Irv Williams: 99-year-old jazz legend – and Minnesota treasure

Irv Williams remembers a woman knocking on the door of his apartment at Episcopal Homes in St. Paul as he played his saxophone several years ago. “That was beautiful!” the woman said. “What did you play?” “I was warming up,” Irv replied. He laughs as he recalls the woman’s next question. “She said, ‘Can you…

A love for taking care of the elderly

Kathleen Currie has helped provide care to seniors for over 25 years. “I love taking care of the elderly,” says Kathleen. Kathleen’s favorite part of caregiving is being able to improve the daily lives of those she serves. “The best part is interacting and making their day better,” she says. As an advocate for aging…

Aging while caring for aging loved ones

Ruth Kivela, a resident of Virginia, Minnesota, began to experience the aging journey when she married her late husband in 2004. Ruth was 59 and her husband was 64. Her husband was a disabled veteran of the Air Force and didn’t let health problems get him down. “A wonderful, wonderful man who always had a…

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…

Local nurse advocates for elder Minnesotans

When Mollie Fragnito began nursing school at St. Catherine University in her thirties, she thought she would be the oldest person in her class. She was wrong. “I sat next to a lady who was 65,” says Mollie. “She had just retired and was going to become a nurse so she could take care of…

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…

The more we talk about aging, the more we see it

Roxanne Cornell believes the key to facing aging in Minnesota is talking about it. “I think the more we talk about it, the more we see it, which is a good thing. It’s a call to action.” At 63, Roxanne is a clinical social worker of over thirty years and former life-care planner for a…

Long-term care experience helps guide family through aging journey

Laura Salonek’s 90-year-old grandmother was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She received radiation to shrink the masses in her lungs, but she cannot talk without coughing, and her eight children are needing to find services to help support her care. “I am thankful for my experience and the knowledge I’ve gained from working in long-term…

Working in long-term care means having a lasting impact

“Seniors are our wisdom keepers,” says Mary Nell Zellner, a senior health care consultant based in St. Paul, Minnesota. “They are our legacy.” Mary Nell says that of all the states she has been blessed to work, she feels Minnesota has a value system that prioritizes our people. “We are here to help elders in…

It takes a strong village to care for our seniors

“My parents are snowbirds and go to Arizona every winter,” says professional and family caregiver Deb Trygstad. Deb lives in Erhard, Minnesota, a small town about 40 minutes south of Detroit Lakes and a 2016 population of 150 people. In preparation to come home from Arizona, Deb’s mother fell and broke her hip and shoulder.…