A New Yorker finds her calling as a caregiver in Minnesota

Former New Yorker Diane Schmidt found her true home and calling when she visited Minnesota. Schmidt was born and raised in the city that never sleeps, but her life changed in 1988 when she decided to follow her parents and sister to Woodbury. “New York was wonderful in so many ways,” Schmidt said. “But if…

2018 Employee of the Year: a year full of hard work and empathy for seniors

Mark Stemmer has proven how far hard work and empathy can take someone in life. For the past five years, Mark has worked as director of environmental services at All Saints Senior Living Center in Shakopee, where he oversees the maintenance and emergency/safety protocol of the 57-unit apartment complex. He is also responsible for developing…

Minnesota couple continues 128-year legacy of compassionate senior care

St. Otto’s Care Center roots run deep in the town of Little Falls, Minn. The center was founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, whose tradition of caring for the elderly began in 1891. Today, it remains a vibrant part of the community, having evolved into a 93-bed skilled nursing center that offers long-term…

Caregivers need to feel valued and supported, too

During her 45 years in the healthcare industry, Barbara (Barb) Starch has worked in a variety of roles — from orthopedic nurse to clinical coordinator. Starch lived on a farm in northeastern South Dakota before moving to Montevideo when she was 13. Two years later, Starch got her first paying job in caregiving at a…

In some ways, aging means more freedom

Wendy Will reminds people that there’s enjoyment to be discovered when growing older. “Feeling freer to express my opinions is the best part about aging,” says Wendy, a resident of the 700-person community of Lanesboro in southeastern Minnesota. As she has gotten older, Wendy has become more aware of how senior care issues affect Minnesotans…

It’s important to care about what elders face

The best part of aging is retirement, says Jodi Gohmann. Jodi lives in the 1,700-person community of Clearwater. Jodi says she wishes people knew that it’s difficult to give up things like independence with age. Another challenging aspect of getting older for Jodi is sometimes feeling patronized, particularly in the way younger people regard her.…

Seniors appreciate more family time

One benefit of aging is having time to reflect, says Vickie Crompton of Borup, a community of about 100 people in northwest Minnesota. “Reaching that point in life of appreciating everything more is the best part about getting older,” says Vickie. Vickie wishes more people had a better understanding about aging and the importance of…

Recognize the challenges and embrace the positives

Both as a caregiver and as an aging adult, Paula Manthey of St. Paul has been involved with a local outpatient clinic, open to anyone in the community who needs caregiving services. Through a lifetime filled with dedicated service, Paula is aware of the challenges about getting older. “It is challenging to stay active and…

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…

Minnesota senior living manager of the year Carrie Soto is here to help seniors and their families

Five years after starting her career at the Good Samaritan Society in Luverne, Senior Housing Manager Carrie Soto continues to make an impact serving Minnesota seniors. Carrie believes her compassion for the tenants and their families has led her to administer outstanding care by providing a true sense of belonging and trust. “I love getting…

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…