in Hancock, Minnesota, a small town an hour southwest of Alexandria. Julia’s Place offers adult day services for the elderly, including adult foster care and transportation services. Julia was inspired to start her own adult day…