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.…

Let’s honor our elders with the care and services they need

Rachel Cummings is the director and owner of Cummings Treasured Time Adult Day Center in Deerwood, Minnesota, a small town about 30 minutes northeast from Brainerd with a population of 520. Rachel started her caregiving career as a nursing assistant in 1991. “I have always loved the hands-on caregiving,” says Rachel. “The best part is…

How elder loved ones influenced me to pursue caregiving

For me, getting into the senior care profession came about because of loved ones. My elderly grandmother stayed in her own home as long as she could until she needed more support. She moved to a long-term care facility and it was inspiring to watch how my parents and aunts and uncles cared for her.…

Staying active and proactive

Staying active – both physically and socially – provides a type of “insurance” different from your typical health insurance plan. Staying active is being proactive. It’s taking control of whatever you can, despite any limitations, in order to age as well as possible. Most importantly, being proactive creates a feeling of empowerment across many different…

Making memories every day as a TMA

“I don’t think a day goes by that there’s not memories made,” says Jean Happke, a trained medical assistant (TMA) at Pierz Villa in Pierz, Minnesota. “I have taken seniors out for a ride around the block, or to look at Christmas lights. There’s a resident who wanted to go through her closet, so we…

Mother and daughter share passion for long-term care

Shayla Mahmalji and Marti Brende carpool to work every day. Shayla works in human resources, and Marti works in social services, but both daughter and mother share a passion for long-term care and love their jobs at Aftenro Home in Duluth, Minnesota. “I’ve been in and around long-term care my whole life,” says Shayla. “I…

Helping others is the best part

“The reward in the long run is worth every bit of time put into your job,” says Julia Urdahl, a CNA at Prairie Pines Community Assisted Living in Fosston, Minnesota.  Julia’s grandmother was a RN and told Julia that if she wanted to go into nursing, she needed to work as a CNA at a…

Training the next generation of passionate long-term care leaders

Last year, professor Steve Chies taught a class of 48 students who were entering a one-year practicum to train as long-term care administrators. “Out of the 48, 46 of them were millennials. It gave me great hope in our sector that we have good leaders coming up in millennials,” says Steve. “They’re passionate, enthusiastic and…

The privilege of impacting lives in senior care

Sharon St. Mary, Executive Director for Metro Minnesota with the Good Samaritan Society, found herself in a position not so unique to many career caregivers. When she wasn’t working in the field she loves, she was using her professional skills to care for her aging parents. “The fact of the matter is, we will all…

Caring for seniors through integrative therapy

Kendra Willey said she was employed from the time she was 14 years old, but she never really loved work—until she started working with seniors. A friend recommended that Kendra work as a dietary aid in college, and she began working at a skilled nursing facility in Bloomington, Minnesota. “I looked forward to going to…

Coming alongside families through joy and loss

Reverend Daryl Jacobson says it’s a blessing to support seniors and their families through joy and loss. “You see them face tough circumstances and so many of them are able to meet the challenges and rise above those circumstances of life,” says Daryl, who spent thirty years in pastoral ministry before becoming a chaplain at…